On a Roll of Film

I got a lot of mileage out of a roll of film. The photos of the Notre Dame vs Central High School basketball game took up about half of it.

This photo, shot on the same roll, ran on the front page of The Missourian February 1, 1967, over the caption, Pattern in the Sky: Workmen and structural features form an interesting and eye-catching picture in silhouette as the men go about their tasks in the construction of the addition to Kent Library on the State College campus. Open weather during winter months has enabled construction to move along at a rapid pace. McCarthy Construction Co. of St. Louis is prime contractor for the job. Contracts total $2,659,079, with additional funds available for equipping and furnishing the addition. The original Kent Library, named for Miss Sadie T. Kent, longtime librarian at the college, was constructed in 1939.”

This is what we used to call “wild art” or CLO for Cutlines Only. It was a news-oriented feature photo that ran without a story. I probably shot it on the way to or on the way back from a class. Click on any photo to make it larger.

Kent Library construction workers

Truth be told, the silhouette was a little too cluttered to be a good photo. I think I shot it as a silhouette because I wasn’t sure the photos I took of workmen on the building could hold enough detail against the bright sky. As it turns out, I like a couple of these better than the silhouette.

I like the way he’s gripping his hammer, the couple of small rips in his shirt and the wrinkles in his face that show years of working out in the sun.

From an editor’s perspective, though, it doesn’t tell the story in one shot. It would only work if you ran multiple photos as a mini picture story. That, of course, was the method behind my madness. I was paid by the picture, so it was in my best interest to try to sell a combo package of pictures and hold back the all-in-one shot as a fall-back.

These guys built this country

None of these guys ever got rich, but the monuments they built will live long after they are gone.

Pre-OSHA days

OSHA folks would get cranky these days over rebar without safety caps, scaffolding without guardrails and workers without hard hats and other safety equipment. That’s not to say those aren’t good things. Those pesky regulations were enacted to make a dangerous job just a little bit safer. Construction work exacts enough of a toll on its human engines without adding in accidents.

Other Kent Library pictures

What in the world is happening?

OK, not every photo works. I have no idea who these folks are, what they were doing or why I pushed the button. I didn’t have time to focus and I only got one frame off. They’re not paying any attention to me, so whatever they’re reacting to is down the street.

It has the feel of Water Street about it, maybe down around the Sportsmans Club.

Another single shot mystery

Here’s another single frame. A young woman reaches past her compact to dig for money to buy something. I don’t know she is, where she was or why she caught my eye enough for one frame, but not to follow up with more pictures.

So, that’s a lot of mileage out of one roll: a basketball game, a construction site, some wild and crazy guys on the street and a woman shopping. Toss in a car wreck, a service club meeting and a school feature and it would have been a regular old day as a newspaper photographer in a small town.

SEMO Construction in 1967


Southeast Missouri State College – now University – was yanking buildings out of the ground like crazy in 1967. I roamed the campus taking photos of the work that was taking place so we could show it in the February 25, 1967, Achievement Edition.

Kent Library Expansion

This was the beginning of the Kent Library expansion project. Dearmont Hall is on the left.

Soft spot for construction workers

I’ve always had a soft sport for construction workers, particularly crane operators, because of the hours I spent watching Dad operate a dragline. He could drop the bucket exactly where he wanted it, pull in a load of dirt or gravel, swing it over and dump it into truck without spilling a rock or banging the bed of the truck. The men working under him had absolute faith in his ability to hit his target, because a mistake could have killed them.

When I was about 10, Dad was setting a big tank for someone. He had the load locked down and suspended about five feet off the ground while a worker for his client was leveling the dirt below it. He stepped off the crane for a break, then sent me back to get his jug of iced tea. When I climbed up into the cab, the tank owner went berserk. “Kid, get DOWN off there. If you touch something, you could kill that man.!”

I froze until Dad hollered back, “If I thought he was going to touch anything, I wouldn’t have sent him.” Turning to me, he said, quietly, “Fetch me the jug, please.” I realized then how much confidence Dad had in me.

