ALWAYS Carry the Camera

I’ve shot so many wrecks and fires that most of them are a blur. This one stands out in my mind for one reason: I wasn’t supposed to be there. (That’s my 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon in the background. I tried to blow the picture up to see who my cohorts in crime were, but I couldn’t make them out. (Click on the photos to make them larger.))

Truck vs. Train

A couple buddies and I decided to cut class one afternoon. Maybe we had study hall or something where we wouldn’t be missed, I don’t remember. It was well known that I never went anywhere without my camera and an ugly orange plastic-covered camera bag, so I elected to leave them in the school darkroom so I’d be less obvious.

No telling why we were on the south end of town near the dogleg at Elm and Fountain and the railroad tracks near Leming Lumber. I might have heard the call on my police monitor and decided to chase it.

I imagine I said something like “DRAT!” when I reached for my camera and came up dry.

Dash to Nowell’s

My station wagon must have been a red streak when I drove across town to Nowell’s Camera Shop. I dashed inside, reached into the display case for a Pentax camera, grabbed a roll of Tri-X off another shelf and hollered over my shoulder on the way out the door, “I’ll settle up with you later.” I don’t think Bill Nowell so much as blinked an eye. Try that in one of the Big Box stores today and see what happens.

God and the preacher

I managed to get back in time to get at least one shot that ran in the paper; the top one, I think. There are big gaps in the Google Archives for 1964, so I couldn’t find the actual story. This was one time I was happy that The Missourian didn’t give me a byline.

I was in the situation of the preacher who called in sick on Sunday morning to play golf. God and St. Peter are perched on clouds watching him approach the first tee. “Watch this,” God says, directing the ball to go straight into the hole. The same thing happened on the next four holes.

“Why did you reward him for neglecting his flock?” St. Peter asked, perplexed. “Wouldn’t a bolt of lightning been more appropriate?

“Who is he going to tell?” God said with a wicked smile.

Vintage cars burned up

These two fire pictures were on the same roll. I remember absolutely nothing about them. They had to have been shot on the same day, because I returned the camera to Nowell’s right away.

Body language haunting

What I notice in this photo is the haunting body language that signals despair. These aren’t merely spectators. They are people who have lost something important to them. They remind me a bit of the Reid Family in Ohio: stunned and numb.

You can tell a big difference between the people standing here and the curious bystanders in the truck vs. train crash.

The vehicle in the foreground looks like a stock car.

We didn’t get caught

My buddies and I managed to escape any consequences from our absence. I DO recall, though, Mr. G. stopping me in the hall a few weeks later and saying, “I know you’re up to something, I just haven’t figured out WHAT yet. I’m keeping my eye on you.” Of course, knowing him, he probably delivered that speech to everybody at one time or another just to keep us on our toes.

The lesson I learned that day was NEVER go anywhere without a camera.

Lila Becomes Fire Photographer

I was running errands when Wife Lila called my cell. “You’re not going to be able to come home,” she said.

I was mentally running down a check list of possible infractions that would be THAT serious when she said, “The building across the street blew up and is on fire. All of the streets around us are blocked off.”

She sure was right about that. The streets north of us, south of us and to our east were all blocked off. OUR street, however, had a tiny gap between two police cars that could just fit my van. I squeezed through and drove all the way to where crime scene tape crossed the street about where our yard begins. As I was walking toward the tape, a cop started walking toward me. “I live at 620,” I said, gesturing to our house.

“That one?” he pointed.

“Yep.” He waved me through. As it turned out, all of the cops and firefighters who worked the incident were friendly. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Lila can shoot a great fire video

Wife Lila was busy recording the whole thing with her Canon PowerShot SD1200IS. I was really impressed at how she shot from as many angles as possible, zoomed without making you feel like your eyes were on yo-yos, got some decent cutaways and told the whole story. Based on how well she did with a point-and-shoot still camera taking video, I’m afraid the wrong Steinhoff might have been chasing sirens all these years.

Just about the time I started to download the photos from our various cameras, a reporter from one of the local TV stations rang the doorbell and said he heard on the street that Lila had good fire video. They wouldn’t pay anything, but they DID give her credit on the 11 o’clock news.

When the memory card in her camera filled up, I went inside to get her my Canon FS100 Camcorder. At the same time, I grabbed my Nikon D3100. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but I didn’t have any desire to shoot the incident. First off, it was pretty much over except for the cleanup, and, secondly, I didn’t want to get into a hassle with anybody. Those days are over.

Fire pix for the fun of it

Still, since the guys had been so nice, I went over to them while they were rolling up their hose to see if they’d like a group portrait. They lined up and I knocked off a couple of frames. It reminded me a little of the cliche shot I took years ago of a bunch of firemen (they were all male in those days) posing in front of a burning building that had been set on fire for a drill.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The fire is under investigation. It’ll be interesting to hear what the cause was. There has been talk in the neighborhood about a strong smell of acetone coming from one of the bays where the fire appeared to originate. But, like one of the fireman said, “They just pay me to squirt water on it, not to figure out what caused it.”

 

The Ghost of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor

What you’re looking at on the east side of the Broadway Theater is the ghost of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. Notice the outline of the chimneys and the roofing tar.

It took a little time to figure out what had been there because the 1968 City Directory didn’t have a listing for the Broadway Theater, but it DID have Shakey’s Pizza Parlor (Rivermart, Inc.) at 801 Broadway. The 1979 directory listed both businesses.

Pair charged in Arson in 1981

The front page of the May 24, 1981, Missourian showed a photo of Shakey’s Pizza with a story that said that two Cape Girardeau men were charged with arson and burglary as the result of a fire that heavily damaged Shakey’s Pizza Parlor at 801 Broadway early Saturday morning. I won’t name the two because I didn’t bother to track the outcome of the case.

Sgt. Jack Reubel, a special arson investigator … said there were “five points of origin of fire” in the basement and dining area of the pizza parlor. The resulting fire heavily damaged the rear areas of the basement and dining area and caused extensive smoke damage to the upstairs portion of the building, according to firefighters.

Shakey’s and Broadway sold in 1985

  • A June 9, 1985, business column by Frony said that the old Broadway Theater and a building adjacent to its east side were acquired by Vinyard Christian Fellowship from Kerasotes Missouri Theaters, Inc.  The theater closed March 15, 1984. The adjacent two-story building had been unused since a fire several years ago had gutted the ground floor, occupied by Shakey’s Pizza Parlor. The second floor was once occupied by offices of the old Southeast Missouri Telephone Co.
  • Fred Lynch has Frony pictures of the Blizzard of ’79, including photos of Broadway being plowed.
  • Ray Owen’s January 10, 1994, business column reported that “the fire-damaged structure which housed Shakey’s Pizza Parlor more than a decade ago, is being demolished to make way for a parking lot for Kerasotes Theaters. The building was recently acquired by Kerasotes Theaters, which owns the movie house adjoining the structure. [This is a little confusing because Frony’s 1985 column said Kerasotes sold the property in 1985 and that the Broadway closed in 1984. Did the deal with the church fall through and did it reopen as a theater later?]
  • Shakey’s Pizza and Dino’s Pizza must have had something good called Mojo Potatoes, based on the number of references I saw to them. Susan McClanahan ran a recipe for some that were supposed to be similar.
  • Recent photos of the Broadway Theater

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.