Regions Bank – Colonial Tavern

Regions Bank Building 12-12-2015I was stuck at the traffic light at Broadway and Kingshighway back in December, so I had time to shoot this photo of Regions Bank.

It’s still the Colonial to me

Colonial Resturant CrashI can’t sit at that light, though, without seeing the Colonial Tavern in my mind’s eye. When I shot this picture of a wreck, it was branded the Colonial Restaurant. It was also called the Colonial Inn, too, if I remember right.

It’s worth revisiting that post for the comments people left.

 

Cape: Future Unlimited!

Achievement Editon Census story 02-26-1966I was trying to find the story that went with some photos of a Notre Dame Highlites dance when I saw the February 26, 1966, Missourian Achievement Edition headline “Cape Girardeau: Future Unlimited!”

The Achievement edition – known internally as the Atomic Edition – was a yearly wrap-up of what SE Missouri had done in the past year and what was coming down the pike. (Literally, in this case, because they were talking about getting I-55 done between Fruitland and Portageville).

The paper was all excited because the population was estimated to have passed the 30,000 plateau, 1,349 more than the estimate a year ago. That estimate, in turn, was 1,144 greater than the one in 1964. State College students accounted for 671 of the 1,349 increase. That was kind of a big deal, because 30,000 was the tipping point between being a third class city and a second class city in Missouri. The larger population also meant a larger proportion of the gasoline tax rebate would be flowing to Cape.

Cape was disappointed in 1960 when the city fell 53 people short of having 25,000 people, even though The Missourian offered a silver dollar to each person coming into the office to fill out an affidavit that they had not been counted in the census. The official tally turned out to be 24,947.

Other front page stories

You can’t say we didn’t have interesting stories in The Missourian. Floyd McGregor, owner of McGregor’s Market, 1004 North Sprigg, accidentally shot himself in the head with a 22-caliber rifle. The bullet entered under Mr. McGregor’s right eye and passed through his head near his right temple. “He apparently thought the bullet had just grazed his cheek, I don’t think he was aware the bullet actually entered his head,” Sgt. Donald Roberts said. He was in the hospital in satisfactory condition. The story said that Mr. McGregor had borrowed the rifle to shoot a cat. He was unloading the rifle when it accidentally discharged. The fate of the cat wasn’t reported.

A more amazing story is that of Clarence D. Snider, who died at the age of 72, leaving an estate of $465,581.67 in stocks. What makes it amazing is that Mr. Snider worked for 50 years as a heeler at the International Shoe Company; he was paid about $80 a week at the time of his retirement in 1959. His coworkers said he would generally show up for work about an hour early and spend the time poring over newspaper stock reports. He and his wife, Ella, lived in a house he built in 1915 at 123 South Boulevard. It was valued at $7,500.

Car phones coming to Cape

Achievement Edition Car phones 02-26-1966Southwestern Bell was rolling out mobile telephone service in the Cape area. The only catch was that it only worked for a radius of about 25-30 miles and only one frequency was available for all users in the coverage area. If one person was using the service, everybody else would get a busy signal.

When I was bored, I’d monitor the frequency, which was around 152 MHz, just below Cape PD. Most of the conversations were people who wanted to impress their friends and clients with the fact they were calling from their cars. I was amused to hear a local radio station “newsman” recording a whole bunch of “actualities” from his car phone. “This is Joe Jones reporting from his mobile telephone in Cape Girardeau.” Followed immediately by “This is Joe Jones reporting live from his mobile telephone in Advance, Mo.” Followed by “This is Joe Jones bringing you news by mobile telephone from Perryville.” Rinse and repeat.

Ads for Colonial Restaurant and Sunny Hill

Colonial Restaurant CrashThe paper’s ad had interior and exterior shots of Colonial Restaurant. [That link will take you to the page NEXT to the ad. You’ll have to scroll left a page to see it.]

The ad said it was “greatly enlarged and newly remodeled.” That might be why it looked like the building was being worked on in my wreck photo.

