Advertisements in 1934 Girardot

I was looking through the 1934 Girardot yearbook. That was the year my dad graduated from Central. I have his 1931 yearbook, but money was tight in 1934, so he didn’t buy a book and he didn’t have a class photo taken.

I was lucky enough to find this one in a Cape antique shop. An inscription in the flyleaf said that it belonged to Carlston Bohnsack. I wonder if he was related to the Bohnsacks who ran the photo of the Clark Gable lookalike on page 125 of the yearbook.

I did a story on Lueders Studio just the other day. The Suedekum & Sons Hardware store looks much like it did when this ad appeared.

Rigdon’s Laundry and Dry Cleaning

I discovered that Rigdon’s Laundry had a mystery associated with one its drivers that could come right out of a forensics TV show.

Phil Haman’s became Nowell’s Camera Shop

Entrance to 609 Broadway

There should be a groove worn in the tile from the number of times I walked into Nowell’s Camera Shop. I’m still collecting photos taken of Bill Nowell and the store for a longer piece in the future.

Lang Jewelers still in business

Lang Jewelers and Zickfield Jewelers are still in business on Main Street. I’m sure railroad buff Keith Robinson will be able to tell us what a “Frisco, Mo. P. R. R. Inspector” is. Was he certified to maintain railroad watches? Notice how the telephone numbers have two and three digits?

Lang Jewelers today

Lang Jewelers’ sign proudly proclaims that it has been in business since 1916 and its window reflects its colorful neighbors across the street.

We’ll feature other yearbook advertisers on another day.



Red House Interpretive Center

The 1934 Central High School Girardot had wood block-style illustrations of Cape Girardeau landmarks in it. This is an artist’s depiction of The Red House, Louis Lorimier’s home. It, and the first St. Vincent’s Church, were destroyed by a tornado.

Red House in 2010

This is a photo of the Red House taken March 22, 2010.

The Red House’s website says, “After much discussion and debate it was decided that a reconstruction or replica of Lorimier’s original Red House was just not possible. No one actually knew for sure what the original trading post looked like. All the group had was a drawing of a house taken from the recollections of a local resident, Sara Bollinger Daughtery. What the board decided to do was construct a house of the French colonial architectural style – a style that would have been used by a French Canadian in this area at that time; and to construct this house following the design of Daughterty’s recollection. Rather than call the house a “replica” or reconstruction it would be an interpretation of the style of house that Lorimier may have built and lived in.”

Other Red House photos and stories

“Like Socks on a Flamingo”

I shared with you our termite travails yesterday. I was a little sloppy in my descriptions, I guess, because several readers thought it was Lila’s Brother who had gone termite surfing under our house. The confusion arose, because the termite exterminator’s first name, John, was the same as B-‘n’-Law John Perry’s. Some of you said you thought you knew John, but couldn’t identify him by his feet (which weren’t his anyway).

Several other readers asked if John was in this class or that class. For the record, he was in the Central High School Class of 1970. I posted a link to a photo of John when he was down here to repair our kitchen and discovered a family of possums. living under the sink. Again, my caption must have been sloppy, because there was some confusion then, too.

Possum in the foreground

For the record, John Perry is in the background. The possom, which was released unharmed, is in the foreground.

Still no Barry Goldwater

I thought I was going to have plenty of time to wrap up the Barry Goldwater visit to Cairo photos, but things kept getting in the way.

The termite guys came bright and early to do a second treatment. Then, John started putting the wall back together.

The first step was to cut a heavy piece of treated plywood to go over and around stuff that had to stick through it.

Is it good for flamingos to wear socks?

It sounded like there were water lines, power lines, lines of credit, fog lines, pencil lines, eye liners and all kinds of stuff to make holes for

Wife Lila came in and asked, “Did you hear what he just said? He said it fits like socks on a flamingo.”

Well, I’ve spent about half my life around construction and about half my life in Florida, so I know a little bit about building things and a little about flamingos. I didn’t, however, know if a sock-clad flamingo was a good or bad thing.

