Today’s birthday has been a full day. I spent most of it trying to stay ahead of all the comments and well wishes left on the blog, in my email and on Facebook. I’m overwhelmed by all your messages. This evening Bike Partner Anne and I headed over to Okeechobee for dinner. We ate so much that I was afraid we might not be able to get the car doors closed. We sort of forgot that we’ve normally been riding 30+ miles when we go to that buffet. I’m glad I don’t own a bathroom scale. I don’t want to know.
Anyway, all that frivolity kept me from getting any work done. Here’s a shot of me perfecting what I now do best: nap. Mike Seabaugh and I are in the back seat of a car taking us to a debate somewhere. I don’t know where or when.
I loved debate
I loved debate. There was something challenging about having to argue either side of a topic. That was good training for journalism where you try to stay as objective as possible. Learning that no one side has all the answers is good to know. I particularly enjoyed cross-examination, even if that’s the place where I was most likely to lose points with little sidenotes on the rating sheet that would read “sarcastic” or “sardonic.”
We had good coaches in Ruby Davis and Calvin Chapman. The size of our school, quality of coaching and long tradition of debate excellence put the smaller area schools at a disadvantage. About the only school that could hold its own against us was Sikeston.
I flirted with the idea of becoming a lawyer, but photography was more fun and a lot less work.
Cape Central’s auditorium is still in great shape. Here are some photos taken in 2009, during the 2010 reunion and black and white shots from the 60s. I understand that the seats have been recovered since we were there. It also looks like carpet has been added to the aisles. A projection booth in the back and some serious stage lighting has also been added over the years.
Auditorium used for speech and debate
Contestants in the Freshman-Sophomore Speech Contest in 1963 pose. I recognize Bill Wilson, Linda Stone and Janet Zickfield.
Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left of right side of the image to move through the gallery. I see vintage shots of Tricia Tipton, Carolyn Pensel and Jim Feldmier, among others. One of the reunion shots has Bill East, Betty Rawlings and Terry Hopkins wandering around trying to find the gum they had left under the seats in 1964.
Almost every kid in Cape had a crack at radio and / or TV fame. I can remember going to the KFVS radio studio to sit on Santa’s lap and to tell him (and the whole world as I knew it) what I wanted for Christmas.
There was a local radio quiz show called Know Your City Quiz that would ask questions about Cape’s history. I’d sit there with my second-grade-level picture history book frantically rooting for the answer to such questions as, “When did Cape get its first fire engine.” The book had all kinds of stuff about some guy named Washington crossing some river in the middle of the winter, but not important stuff like Cape’s first fire engine. (What was that guy doing standing up in the boat, anyway? Even I knew enough not to do THAT.)
My TV debut
I think my TV debut might have been during Scout Week in the eighth grade or my freshman year. Boy Scout Troop 8 was supposed to have someone tap out “Scouting is fun” in Morse code, but the guy who was supposed to do it backed out at the last minute for some reason or other. I could send like a demon (but couldn’t receive worth two cents), so I was sent in as a sub.
Dad set up the family’s 8mm camera to record the moment off the Zenith television in the basement. For what it’s worth, he had a guy working for him who could read code who pronounced my transmission flawless. I’m not sure who the Scout was looking in awe over my shoulder.
The whole escapade ended with future debate partner John Mueller being interviewed. I’m sure he said something about how important being able to send Morse code would be in an emergency. Unspoken was the fact that my buzzer couldn’t be heard on the far side of the room and that the little light on the key was a tiny flashlight bulb. I guess it was OK for close emergencies.
Switched to different uniforms
A couple of years later, John and I traded in our Scout uniforms for suits and ties to be undefeated members of the Central High School Debate Team.
Here’s a bunch of us getting ready to wreak havoc on the teams from the smaller schools in the area. That’s John on the right. I’m to his left. I see, in no particular order, Mike Daniels, Rick Meinz, Andy Scully, Shari Stiver, Vicky Roth, Jim Reynolds, Becky McGinty and Bill Wilson, among others whose names are lost in the fog of years.
We didn’t make it as the Three Counts
I’ve run this before, but some pictures deserve to be resurrected from time to time. John, Rick Meinz and I got dragooned into dressing up like this for a church play at Trinity Lutheran Church.
Someone Higher Up (well, not THAT higher up) cut my best line, “We’re the Three Counts: Count de Bills, Count de Checks and Count de Change.” I lost enthusiasm for my part after that. Heck of a note when the only line you can remember from a role is the one they wouldn’t let you deliver.
That’s not really MY National Guard uniform
I made about as good a soldier as I did a Lutheran Reverend and donned the uniform just about as long.
I wanted to do a story on the local National Gurard contingent going to summer camp. The Higher Ups (does this sound familiar) wouldn’t let a civilian ride in the convoy, so an enterprising Master Sergeant said, “I’ve got it all worked out. Come on by and get fitted for a uniform. You’ll look like everybody else. Nobody’ll know.”
I see debate coach Calvin Chapman counting heads or checking for stowaways or whatever activity advisors did when they had a bus full of students heading out for mischief.
Looks alike most of these students are from the Class of 1966; I don’t recognize anyone as being from the Class of ’65.
Headed back to Cape
If I get van back from the repair shop tomorrow, I’ll hit the road to another visit to Cape. It’s a little early for a return, but I have three or four projects to work on before Fall. I’ll fill you in when things firm up a bit.
So, things may be a little light for the next few days. I won’t have Mother with me on this road trip, so I won’t have an excuse to stop for Elvis or Abe Lincolnor any of the things we saw in April.