D’Ladium’s Basement Door

D'Ladiums 10-28-2009

When I photographed D’Ladiums / Pladiums for a 2010 story, two dozen or so readers shared their memories of the place. Is that ornate, black, boarded-up doorway on the right the entrance to the fabled basement? (If you were a fan of the place, make sure you follow that link.)

John Martin, Class of 1958, mentioned “I also heard there was a table stakes poker game in the basement on ocassion, but ‘I know nothing!‘”

Chris Stevens chimed in, “In the late 60′s Jerry let us use that underground (basement) space for a “Find of the Holidays” party one Christmas vacation. We served more than 3.2 and no one checked IDs that night.”

Tony Hamanwill never forget the 1 and only time Big Dog took me downstairs to the ‘TABLE’ schooled me but taught me 3 quick games, what a privilege to have in my memories.”

I was an innocent

Bartender Emily Banach and D'ladiums manager Jerry Beaver 11-04-2010My folks didn’t put many restrictions on me. I mean, how could they? I spent my toddlerhood tooling my toy tractor around in my grandfather’s liquor store in Advance, and Mother delights in telling about how she outsmarted the sheriff who was coming to confiscate their slot machines when she was barely a teen.

Still, they cautioned me to stay out of pool halls and other dens of iniquity, so I’m not sure I ever went into the smoky palace of pleasure at 1127 Broadway. It must have been relatively civilized because I never had occasion to show up there for a shooting or stabbing.

I was told that Captain Beaver is one of the reasons for good behavior. He rules the joint with a firm, but gentle, touch from a barber chair like the one I have in my living room. (It must be more than the chair that produces the result, though.)

Mother and the Belly Up Bar

Bro Mark sent a cryptic email to the family last night: “Gran can now check another box off her list.” He wouldn’t give me a hint, said she’d have to tell me.

I called Mother, but got a busy signal all morning; after that, the phone went to the answering machine. I figured she must be out skydiving or water skiing on the Mississippi.

She finally called me back to tell me about her excursion last night. She and several of her friends ended up at the Belly Up Bar and Grill in Oran. I can just about picture what that kind of establishment looked like. I usually didn’t frequent places like that until after the shootin’ and cuttin’ was over.

(For the record, that’s the Elk’s Club in Cairo, not the Belly Up Bar and Grill.)

 When does the dancin’ start?

When she walked in, she noticed a couple of pool tables. “When do they start dancing on the tables?,” she asked.

“After about two beers,” she was told.

She met lots of friendly and interesting people, including a guy who was drinking a pink-colored beer. She got up enough nerve to ask him what it was. “Beer and tomato juice,” he answered. “I always drink it that way.”

(Note: that’s not the Belly Up Bar and Grill, either. It was taken at D’Ladiums in Cape.

Want to go for a ride?

When they got ready to leave, Mother paused to admire a motorcycle in the parking lot. She told the owner that she didn’t realize they were so big when they blasted past her on the highway.

After chatting a bit, the guy said, “Want to go for a ride?”

“I haven’t been on one since I’m a teenager, but, sure.”

They went blasting around Oran. (It doesn’t take long to lap Oran.) She said she was surprised that it was very comfortable: it was like riding in the back seat of a car.

She’s polling her friends to see if any of them snapped a picture of her before she roared off.

(Nope, not the Belly Up Bar and Grill: motorcycle racing at Arena Park.)

This is a poor substitute

I’ve sent a note to the neighbors telling them not to worry if they look out the window and see this. She’s just reliving her glory days at the Oran Belly Up Bar and Grill.

(You guessed it. This isn’t the Belly Up Bar and Grill. It’s Mother celebrating her 2004 Birthday Season. She turned 90 in 2011.)

Other Mother exploits

Mother says she can’t go to the store these days without someone coming up to her to ask her if she’s the one in the blog. Here are some of her past exploits in case you’ve missed them.






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.