Dandelions and Dad’s Birthday

Dandelions on Jackson Courthouse lawn 04-15-2014Everybody talks about the pretty fall colors, but I like coming back to the Midwest to see things returning to life in the spring. Nothing says spring like bright green clover and balls of yellow dandelions.

These dandelions on the Jackson Courthouse lawn were flashing yellow caution lights warning us not to get too comfortable even though the mercury was creeping into the upper 70s. Winter, apparently wasn’t done with us yet, because those warm temps were replaced by freeze warnings.

Near Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church

Dandelions near Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Chuch 04-15-2014Reader and railroad buff Keith Robinson tipped me off that one of Louis Houck’s railroad depots was still standing in Fruitland, so Mother and I headed up there to check it out. You’ll get to see it after I’ve done a bit more research.

Knowing Mother’s desire to find a road she’s never been on before, I turned onto 541 off of Hwy 61. Before long, we were at a well-preserved Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church and cemetery. That, too, will be a future post.

Beyond it, we passed a whole field of dandelions flashing caution signs at us. I know some folks call them weeds, but I think they’re pretty.

Dad would be 97 today

LV Steinhoff in 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon 1961L.V. Steinhoff was born April 17, 1917. He would be 97 today had he not died in 1977. This picture of Dad behind the wheel of our 1959 Buick LaSabre station wagon, ever-present cigarette in hand, had to have been taken about 1961, because he gave up smoking about two years later. I spent many a mile looking at this profile and I’d love to see it again. This post will tell you a little about who he was.

Because he and his two brothers were dead by 60, I never thought I’d make it past that birthday.

I guess it’s a healthy sign that I just mentioned two future stories. When I was 59, I was much more cautious about making plans for tomorrows. I told Curator Jessica on one of our road trips last year that I was taking out five-year options now. When I hit 67, I figured I’d make it to 72; when I get there, I’ll see if I can renew the lease.

A Blast at the Quarry

Cement Plant Quarry with blast zone marked by box c 1966After I ran photos of the cement plant quarry yesterday, reader Keith Robinson sent me this sequence of photos of the caverns being blasted. He annotated my1966 aerial to show where the blast was centered.

You can see to the right of the “box” the narrow wall that divided the “Blue Hole” from the main quarry. Keith said family friend Burl Medlock made it possible for him to take the photos.

He said the blast used 300 tons of explosives and loosened 1.5 million tons of rock. The surface area was estimated at 6 acres and was up to 200 feet deep. Here’s The Missourian’s version of the blast.

Keith’s photo gallery of the explosion

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

It WAS the Junior High School

Aerial Photos of Central High School on Carruthers Ave 04-17-2011When I asked readers to help me identify a building yesterday, it didn’t take long before Dennis Mize, Jim Feldmeier, Charlie Holt, Tim Ludwig, Keith Robinson and Dave let me know that it was Central Junior High School. This aerial isn’t from the same angle, but you can see the boxy shape and ramp that confirm what the guys were saying.

Here’s a new mystery

SEMO Academic HallWhen Neighbor Bill and I looked at this picture, I said I thought the crane was probably working on the highrise dorms that would have been north and east of Academic Hall. He said he woke up at 3 a.m. with the revelation that the crane was working on the KFVS-TV tower across from The Missourian.

I’m not convinced. If that’s the case, then what is the building to its left that has a rounded rooftop? Click on it to make it larger, if that helps.

SEMO campus with dorms

Aerial Southeast Missouri State University 11-06-2010Here’s a a 2010 aerial of the SEMO campus with the high rise dorms in it for comparison.

Downtown aerial

Aerial Broadway - Sprigg - Independence 11-06-2010_9143This aerial shows the KFVS-TV tower at the top left. The square is bounded by roughly Broadway – Themis – Sprigg and Main Street.

Common Pleas Courthouse 1964

Aerial Common Pleas Courthouse 04-14-1964This 1964 aerial centered on the Common Pleas Courthouse was taken before the KFVS-TV tower was built. There’s a parking lot across from The Missourian where it will be built.

I hope one of these will help you figure out the mystery building.

 

 

 

K. Robinson’s Canteen

K Robinson canteenI shared with you yesterday’s repair adventures and Brother Mark’s owies. For the record, he claims that I miscounted: his thumb and the hammer had FOUR, not three unfortunate encounters. Score: hammer 4, thumb 0.

Sunday’s challenge was to fix the upstairs and the basement toilets that had been running at random times. The ghost flusher was causing Mother’s water bill to go sky-high and probably contributed to the low water levels in the Mississippi River below Cape.

If you’re reading this to hear how the plumbing project came out, you can quit right now. Let’s just say that it took one trip to Ace Hardware, one trip to Wife Lila’s Brother John and one trip to Lowes for supplies and to use their restroom. I’m not ready to elaborate tonight.

Uneasy on the throne

One of the tasks involved me looking above the false ceiling in the basement bathroom to the floor below the upstairs bathroom. Having graced that upstairs throne many, many times in the past, I’m surprised that I didn’t start out sitting in the upstairs bathroom and end up looking up at the ceiling in the basement. But, that’s a story for another time.

I’ll document some of the artifacts we uncovered later, but I want to tell K. Robinson of Troop 8 that we found his canteen. I’m assuming that it belongs to reader Keith Robinson who was a member of Trinity Lutheran’s Troop 8 with my brothers.

Keith, you may reclaim your canteen by stopping by Mother’s house at your convenience.

 

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.