SEMO Erases Another Iconic Building

Razing Houck Stadium 12-08-2021

Someone posted on Facebook this morning that Southeast Missouri State University’s iconic Houck Stadium was being demolished. I decided it was worth putting on my pants and donning a light jacket to take a look at it.

By midafternoon, about half of the south stands had been reduced to dust and twisted rebar. A worker I chatted with said he thought they’d be done in about a week.

The north stands and Houck Field House aren’t slated for demolition (yet).

Inside a locker room

I thought that I might be able to get a higher angle shot from an office window in Houck Field House, but the only good candidate was locked.

I wandered down a hallway until I saw an open door and walked toward the light until I ran into a friendly worker. We exchanged construction war stories until I thought we were at the point where I could gently suggest that he look the other way while I disappeared for a few minutes.

Unfortunately, another guy showed up about that time, so I abandoned the idea.

On my way out, though, I stopped long enough to shoot the lockers and peppy slogan above them. The light wasn’t great, and I couldn’t get it all in one shot, so I created this combo.

Chief Sagamore’s old perch

Razing Houck Stadium 12-08-2021

Gates leading to the bluff where Chief Sagamore used to appear were locked, so this is the best I could do.

The white cloud is a powerful spray of water to keep dust down. Cars parked on Bellevue Street still got a pretty heavy dusting. Reminded me of what happened in the old days when dust from the cement plant would coat Cape when the winds were out of the south.

Gallery of demolition photos

Here’s a gallery of photos I shot December 8, 2021. Click on any image to make it larger, then use the arrows to move around. I’ll go through my files to see how many vintage Houck Stadium photos I can find, along with any appropriate anecdotes for a post in the near future.

SEMO Indian R.I.P.

SEMO orientation packet 1965I was cleaning out the hall closet that held a bunch of newspaper clippings and old school papers this afternoon. In the midst of yellowing newsprint more suitable for confetti than reading, I found this folder from my 1965 freshman orientation.

Poor Chief Sagamore had no idea that he and every vestige of his Indian heritage would be exiled only a few decades later.

Look to your left, look to your right

SEMO orientation packet 1965This was a listing of special events. I must have been taking notes on it so I could perform my duties as The Missourian’s campus correspondence. I drove poor editor jBlue crazy because I was supposed to be covering the school, but I spent as little time as possible on campus. Chasing sirens was a lot more fun.

All I can remember from the Houck Stadium Freshman Welcome was sitting in the bleachers and hearing some guy delivering the old lines, “Look to your left, look to your right. Next [can’t remember if he said “semester” or “year”) one of you won’t be here.

He was right. Two years later, I transferred to Ohio University, a school that wasn’t run like a Charleston high school. If you think I’m exaggerating, check out the Student Handbook.

Songs

SEMO orientation packet 1965In case we felt like breaking into song, a small sheet of appropriate songs was included. I visited the SEMO website to find that the alma mater hasn’t changed (although the current version has another verse. Maybe ours did too, but they thought memorizing TWO verses might be too much for us frosh.).

The four songs contain seven references to “Indians” or “Braves.”

Give Me An “I”

SEMO orientation packet 1965The administration must have thought we more capable of cheering than singing because we were given a list of 13 cheers printed on canary-colored paper.

Give Me an “I” was a call and response where the cheerleaders would yell, “Give me an ‘I,” at which point we were supposed to echo “I” back at them. This was repeated for “N,” “D,” “I,” “A,” “N” and “S.”

To make sure we got it, the cheerleaders would ask, “What does that spell?”

The proper response was “INDIANS!” repeated louder three times.

 

 

Even Her Mug Shot Is Cute

Lila Perry Steinhoff's SEMO ID cardNot everybody can look cute in a mug shot with a number under their chin.

Had Wife Lila elected a life of crime, the FBI would have had a tough time keeping her picture on the Post Office walls because teenage boys would have been snagging them to hang next to their Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs posters.

Pre-politically correct SEMO

Lila Perry Steinhoff's SEMO ID cardThis Southeast Missouri State College ID was issued while the school still had a newspaper called The Capaha Arrow, a yearbook named The Sagamore, and Chief Sagamore was a fixture at all the football games.

I removed Lila’s Social Security number and birth year to thwart ID thieves. I don’t know what all the holes that are punched out signify. The top evidently refers to the school year, but I don’t what the 1 through 25 boxes are for.

Here’s what happened to Chief Sagamore.

Capaha Arrow turns 100 as The Arrow

1956 SEMO Homecoming Parade

I’m dipping into Steve McKeown’s stash of photos taken by his dad, James D. McKeown III, to show the 1956 Southeast Missouri State College (now University) Homecoming parade headed down Broadway between Pacific and North West End Blvd.

I’m sure car buffs will enjoy seeing the fancy wheels. Old truck enthusiasts will like the red pickup in the church parking lot.

Trucks supplied by local companies

I see trucks from E.C. Robinson Lumber Co. and Wiethrop Trucking.

Pictures of other Homecoming Parades

1956 Homecoming Parade photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the photo to move through the gallery. Give a round of applause to Steve for providing the photos and to his dad for taking them.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.