CHS Gym Headed for History

 

The countdown has started for the gym we old Central High School students remember. The Missourian reported that the 84-by-50-foot gym, built in 1955, will be replaced by administrative offices and other features sometime in March.

The public is invited to see the gym one last time on Saturday, January 30, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. I guess it won’t matter if we walk across the polished floor in our street shoes this time.

Here is a collection of stories I’ve done where the gym was featured.

Beware of Ghosts

Coach Terry Kitchen felt the presence of spirits when he was moving old trophies out of the gym. Wonder how restless they’ll be when the walls start tumbling down?

1963 Girardot Pep Rally

1963 Girardot Pep RallyKid Adam looked at this picture and commented, “Did dark socks not exist in that time frame?” The post has several random CHS photos in it. (Click on the photos to make them larger. Click on the links to go to the original story and more pictures.)

The dreaded rope climb

Central High School's phys ed rope climbI remember how much “fun” PE was. I always wondered whose job it was to inspect the “Jesus Nut” that held the rope to the ceiling.

“All you could hear was breathing”

Cape CHS Students watching JFK assasination news on TV in gym 11/22/1963Students gathered around a TV hastily pulled into the gym so they could hear details about the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. Our Age of Innocence was over, and it was only going to get worse.

Locker rooms, real and imagined

Cape CHS Girls volleyball
© Ken Steinhoff All Rights Reserved (so don’t repost it)

I envisioned my female counterparts being ushered into individual cleansing facilities where there would be soft music playing, the water would come out at the perfect temperature, towels wouldn’t be needed because each compartment would be equipped with air-drying fans and there would be a gentle spritzing of the perfume of the girl’s choice on the way out. Attendants, probably freshmen, would take care of nail and hair maintenance and see that clothing was restored with nary a muss.

Manager Terry Crass patched them up

CHS Manager Terry Crass and player c 1964Terry Crass served as manager of the football, basketball and track teams. His life after high school was impressive.

1967 Girardot Queen court

1967-01-14 Girardot Queen 12There’s no telling how many queen crownings I shot in that gym.

The September 21, 1967, Missourian listed the 1967 Girardot Queen court:  Miss Mary Hirsch, center, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Hirsch, 1855 Thilenius, was crowned Central High School Girardot Queen at ceremonies last Friday in the school gymnasium. Her attendants are, from left, Miss Holly Lueders, daughter ofMr. and Mrs. Paul Lueders, 1115 North Henderson; Miss Jane Dunklin, daughter ofMr. and Mrs. Maurice T. Dunklin, 839 Alta Vista; Miss Georganne Penzel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Penzel, 1844 Thilenius, and Miss Debby Holland, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. W.T. Holland, 2221 Brookwood.

Gym Jim putting up decorations

Cape Central High School students decorate gym Jim StoneJim Stone and some other classmates were decorating the gym for something or other.

More decorating pictures

Decorating CHS gym mid-1960sRight after I published Jim, I discovered more pictures of the gym being transformed into something special under the watchful eye of Miss Sackman.

Secretary Helen Ketterer watching wrestling

Helen Ketterer watching wrestlingQuiet Helen Ketterer became a different person at a wrestling match.

Coach Bob Goodwin 1925-2014

Central High School pep rally c 1965Bob Goodwin taught a total of 33 years in Southeast Missouri schools, including Lilbourn, Chaffee, Cape and Jackson. He died in 2014.

1966 Prom Queen Linda Stone

Queen Linda Stone Central High School Class of 1966 Senior PromLinda Stone tells what it’s REALLY like to be a prom queen.

Syl Johnson earns his suspenders

1966 CHS Basketball Homecoming Dance 02-25-1966Principal Dallas Albers, an inveterate suspenders-wearer, noticed Sylvester Johnson admiring the pants-holder-uppers at an assembly one day, so he made a “deal” with him: if the team won the homecoming game with Sikeston, Syl wouldn’t have to worry about his pants falling down at the dance – they would be securely held up by the coveted suspenders.

Plaid shirt pep rally

Cape Central pep rally 09-09-1966I don’t know if it was coincidence or conspiracy that a sizable chunk of the males at this pep rally were sporting plaid shirts.

Student vs Faculty basketball

CHS Student-Faculty Basketball 6Math teacher Ralph Ford looks like he’s revving up for takeoff . He doesn’t seem to notice the ball is behind him.

Narrow ties and white socks era

Central High School pep rally c 1965This pep rally made me think of the TV series Friday Night Lights.

Looking for contact lens

Notre Dame HS vs Central HS basketball at Central 1-31-1967I’m pretty sure this was the first game I covered that involved a lost contact lens. Follow the link to check out the pep band in their tiger-stripe jackets.

