Cape’s ‘Laboratory School’

SEMO's old College High building 05-28-2015I really hadn’t gone on the SEMO campus to shoot what used to be called College High or Campus High, the building that housed the teacher’s college’s laboratory school. (Erin Ragan wrote a little about the history of the school in 2012.)

I was there to steal a magnolia blossom off the tree on the left.

Brother Mark and I took Mother out for a drive last weekend. While cruising around, I said, “Let’s see if we can snag a magnolia blossom for your room.” The tree where I usually get the blooms didn’t have any, so Mark suggested there might be one on the SEMO campus.

Yes, indeed, there was one

I put my four-way flashers on, parked in a no-parking zone and scampered over with my trusty Buck knife in hand to snip off a blossom the size of Mother’s head. Just as I was getting back to the van, flower in hand, I heard a car coming. It was a university police car. I was rehearsing my excuse when the car passed without even slowing down.

Found the magic key

A few days later, after the bloom turned a beautiful shade of brown that I actually liked better than the white, I decided to go back to the scene of the crime to get her a second one. Same no-parking zone, same four-way flashers. This time, though, I saw a guy in a university truck slow down and give me the eye.

I stepped out of the car with my camera in hand and made a big show of taking a photo. The guy sped up and passed on by.

I used to say that you could go anywhere if you carried a clipboard and a tape measure or a ladder. I’m adding camera to the list.

College High Junior-Senior Prom

I hope this will make amends to Miss Peggy Schweain for not showing her face when she was crowned College High School Prom Queen in 1967. We ran this action shot of Miss Carol Keller helping Miss Schweain adjust her crown. To add insult to injury, the caption had her last named spelled both “Schwein and “Schweain.”  (The latter is correct.)

Miss Keller is the daughter of Mrs. and Mrs. Layton Keller, and Miss Schweain is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Schweain. Miss Nora Reynolds, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Reynolds, Jr., is at right. Click on the photos to make them larger.

College High Prom Court

Maybe I was trying to squeeze out an extra five bucks from the assignment, hoping the paper would run the action shot, then back it up with a group picture. I guess not. It was getting close to the end of the school year, so it was probably pushed off the page by the  glut of school news to get in. (The New York Times motto was “All the news that fit to print.” The Missourian came closer to reflecting economic realities: “All the news that fits we print.”)

The May 13, 1967, Youth Page story said the ceremony was held in the Memorial Hall ballroom. In addition to Misses Keller and Reynolds, her attendants were Miss Judy Masterson, daughter of Mrs. Evelyn Masterson, and Miss Ellen Gockel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Gockel, Jr.

The queen’s throne was placed on a platform decorated with a purple curtain held back with gold streamers. At the center of the curtain was a crown of purple velvet trimmed with gold tinsel.

Mr. and Mrs. E.J. Gilbert and the parents of the queen candidates were special guests of the juniors and seniors. The class sponsors were Wendall Wyatt and Mrs. Mary E. Magill.

(As an aside, I could have sworn that Carol Keller was a Cape Central High School student. I don’t know what I assumed that.)


Comcast and Snow Leave Me Cold

I spent the evening dealing with Comcast because our Internet connection was down.

We were bleeding edge early adopters of DSL when BellSouth first rolled it out in South Florida. It took a very frustrating year or so to get it working, but then it was great for about the next five years. Unfortunately, ATT and BellSouth merged, so it went down the tubes, along with everything else ATT touched.

ATT / BellSouth merger

The BellSouth and ATT merger worked like putting a frog in a blender: what came out was still a frog, but it wasn’t the frog that you knew and loved, and it no longer worked like a frog.

When our service went up and down many times a day and we couldn’t get any satisfaction, we pulled the plug on the New ATT.

We have a Comcast Business Account

Because my wife and I depend on a reliable Internet connection, we signed up for a Comcast business preferred account that was supposed to insure us higher speeds, more reliability and faster support. That’s great, except the telephone number business customers are supposed to call gave me an error message then hung up on me three times tonight.

When I called the number for residential customers, the very nice people TRANSFERRED me to the same number I had been dialing, which meant that I went around the block three more times.

Tech blew the dust out of the lines

Finally, I got a supervisor who managed to get me to a nice tech who blew the dust out of the lines or something and restored our service.  Since he didn’t have any explanation for why we went down (or why we came back up), he’s going to send a tech out Monday afternoon.

The experience left me about as cold as the snow on the back of this Ford Groves College High Driver Ed car.