Another full-page advertisement said, “Hospitality Unlimited at the in-town motor inn which will open soon to offer the warmest ‘welcome-come-again’ anywhere. Sunny Hill Motor Inn will be the most convenient place to stay in Cape Girardeau. It will have 48 Spacious Guestrooms and will be right next to Cape Girardeau’s Favorite Restaurant – Plus many other features.”

It featured interior photos of the Golden Coin Dining Room and Golden Coin Lounge “Now Open for your dining pleasure and convenience.”

P.S. I never did find the story I was looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

“Mom” of The Hilltop

Back in the days before fast food joints, every town had a “Mom” and a Hilltop Restaurant. This Hilltop was owned by Mom and Pop Pennell in Athens, Ohio. (You can click on any photo to make it larger.)

Athens Messenger Chief Photographer Bob Rogers and I practically lived there. It was just up the hill from our photo darkroom, it was far enough from downtown and the university that parking wasn’t a problem, it had good homecooking and comfort foods in large quantities, and, most importantly, it was cheap. Oh, man, I just got a craving for her hamburger steak with gravy, mashed potatoes and corn.

Lots of hustle and smiles

“Pop” worked the kitchen and grill. “Mom” waited tables, handled the cash register and acted as traffic cop behind the counter. It was the kind of place where the regulars would flirt with the waitresses, then pull family photos out of their wallets to show around. The highway patrol headquarters was just down the road, so this was a good place to meet troopers on “neutral territory” to swap war stories.

A time for reflection

One day, Bob and I did a picture page on “Mom.” I took this photo, and Bob had a more arty shot of the restaurant’s neon sign shot through the window. That pretty much defined our shooting styles: I was the more literal journalist and he was an artist with a camera.

Here was the copy that ran below this photo: “You meet a lot of people in 10 years at the same location. At closing time, when business starts slowing down, Mom can sometimes be coaxed to talk about some of her favorite customers. Like the college students from years back who still visit her, or the hitchhiking servicemen she’s given money for bus tickets. The end of the day is a time for reflection, and Mom Pennell, owner of The Hilltop Restaurant, has a lot to reflect on.

The morning the story ran, we stopped in to get her reaction. We watched customer after customer come in with the page cut out so they could give her a copy. That’s when I realized that I had the ability to make someone Queen for a Day.

I’ve always said that my goal was to do stories about ordinary people doing ordinary things. I liked to photograph people who were unacknowledged by the paper except when they were born, when they got married, when they got a speeding ticket, and when they died. Somebody else could have the celebrity beat.

Good coffee in an honest mug

The Hilltop was a place where you could get a good cup of coffee served in a heavy mug. Even though the portions were big, I always managed to save space for a slice of her homemade pie or a huge ice cream sundae. At the time, I weighed all of 132 pounds, so I could get away with it. Or, maybe it just caught up with me in my 40s.

Visiting with Bob

That’s my partner Bob. We liked to think we were her favorite customers, but I’m sure that all of the regulars felt they held that honor.

It’s tough being a “Mom”

“Mom” was always upbeat in front of customers, but when she thought nobody was looking, she’d let her guard down. It was a tough job. I don’t think The Hilltop was open seven days a week, but it opened early for the breakfast trade and stayed open for dinner. On top of that, “Mom” had to do the baking. She might sit down to pass a few words with a customer, but those breaks were short and seldom. I don’t know how old she was, but even a younger person would find it hard to be on your feet as many hours as she was.

Where was Cape’s “Mom”

I’d nominate Wayne’s Grill’s Dorothy for a “Mom.”

The Colonial Tavern/Inn was Dad’s favorite morning coffee stop.

Broadway End-to-End

I was trading some messages with Nicolette Brennan from the City of Cape about a picture of Broadway for a project she’s working on. That got me to thinking about how many Broadway stories I’ve done. I’ve documented the street from the river’s edge to the old Colonial Tavern on the west end. Click on the photos to make them larger and click on the links to go to the original story.