1965 Majorettes

1965 Central High School majorettesAfter taking several outside shots, we moved the 1965 Majorettes indoors to the gym.

1970 aerial shows new gym being built

Aerial photo of Central High School on Caruthers Ave c early 1970sThis aerial view of Central High School from the early 1970s is looking from the southeast corner roughly to the northwest. Caruthers Ave. is running along the right side of the photo. The new gym is under construction and the swimming pool with its bubble hasn’t been started. The post also has more recent aerials of the school.

World’s ugliest cheerleaders

Male cheerleaders at CentralI’ve shot scads of cheerleaders at high school, college and pro games. Every organization must have used different qualifications. Some girls were picked for looks; some for popularity; other for spirit; others for athletic or dancing ability; others must have been daughters of community movers and shakers. This group must have been selected for having the hairiest legs.

I remember Anne Buchanan

Central High School Cheerleaders collect money for March of Dimes 1963One of the pictures I found of Anne Buchanan was with the other cheerleaders collecting for the March of Dimes in 1963. She’s on the right.

A tour of “Old” Central

Tour of Central High School 06-26-2010_5788This post contains a batch of photos taken when we toured “Old Central” during the 2010 reunion. Of course, we stopped in the gym.

Twirlers

Baton twirlers behind CHSThe only person I recognize for sure in this photo taken behind Central High school is Vickey Berry, second from left. She was listed as a majorette in the 1964 Girardot, but I don’t think any of the other girls were in the yearbook photo. The tentative way everybody is holding their batons makes me wonder if this is a practice or a tryout?

That looks like the driver’s ed car parked in the background.

Here’s an earlier piece I did on majorettes. Maybe you can put names to faces from the photos.

Jo Ann Bock’s Book

Jo Ann Bock at Tom Nuemeyer book signing 03-14-2010I photographed Jo Ann Bock at Tom Neumeyer’s book signing for his photo documentary book, Cape Girardeau Then & Now back in 2010.

When Mrs. Bock wrote Around the Town of Cape Girardeau in Eighty Years, she asked if she could use one of the photos on the back cover of her book. I didn’t hesitate to give her permission. She sent me a copy of the book in return. I was pleasantly surprised to see she had some extraordinarily nice things to say about a piece I wrote about her husband, Howard Bock, when he died.

Mr. Bock Changed my life

Howard Bock CHS 23In the curious way that things in Cape are intertwined, Mrs. Bock was my Cub Scout den mother and knew I was interested in photography. When I got to Central, her husband was in charge of the Tiger and Girardot photo staffs and asked if I’d like to join. That was, indirectly, the start of my photography career.

We saw different slices of time

Jo Ann Bock BookHoward and Jo Ann Bock were getting married (1950) just about the time I was getting born (1947), so we view Cape through slightly different lenses. She stayed in Cape, except for a few years, and I left in 1967, although Cape has never left me.

In the introduction to one of the chapters, she says, “Sometimes a person will ask why I didn’t mention this place, or that person, or recall a special event. My answer is that memories take different directions with people.” Maybe that’s why even though she and I plow the same ground, we come up with different crops.

Her view of Broadway

Vandeven Merchantile Company 1967She and a city directory did a good job of creating a list of businesses and residences along the Broadway corridor. We have some memory overlap on some long-time businesses like Vandeven’s and the movie theaters, but a lot of places she remembers were long gone when the 1960s came around.

Here’s a partial list of what I found along Broadway between Kingshighway and Main Street.

Library and Courthouse

Cook kidsids playing in courthouse fountain on Cape Girardeau's Common Pleas Courthouse grounds June 29, 1967She and I both spent a lot of time in the Cape Public Library when it was located on the grounds of the Common Pleas Courthouse. Unlike these kids, she “never felt right about playing in the fountain with that soldier staring down at me.”

Just for the record, the soldier that stared down at her was smashed by a falling limb. The pieced-together original lives at the Jackson Courthouse, and a replacement casting stares down at children today. Maybe the new one would be less intimidating.

The George Alt House

Trinity Lutheran School neighborhood c 1966We both served our time in the George Alt House, turned into Trinity Hall by Trinity Lutheran School.

A walk down Main Street

107 Main St Cape Girardeau MO 10-20-2009 - Hecht's Mrs. Bock takes us for a walk down Main Street, reeling off a list of businesses that are mostly not there. In fact, the only business still in operation is Zickfield’s Jewelry. Hecht’s is gone, as is Newberry’s, where she worked in the infant clothing department for 15 cents an hour.