Built in the old Home of the Birds

One Missourian photo caption said, in part, that the 12-story structures on the new North Campus will serve hundreds of students when they are first opened in the summer. A service center has two high-rise dormitories  attached to the corners. Under contracts recently awarded, two more buildings, identical to the first, will be built on the remaining two corners of the service center, which will provide students food service and recreation areas.

By building the tall structures in the valley of what past generations called the Home of the Birds, the college was able to keep the height of the buildings at the level of existing buildings. That avoided a top-heavy effect.

2010 Aerial of dorm area

This photo is looking east toward the high-rise dorm area. Academic Hall, not visible, would be at the right.

Houck Stadium, Kent Library

This photo, taken November 6, 2010, shows Houck Stadium at the bottom. The large building at the top center of the picture is Kent Library. Dearmont Hall is on its right.

Photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Southeast Missouri State University 1966 Aerial Photos

Southeast Missouri State University – Kent Library

I love looking at Fred Lynch’s collection of Frony pictures, including the February 22 photo of Kent Library from the 1940s.  His f/8 and Be There blog makes my job easier.

  • They jog my memory about things I’ve shot.
  • He and Sharon Sanders do all the research I’m too lazy to do. Instead of doing a lot of writing, I can send you directly to the work they’ve done.

(I KNOW that it was called Southeast Missouri State College at the time these pictures were shot, but I’ll go with the current name to make it easier for folks who use search engines to find it these days.)

SEMO has several good maps to help you identify campus buildings

The photo above shows Kent Library in the upper left corner. Dearmont Hall is to its right. The Grauel Building is under construction at bottom right.

Academic Hall, Kent Library, College High School

This photo, from a slightly wider angle, picks up Academic Hall in the center, , then clockwise to College High School, the Grauel Building at the bottom, Dearmont Hall, Kent Library and the baseball field at Capaha Park at top left.

Houck Stadium and Field House, Academic Hall, Kent Library, Broadway & Pacific

This photo centers on Houck Stadium and Houck Field House, but includes the intersection of Broadway and Pacific at the bottom right. You can see Howard’s Sporting Goods, the Esquire Theater and Vandeven’s Merchantile.

Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

There’s a two-story building at the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway, across the street from Howard’s, that is no longer there. I can remember there was a tiny gap between it and the building to its west that was just large enough for a kid to walk through. Here’s what The Missourian had to say about it.

In the mid-1800s, Frank C. Krueger purchased property on the southwest corner of Harmony (now known as Broadway) and Pacific Street. It has been said the Krueger erected the building that once stood at the end of Cape Girardeau’s city limit during the 19th century. Broadway to the west of Pacific Street was a gravel road known as Jackson Road. Krueger opened up a general store on the east side of the building, and he established a saloon on the west side. It soon became known as the “Last Chance” saloon headed west out of Cape Girardeau and the “First Chance” as one entered town. The saloon provided the last chance to have a drink when leaving Cape Girardeau and first chance upon entering town. Krueger died in 1882, and the building saw several proprietors after that. In the 1920s, the east section — 901 Broadway — housed Miller & Foeste grocery for many years. In the 1940s, the Last Chance Tavern opened on the east side. Oscar Becker operated the Last Chance Pool Hall on the west side — 903 Broadway — for more than 45 years. In the later years of the building, it would house a restaurant and pizza business before returning to a tavern, called the “Second Chance.” In November 1994, the building was razed.

Three buildings north of the intersection, on the right-hand side of the street is a two-story brick building that was a bottling company. I wish I knew more about it. A good chunk of that area has been gobbled up by the university for parking.

BurritoVille replaces the Last Chance – First Chance Saloon

This is the southwest corner of Pacific and Broadway on Oct. 28, 2009. The Last Chance – First Chance – Second Chance Saloon is gone, replaced by BurritoVille and some other businesses. I guess that may not be much of a loss. When Son Matt and his family visited Cape in 2008, he gave BurritoVille a rave review on my bike blog.

Northeast corner of Pacific and Broadway

The Esquire Theater is on the left and Howard’s / Craftsman Building / Vandeven’s Mercantile (depends on your era) is across the street.