So many teens were dancing at the old Teen Age Club at Themis and Spanish that the floor was bouncing and a city inspector shut ’em down. They moved the dance to the bank parking lot at the corner of Main and Broadway.

Crash at the Colonial Tavern

The Colonial Tavern was my dad’s morning coffee stop where everybody would gather to hash over the previous night’s Cardinal game. A sports car picked this night to plow into the building that was at the west end of Broadway.

The park that got away

A three-acre tract of land on the south side of Broadway east of Hwy 61 was donated by the Doggett family with the understanding that the the land would be developed into a park similar to Dennis Scivally Park on Cape Rock Drive.

The family felt that the tract hadn’t been improved in the past 10 years, so they filed a suit to reclaim the land. A granite marker with the name “Doggett Park” next to the Masonic Temple parking lot is all that remains of the park.

Crash at Broadway and Fountain

Sometimes what you think is going to be an inconsequential story resonates with readers. Fred Kaefpfer, who was directing traffic at this crash at the corner of Broadway and Fountain, turned out to be Cape’s singing policeman. It became one of the most-commented stories of the early blog. The Idan-Ha Hotel shows up in the background of the photo.

Idan-Ha Hotel burns

The Idan-Ha Hotel, which had caught fire in 1968, caught fire again in 1989.

Star Service Station – Cigarettes 25 cents a pack

The Star Service station at the corner of Broadway and Frederick gave stamps with your gas. Ninety stamps would get you $1.50 worth of free gas.

Annie Laurie’s used to be Brinkopf-Howell’s

Niece Laurie Everett’s Annie Laurie’s Antiques, across the street from the Star Service Station used to be a funeral home. It’s the top-rated antique shop in Cape County now. Shivelbines Music, across the street, got a new sign in November.

Bob’s Shoe Service

Bob Fuller’s Bob’s Shoe Service was where I stocked up on Red Wing boots, the ideal footwear for a photographer. They’d shine up acceptably for formal wear (at least as formal as I ever got), but you could wade water and walk on fire with no worries.

507-515 Broadway

The 500 block of Broadway has had an interesting past.

Discovery Playhouse – Walthers’s Furniture

I was glad to see some life around the old Walther’s Furniture Store and Funeral Home. The Discovery Playhouse has become popular in a short period of time. Here is was before it opened.

Lutheran Mural Building razed

When I shot the Discovery Playhouse, I had no idea that the landmark building across the street was going to be torn down within a couple of years. It was best known for the huge blue mural on its side.

Rialto Theater roof collapses

A rainstorm caused the roof of the old Rialto Theater to collapse in 2010. This story contains a bunch of links, including one that tells how I met Wife Lila there when she was working as a cashier. This picture is of the 1964 Homecoming Parade.

Broadway Theater is still impressive

I managed to talk my way into the Broadway Theater on a cold December day. It still has the feel of the premier theater of the city.

What’s going to happen to the Esquire?

When I did this story in October 2011, it looked like the Esquire Theater was going to get new life. A new owner had an ambitious plan to renovate it. The latest stories in The Missourian make it sound like the project is unraveling.

Here’s a piece I did about its art deco history. In September 1965, I used infrared flash and film to capture kids watching The Beatles movie Help! It was the first (and only) time I used that technique.

Pladium / D’Ladiums – it’s still the same

I wasn’t a pool player, but those who were spent their time in the Pladium (now D’Ladiums) across from Houck Stadium or the Pla-Mor, next to Wayne’s Grill and the Esquire. The Beav still rules the roost at D’Ladiums.

Vandeven’s Merchantile

Howard’s Athletic Goods and a handful of other businesses have moved into the building at the corner of Broadway and Pacific over the years, but it’ll always be Vandeven’s Merchantile to me.

It dawns on me that I have even more photographs along Broadway – way too many to inflict on you in one shot. I’ll hold off putting up the rest of them until another day. Don’t forget to click on the links to see the original stories.

 

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.