Here’s a page where I posted photos of many of the businesses I remembered from my era. The current generation will think Main Street was nothing but bars and antique shops with a little art thrown in.

Hurrah for Haarig

Meyer-Suedekum 03-29-2010_2679That’s the name of her chapter covering the Good Hope / Sprigg area. She drops names like Hirsch’s for groceries, Suedekum’s for hardware, Cape Cut Rate for drugs and the anchor, Farmer’s and Merchants Bank. If she mentioned Pure Ice, I must have missed it.

Music and Majorettes

Homecoming 34Mrs. Bock devotes several chapters to the Cape Girardeau music scene: choirs, operettas, plays, the Cape Choraliers, the Girardot Rose Chorus, and local dance bands. She also mentions being a Central High School majorette in 1946.

SEMO Fair

SEMO Fair Groscurth's Blue Grass Shows MidwayShe and I both spent time at the district fair, both as kids enjoying the rides and exhibits, then later covering it for The Southeast Missourian.

Bring on the Barbecue

Wib's BBQ Brown Hot (outside meat) sandwichThis chapter touched on two of my favorite barbecue places: the Blue Hole Garden and Wib’s.

 Parade of Photographers

GD Fronabarger c 1967You don’t serve as a high school publication adviser and a Missourian reporter without running across that strange subset of humans (some would debate that human part) called photographers. She was suitably enough impressed with us that she devoted a whole chapter to photographers she knew and worked with.

One-Shot Frony, AKA Garland D. Fronabarger, was one of the most unique newspaper photographers I ever ran into. His gruff exterior covered up a gruff interior. He got his name because he would growl around a pipe or cigar clenched between his teeth, “Don’t blink. I’m taking one shot,” push the shutter release and walk off.

Paul Lueders, a Master Photographer who shot almost every school group and class photo for years, was the opposite of Frony: he was quiet, patient and willing to take however long it took to get his subject comfortable.

She mentions several other professional and student photographers who crossed her path over the years, then launches into two pages of such nice things about me I thought maybe I was reading my obit.

How do I get a copy?

Jo Ann Bock Book backIf you grew up in Cape, you might find yourself between the pages of Around the Town of Cape Girardeau in Eighty Years. She manages to work in more names than the phone book. So, how do you get copy?

The book is available on Amazon for $15.49. It’s eligible for free shipping though Amazon Prime, so if you sign up for a 30-day free trial of Prime by January 10, you can save some money and get it in two days.

 

True Confessions

Central High School pep rally c 1965

I have a confession to make: I’ve been binge-watching Friday Night Lights, the TV series about high school football in a small Texas town.

“Why in the world are you watching that?” a friend asked. “You don’t even like sports.”

My only excuse is that I like the photography and lighting and it reminds me of the scores of high school football games I covered. I always said I would rather cover high school sports than college or pro games because the players are real. They may have grandiose ideas about getting rich in the future, but on Friday night, it’s all about playing for their team, their school (and to get girls).

High school soap opera

Central High School pep rally c 1965Think of Friday Night Lights as a soap opera set in high school. It’s kind of like Glee, except they don’t break out in annoying singing and cavorting. I hate lip synching, particularly when the actors over-emote and look like a poodle passing peach pits in the close-ups.

Anyway, I scanned this pep rally a long time ago, but held off running it because a lot of the negatives were in really bad shape.

Coach Goodwin wasn’t Coach Taylor

Central High School pep rally c 1965

NBC’s Coach Taylor character was a tough, but compassionate coach who managed to turn the role into an 2011 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and was nominated for another one in 2010.

As a non-jock, I generally flew beneath the radar of Cape Central’s Coach Goodwin. I didn’t get to see his compassionate side. I shared some of my phys ed experiences earlier.

Narrow ties and white socks era

Central High School pep rally c 1965It looks like white socks and narrow ties were the uniform of the day.

I recognize some folks

Central High School pep rally c 1965I have the luxury of being able to blow up the film like it was a crime scene photo on a TV show. When I  enlarge it way, way up, I think I can pick out some of the members of the pep band: David Hahs, Lee Dahringer and John Ueleke. I’m pretty sure Joan Earley is sitting next to the band. You’ll just have to take my word for it. You CAN click on the photos to make them larger, but you won’t be able to take them up as much as I can with the raw film.

1965 Majorettes

Central High School pep rally c 1965The majorettes in the background were part of the Class of 1965, so these were probably taken in the fall of 1964 or early in 1965. I can’t remember when football season ended and basketball started. I don’t recognize the girls in the football uniforms.

If I hurry up and post this, I might be able to knock off the rest of Season 2 before I go to bed.

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.