Storms and Strawberry Pie

It’s been a rocky start to the severe storm season. Grant Dade, KFVS weatherman, reported “43 county tornado warnings and 204 county severe thunderstorm warnings in our viewing area yesterday (May 8). We can all be thankful the low level shear was weaker than advertised or instead of sporadic storm damage today it would have been catastrophic.” 

For the record, KFVS claims to cover 50 counties in four states, including all of SE MO, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Northwestern Tennessee.

So, what’s with the pie?


Last year, I dilly-dallied around and missed strawberry season at Beggs’s Berry World at the Benton I-55 exit. I came within about a week of missing it again this year because of weather.

When I was checking out with my plastic gallon bucket of fresh strawberries, the cashier asked if I’d like one of the strawberry pies they had left. My arm didn’t have to be twisted.

I’m Johnny Strawberry Seed

Shortly after I had mastered the art of making cheesecakes, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

I was lamenting on my status to Museum Director Carla Jordan when she gave me a good piece of advice: “You don’t have to eat the whole cheesecake. Cut off an allowable slice, then distribute the rest to deserving folks so you won’t be tempted.”

With that in mind, I made the rounds of Cape friends and relatives, muttering, “Get thee behind me, Satan,” as I dropped off the goodies.

FYI. the unsliced berries in the pie pan was just to fill up the space.

In case you go looking, Beggs has moved to the opposite side of the I-55 exit. I went to the old location,  proving that my GPS Lady in the Sky was wiser than I was.

BSA Official Twin Signal Set

Ken Steinhoff's BSA Twin Signal Set 03-08-2015Right here in front of you is an Official Boy Scout Twin Signal Set bought in the basement of Buckner’s for $4.25 about 55 or 56 years ago. Click on the photos to make them larger.

Contained two “sturdy plastic instruments”

Ken Steinhoff's BSA Twin Signal Set 03-08-2015

Inside were two “sturdy plastic instruments” that would allow you to send Morse code to a buddy using buzzers or lights. Included was a length of wire to go between the two units and the batteries to power them.

Cheat sheet provided

Ken Steinhoff's BSA Twin Signal Set 03-08-2015In case you didn’t KNOW your Morse code, there was a handy-dandy chart on the top of the sending and receiving unit.

My KFVS television debut

I wrote about my first TV appearance in a 2011 post. (By the way, your computer isn’t broken. We didn’t have sound movies back in the old days.) Here’s how I told the story:

Ken Steinhoff's BSA Twin Signal Set 03-08-2015I think my TV debut might have been during Scout Week in the eighth grade or my freshman year. Boy Scout Troop 8 was supposed to have someone tap out “Scouting is fun” in Morse code, but the guy who was supposed to do it backed out at the last minute for some reason or other. I could send like a demon (but couldn’t receive worth two cents), so I was sent in as a sub.

Dad set up the family’s Bell & Howell 8mm movie camera to record the moment off the Zenith television in the basement. For what it’s worth, he had a guy working for him who could read code who pronounced my transmission flawless. I’m not sure who the Scout was looking in awe over my shoulder.

The whole escapade ended with future debate partner John Mueller being interviewed. I’m sure he said something about how important being able to send Morse code would be in an emergency. Unspoken was the fact that my buzzer couldn’t be heard on the far side of the room and that the little light on the key was a tiny flashlight bulb. I guess it was OK for close emergencies.

I could sell it for a profit

Ken Steinhoff's BSA Twin Signal Set 03-08-2015The bugs have gotten to the box in a few places, but I see a “Vintage Official Boy Scout Twin Signal Set” priced as high as $75 (or best offer) on ebay. One just sold for $9.99 a few minutes ago, so that’s probably what it’s really worth, give or take. Of course, MINE could carry the tag, “As seen on TV.”

You know, I should hold onto in case there’s an emergency where I need to send a message to someone sitting across from me in the same room. I can tap out “Scouting is fun” and S-O-S really well, but don’t expect me to translate anything you send me.

Preservation Homework: Parks and Buildings

This is a continuation of the links I’m posting to help students in a SEMO Historical Preservation class. They’ve been given a list of Cape landmarks to research. It turns out I’ve written about most of them, so I’m going to give them a some background information about some of the parks and random buildings they’re looking for. I posted churches and cemeteries yesterday.

I’m doing a presentation to the class on April 8 where I will tell the students what I do and why I do it. After that, I’ll talk about how I do it. I hope I can get across there is no better way to find out things than to knock on doors and talk with people like I’m doing with The Last Generation project. I won’t swear that I get all the facts right, but you readers do a good job of setting me straight when I’ve miss the mark.

Cape Rock Overlook Park

Old Bridge Overlook Park

 Cape Girardeau City Hall

Indian Park

Indian Park 04-16-2011Louis Lorimier and his Indian cohorts, battling the Americans, captured Daniel Boone.

Houck Field House

KFVS TV Studio/Tower on Broadway

Mark Steinhoff, KFVS-TV cameraman in studio c 1967This story has lots of links about KFVS

Fort D Park

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport

Cape Girardeau Regional Airport, Cape Air flight CGI - STL, Lambert Airport



KFVS-TV Turns 58

I saw a posting on the KFVS-TV fan page that the television station went on the air Oct. 3, 1954. Actually, according to a letters received by the station, people were watching the test pattern days before the station went live with programming.

Brother Mark wasn’t there for the very first broadcast, but he worked a number of jobs there, including cameraman, in the mid-to-late 1960s.

KFVS-TV video about 58th birthday

Here’s is a video KFVS produced to mark the October 3 celebration.
KFVS12 News

Other stories about KFVS