Town Plaza Shopping Center

Town Plaza mergedI usually don’t run photos that aren’t mine, but I saw this ad in my 1962 Girardot and figured the list of businesses would trigger some memories. The shopping center turned 50 in 2010, if you want to feel old.

Western expansion was a reason for the success of the Town Plaza, but I suspect the biggest draw (other than being the New Thing) was ample free parking. Outside of that, it was a row of businesses, just like Main Street.

The Mall killed the Town Plaza

Aerial Westpark Mall 04-17-2011The Westpark Mall offered what the Town Plaza didn’t: an inclosed shopping area where you could go from store to store in climate-controlled comfort. It was a destination where you could eat, sit and people-watch as well as shopping, all without sweating or freezing.

This aerial, looking to the northwest toward I-55, was taken April 17, 2011. Click on the photos to see more detail

Other Town Plaza stories

1967 Girardot Queen

1967-01-14 Girardot Queen 12I wonder if I smelled like smoke at the dance? This shot of the queen and her court was on the same roll as the fatal fire I mentioned yesterday and another fire at Dearmont Hall at SEMO. (You’ll hear more about that one later. It was there I asked one of the dumbest questions of my career.)

Here are the names as found in The Missourian caption on the September 21,1967, Youth Page: Miss Mary Hirsch, center, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hirsch, 1855 Thilenius, was crowned Central High School Girardot Queen at ceremonies last Friday in the school gymnasium. Her attendants are, from left, Miss Holly Lueders, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lueders, 1115 North Henderson; Miss Jane Dunklin, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice T. Dunklin, 839 Alta Vista; Miss Georganne Penzel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Penzel, 1844 Thilenius, and Miss Debby Holland, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. W.T. Holland, 2221 Brookwood.

A Pie Sale?

Girardot picture saleThe negative sleeve said “Pie sale, but I couldn’t imagine a pie sale generating this big a crowd.

Well, it turned out to be either a piece of bad handwriting on my part (or a piece of bad reading). It actually said “pic sale,” as in “picture sale.” The Girardot yearbook staff was selling leftover photos after the final deadline was met, setting off a mad scramble.

My internal facial recognition software in woefully inadequate. Wife Lila and her yearbooks help put some names to faces – Jane Coile and Joe Snell, for two. The girl in the middle who is looking at the camera is driving me crazy. I know her face, but I can’t think of her name to save myself.

Please excuse the dust spots

Girardot picture saleThe film was in pretty bad shape, so I gave up after getting most of the spots off faces. (Sorry for missing a spot on your nose, Margaret.)

There’s an interesting mix of students here. I think Rick Meinz, Class of ’64 is on the left, Joe Snell, Class of 65 has his back to the camera, and Margaret Randol and Bill East, Class of ’66 are on the right.

Photographic feeding frenzy

Girardot picture saleI can’t believe how many people showed up to look through the photos. Names I am willing to guess on include Diane Meystedt, Jane Coile, Bob Swaim and Susan Welker. You’re going to have to fill in the rest.

You can make the photos larger by clicking on them.

Majorettes and Others

Central High School students and teachers c 1964-65Here’s a fact of Internet life: you get a lot more search engine traffic if you have the word “Majorettes” in the headline than if you say “Boring Guys in Suits.”

You’re going to get a mixed bag today. All the negative sleeve says is Jaycee Golf Awards – CHS majorettes, teachers 64-65.” I’m going to guess they were shot for The Girardot rather than The Tiger.

Your homework assignment

I know that school is out soon, but you have one more assignment before the final bell rings: identify these people and what they are doing. I could root through the old Girardots, but that’s what I have you folks for.

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery. OK, you may pick up your pencils.

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.