Malden’s Green Wave

Malden HS vs Portageville football 09-04-2015After more than 1,000 miles of reconnaissance driving in Missouri’s Bootheel, I started shooting actual photos Friday. My first stop was at Dunklin county’s Malden airport for a reunion of people who had served there when it was an active training airbase during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. I’ll run that story later.

Since I was already down there, I decided to go to the Malden – Portageville football game that evening.

Serious mosquitoes

Malden HS vs Portageville football 09-04-2015I opened my car door at dusk in Steele, in Pemiscot county, last week. It took two days to get all the mosquitoes out. Since there was a Walmart next to the football stadium, I stopped by the sports department to ask about Dunklin county skeeters. “I’d recommend the 40% Deet over the 25% can,” the salesman said.

The way he said that made me wonder if that was the game the fellow next to me buying a shotgun had in mind. I didn’t ask.

Even the cheerleaders were spraying down. The repellent did a good job against bloodsuckers, but it didn’t help chase away the cloud of gnats circling my head or the odd beetle who would bounce off my bald pate.

A salt and pepper crowd

Malden HS vs Portageville football 09-04-2015I used to subscribe to the theory of an author who wrote that Cape Girardeau was the last bastion of civilization before descending into the Old South of the Bootheel. It was a pleasant surprise to see the friendly salt and pepper mix in the stands. I’m sure I’ll run into Jim Crow down there eventually, but he was missing Friday night, so far as I could tell.

I took the precaution of calling the school in the afternoon to ask if I needed any special credentials to get on the field. I gathered from some conversations in town that there was an issue with a pedophile some time past, and they might be a little gun shy. I told assistant superintendent Bob Wilson that I’d be happy to send him samples of football games I had covered recently to establish my bona fides:

I was welcome

Malden HS vs Portageville football 09-04-2015Five minutes later, Bob called back to say I was welcome at the game. Just introduce yourself to any of the staff wearing khaki pants and green shirts, he said.

Indeed, that’s what I did. The first person I ran into said an email about me had gone out to everyone, and to enjoy myself. During the course of the game, I talked to at least half a dozen staff, including the personable school superintendent, who is very proud of his teachers and students.

A very nice man with a badge

Malden HS vs Portageville football 09-04-2015Good thing I had made that afternoon call. On my way out of the game, a burly guy in civilian clothes came up to me and said, “I need to talk with you.”

Just as I was saying, “Sure,” he flashed a badge and asked who I was and what I was doing since he had seen me taking pictures of kids. (Actually that’s about all I did except for a few token action shots.)

I handed him a business card and started to explain the Bootheel project to him, but as soon as I said, “I cleared it with Bob Wilson,” he said, “That makes it OK, then.”

To be fair, the guy was polite and non-threatening. I can’t blame him for being protective of his students. I’ve certainly had lot worse encounters with guys with badges.

I love watching the mating rituals

Malden HS vs Portageville football 09-04-2015Watching the flirting and interplay that goes on in the stands is more fun that watching the action ON the field. It’s a real treat for me to go to football games and have the luxury of not having to bring back the big play of the night.

Malden photo gallery

I’m posting these mostly as a way for me to keep in mind what I’ve been shooting in the Bootheel, so feel free to skip over them quickly. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

Coach Bob Goodwin 1925 – 2014

CHS Coach Bob Goodwin c 1964An obit for Coach R.B. “Bob” Goodwin showed up on the McComb’s Funeral Home website today.

R. B. “Bob” Goodwin II, 89, of Cape Girardeau, passed away Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau.

He was born May 9, 1925, in Jackson, to R. B. and Marguerite Bowman Goodwin. He and Carol A. Dunn were married August 8, 1950, in Doniphan, Mo.

He was a 1944 graduate of Jackson High School, and a U.S. Army veteran of WWII, serving honorably in the 11th Airborne Paratroop Division, in the South Pacific Theater.

Played basketball for SEMO 1948-50

Cape Central High School Coach Robert GoodwinHe then attended Oklahoma A & M College in Stillwater, Okla., where he played basketball under Coach Henry Iba. He later transferred to Southeast Missouri State University where he played basketball from 1948 – 1950, and was co-captain of the team his senior year.

Upon graduation, he taught and coached a total of 33 years in southeast area high schools, including Lilbourn, Mo.,Chaffee, Mo., Cape Girardeau, and Jackson, retiring in 1983 as coordinator of physical education and athletics at Jackson High School.

Coach had winning teams

Central High School pep rally c 1965While coaching in Chaffee, Bob had an undefeated football team, a basketball team that won numerous championships, and a baseball team that went to the state tournament. While coaching at Cape Central High School, he had an undefeated football season plus conference championships, and a basketball team that went to the state tournament.

In addition to teaching and coaching, Bob spent 20 years playing baseball and softball for area teams, including the Cape Capahas, earning the 1954 batting title. He also played with Holdrege in the Nebraska Independent League, and was an organizer and member of the Howard Swan Jets, a men’s fast pitch softball team that won four state softball titles.

Active in softball

Faculty softball game Central High School 1963His other interests and affiliations include: recipient of the SEMO District Teachers Association Meritorious Service Award; longtime membership in the Missouri State Teachers Association; secretary of the SEMO Football Association; charter member of the SEMO Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame, also serving as a board member; and lifetime member of VFW Post 3838 in Cape Girardeau.

Loving survivors include his wife of nearly 63 years, Carol of Cape Girardeau; a daughter, Teresa (David) Bigham of Olive Branch, Ill, and children, Katie (John) Ford and Kelsey Prater of McClure, Ill.; a son, Robert B. (Amy) Goodwin III of Fruitland, Mo., and children, Danielle and Samantha Goodwin of Batesville, Ark., and Addie and Tyler Gage of Fruitland; four great-grandchildren, Kayman, Eva, Eliza, and Mavis Ford of McClure; two brothers, James L. Goodwin of Alton, Ill.; and Dr. Lane A. Goodwin of Lacrosse, Wis.; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 PM, Friday, June 27, 2014, at the McCombs Funeral Home in Cape Girardeau. The funeral service will be at 10:30 AM, Saturday, June 28, 2014, at the funeral home, with the Rev. Lee Goodwin officiating. Interment will follow in Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau, with a graveside service by VFW Post 3838 and full military honors by Team Delta and the Marine Corp League.

Memorials may take the form of contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association.

Stories with mentions or photos of Coach Goodwin

Even if the story wasn’t ABOUT Coach Goodwin, readers would thrown in comments about him. Here’s a selection of those posts.