Cub Scouts at Arena Park

Virtual buddy Missourian photographer Fred Lynch dredged up a Frony photo of square dancing in the Arena Building from the 50s.

I have a variety of photos from the park, but these of Cub Scout activities were the first that bubbled to the top of the pile. I think the Scout leader sporting the drill instructor’s campaign hat is Rich Renfro.

The flags in the background look like the same ones in Frony’s picture. I wonder if they’re still there. They could have been 48-star flags in those days.

Game with wheel and stick

Outside the Arena Building, there was some kind of competition involving rolling a wheel with a stick.

How you hold your tongue is important

Pinewood Derby Gallery

Time has not been kind to these negatives, but I’ll throw them out here anyway. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

Cape’s New Water Park

Cape voters passed a Parks and Recreation Storm Water bond issue that included the construction of a Family Aquatic Center at the Osage Center on N. Kingshighway, this side of Cape LaCroix Creek. I don’t know if the official name is going to catch on. Everyone I heard mention it called it the Water Park.

There was a lot of wrangling over whether or not is was a good use of money, but, in the end, it’s projected to be finished by Memorial Day, reported a story in The Missourian on April 8.

Remember the Lickitysplit Water Slide?

I’m not sure when the Lickitysplit Water slide on the way to Jackson on 61 opened. I know I never went down it, but my kids loved going there when we were visiting Cape in the summertime.

There’s nothing left of it today except a few undulations in the hill and some blacktop that the grass is gradually taking over.

Google Earth Mar. 5, 2003

It’s the curvy thing in the middle of the frame.

By 2005, Google Earth showed it gone like a giant had taken a big eraser and rubbed it out.

Google Earth May 11, 2005 needs updating

Wife Lila helped come up with the name of the Water Slide by finding a site called

It assured readers that “Besides being a great place to live, work, and raise children, Jackson is also a fun place to live. Some of Jackson’s most well-known and beloved recreational activities are listed below.”

Methinks that site must not have been updated recently. Anybody who would want to take advantage of the Slide’s “water fun during the summer months” today would go home with a serious case of butt brambles.

Besides being a great place to live, work, and raise children, Jackson is also a fun place to live. Some of Jackson’s most well-known and beloved recreational activities are listed below.

Nighttime Old Town Cape from the Common Pleas Courthouse

I have a favorite night shot of the Common Pleas Courthouse and Port Cape Girardeau taken from the Themis St. floodgate looking west, so I thought I’d see what it looked like from the other side.

This is shooting down the courthouse hill looking east down Themis St. The floodgate at the end of the street is closed because the Mississippi River is at about 36 feet.

Loose shot or tight shot?

I couldn’t decide whether or not I liked it as a wideangle or a slightly tighter photo. Electrons are cheap, so you get both.

There are some tiny smudges in the tight shot in the middle of the sky. You can calls them puffs of smoke if you like, but I think they are specular highlights from the street lights bouncing around between the lens elements. What the heck, let’s go back to calling them puffs of smoke. That sounds more interesting.

Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge from the Courthouse

While putzing around trying to get this shot composed, (for the record, I don’t care much for it) a young woman materialized from the shadows. We exchanged some pleasantries and she disappeared. There was an elderly gentleman sitting on a park bench nearby and he said, “Do you reckon we scared her off?”

Shana Gemoules, stairclimber supreme

About five minutes later, she showed up again.

“Did you just run up those courthouse stairs? Twice? On purpose?”

“Yes. It was three times.Yes. I’m training for a triathlon in Florida in April.”

When she disappeared down the hill again, the man on the park bench said, “Tell her there are 55 steps, not counting the landings.”

When she got back to the top, she was barely breathing hard and her heart rate was in the low 170s (resting is usually 52 BPM, she said.) A stint of working in a downtown restaurant where she had to hump meals up three floors prepared her for running up and down the courthouse steps, she said.

Getting ready to go car-free

Shana, who grew up in Perryville, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University and has worked at a variety of local resturaunts. She’s at Imo’s Pizza now, a place she rates highly for its employee-friendly management and good food.

Right now, she’s working to get debt-free and to sell her car to cut expenses. Cape is small enough that she feels like she can get around on foot or or her bike. Her boyfriend lives in a house with three other guys. The four of them make do with one car for those times when they go a long distance or need to carry something bulky.

When she finished her fifth climb up the hill, she said she was going to call it a night. All of the talk about food and restaurants had made her hungry.

I waited until she had run out of sight before I headed to my car. I wasn’t going to insult her or embarrass me by offering her a ride.