Veteran’s Memorial Drive

Veterans's Memorial Drive construction 04-15-2016There has been a lot of clearing going on alongside the east side of I-55 south of Hwy 61. It’s an expansion of Veteran’s Memorial Drive from the intersection of Scenic Drive to Hopper Road. The plan is for it to eventually go from Hwy 61 to Route K.

This stage will take it from Scenic Drive to Hopper Road, which will be closed for several months, beginning May 9.

The smell of spring

I’ll never forget the sights, smells and sounds when Dad was starting a new job in the spring. There was the throaty roar of a bulldozer coming to life, belching black diesel smoke out of its stacks. Then, the “cat skinner” would drop the blade, goose the throttle, and you’d hear the clankity-clankity-clank of the tracks pushing up little squares of dirt that looked like Mother’s brownies. That mingling of grease, diesel fuel, exhaust and freshly-turned earth are spring to me.

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Gateway Arch from I-55

Gateway Arch from I-55 10-30-2014

I got to see this view of the Gateway Arch from I-55 twice on my last trip to Missouri. Once on my way to drop off Wife Lila at the airport to fly back home to West Palm Beach on October 28, and once when I went to Lambert to pick up Curator Jessica on October 30.

Jessica had already done the obligatory Arch Lick last fall, so she said we didn’t need to go do it again. We opted to go to the City Museum instead.

And, there were no safety hazards involved in the taking of this photo. Road construction had traffic dead stopped at this location both days, so I had plenty of shoot.

Scott City Mill

Scott City Mill 11-08-2013_0217Mother and I were cruising around seeing what we could see when we got off Hwy 61 at Scott City and headed into town. I spotted this old mill on Main Street just east of I-55 and figured I’d knock off a few photos of it. I hadn’t been there long when a woman in an SUV pulled up and wanted to know what I was up to.

When I told her who I was and what I was doing, she said that her husband owned the place and that they had some signs stolen off the building recently, so they were keeping a close eye on it. “They weren’t even OLD signs,” she said.”

Owned by the Caubles

Scott City Mill 11-08-2013_0250When I asked her if she knew anything about the history of the place, she said her husband, Jim Cauble, might be able to help me, and gave me his phone number.

“Was he any relation to George Cauble? He and I were friends in high school.”

“That was his uncle.” We both commented that it was a shame that George was taken from us so early. He was a great guy.

I blasted out of town before I called Jim for details, so you folks familiar with Scott City are going to have to fill in the blanks.

The mill from the air

Scott City I-55 Interchange under construction 1960sHere’s a photo of the mill and the I-55 interchange from the air in the middle 60s. I wrote in a 2010 blog about how much having the Interstate completed made getting to St. Louis and Memphis faster and safer.

Scott City Mill Photo Gallery

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Truck on I-55

Truck billboard near Sikeston 11-23-2013I’ve passed this high-flying 18-wheeler a bunch of times over the years, but this is the first time I’ve bothered to pull off the road to snap a picture of it. It’s on the east side of I-55 near Sikeston. And, yes, it’s the real deal, not a billboard or a model.

I was prepared with an excuse if a cop pulled up to tell me that stopping on the Interstate isn’t allowed: “But officer, my Check Engine light came on and I wanted to make sure everything was OK.”

Of course, when your van has 181,000 miles on it, the Check Engine light is ALWAYS on. I get out, raise the hood, check to see if the engine is still there and then keep driving down the road. If the light ever DOES go out, I’ll assume that the bulb burned out, not that the problem mysteriously healed itself.

The Kid has theories

Carving turkey 11-25-2010(That might be the reason Kid Matt concocted this Shameless Plug page. He doesn’t want to have to drive to some Podunk town to pick me up when the van dies.)

(He has a second theory, too: he says everybody is too busy heading out for Turkey Day, preparing for Turkey Day or recovering from Turkey Day that they aren’t going to be reading the blog this week. That’s why you’re going to get some light-weight content while I’m on MY way back to Florida.)

Oh, by the way, I covered the Sikeston Rodeo. Jim Nabors performed there in 1965. Here are more photos of the 1965 Rodeo.

On the road

Mary Steinhoff Ken Steinhoff 11-25-2013Speaking of travel, I left Cape Monday morning for Athens, Ohio. I was worried about the weather because of all the freezing rain, ice pellet, snow and sleet warnings along the route. On top of that, there was a forecast for four inches of snow in Athens on Tuesday.

To get home I was going to have to go over some pretty tall stacks of rocks where Florida Friend Jan saw her first snow in January.  I may end up staying an extra day in Athens if West Virginia gets any serious snow.

As it turned out, I must have been racing the frozen precip all day. I could see I was on the eastern edge for at least 40% of Monday.  The snow pellets sounded like my car was being peppered with BBs; the snow, fairly heavy from time to time, was pretty. It swirled around in the wake of traffic, but it never stuck.

Here was the obligatory Good-Bye selfie. It only took 19 frames to get one even close to having both of us in it.