From the photo, it appears to be a good thing.

John Perry in 1969

Wife Lila suggested, correctly, as always, that folks who went so school with him might recognize him as he was in those days. Here’s his junior class photo from the 1969 Girardot yearbook.

Go shut off the water!!!

Back to the present day:

After spending the afternoon visiting two hardware stores and an electrical supply dealer, John set to making more magic and I started editing Barry.

Suddenly I heard John shout, “Go shut off the water!!!” I gathered that the flamingo was in the process of getting his socks wet.

John was cutting off a piece of PVC drain pipe when the saw nicked a copper supply line. On my way to get the cut-off tool, I saw my B-‘n’-Law doing a good imitation of a small boy sticking his finger in the dike. It turned out that most of the water on the floor came from tears, because John managed to overturn his beer in the ensuing confusion. (A Facebook friend said that was a true case of alcohol abuse.)

John tried to minimize the beer spill by saying he did it on purpose. “My hammer looked thirsty,” he said. “So I poured a little on the floor to give it a drink.”

Look for the Barry Goldwater photos on Monday.

Central High School Then and Now

Central High School for the 1965 Girardot yearbook

I shot this night-time photo of Cape Girardeau Central High School for the 1965 Girardot yearbook. About all I know about it is that it was taken on 4×5 film with the school’s Crown Graphic press camera mounted on a tripod.

Cape Central High School (now Junior High School) Oct. 13, 2009

I published these two photos on my bike blog back in October to show how easy digital photography is to do, but I should have put them up here, too.

When I shot the original Girardot photo, I had no idea until I got the film processed in the darkroom if I even HAD a photo. If the exposure had been off or if I had bumped the tripod, it would have meant setting up on another night to try again.

I shot the second photo with a Nikon D-40 DSLR

The second photo was taken Oct. 13, 2009, at 21:39:50 with a Nikon D40 SLR. The zoom lens was at 18mm (27mm in 35mm-speak). I underexposed the picture 1-1/3 f/stops, with an exposure of five seconds at f/5. The  “film” speed was ISO 200.

How do I know all of that? It’s easy. The camera records that info when you push the button. I shot exactly eight frames to get this picture. The exposure was OK on the first photo, just letting the camera do its thing, but I took a few more “insurance” shots at different settings to be on the safe side. The last photo is the one that had the best exposure and was sharpest. The best part is that I could look at the photo as soon as I took it to see if it looked good.

I underexposed the scene to keep from burning out the highlights. (It always easier to lighten shadows that are a little dark than it is to get detail back into the light areas if they are overexposed.) I picked a relatively slow film speed, which necessitated a five-second exposure, to have less “grain” or “noise.” Both photos required a little burning and dodging to take down highlights or bring out shadow detail.

Central High School looks pretty much the same today

Our 1965 Central High School has been converted to a junior high, there are a bunch of new trees in front of the building, and it looks like it’s air conditioned now.

I suspect the changes to the building are a lot fewer than the changes undergone by the photo staff that worked on the 1965 Girardot. I know I have a lot less hair to comb.

The photographers are, from left to right: Jim Stone, Ronald Dost, head photographer Ken Steinhoff, Skip Stiver, Joe Snell and Gary Fischer. It was taken in the Central High School darkroom sometime in 1964.

Our old darkroom is now a copy room

I was disappointed, although not surprised, to see that the room where students learned the magic of photography has been turned into a copy room. All of the plumbing and darkrooms at my old newspaper were ripped out five or more years ago now that digital photography has replaced silver film and paper prints.

The shelves that were behind us in the Girardot photo staff photo are still there, but our processing sink is gone and only the stubs of plumbing remain. I printed the spot news photo that launched a lifetime career in that room. Copy machine or not, there will always be a piece of me in there.

What are those strange symbols?

Any idea if the decorative brickwork above the door leading to the auditorium on the left means anything or if it’s just an accent to break up the otherwise dull brick wall?

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.