Meeting and Greeting

Faune Riggin in KZIM - KSIM radio studio w Ken Steinhoff 07-05-2013I usually post the blog sometime after 1 a.m., so I’m not a morning person. Still, I couldn’t pass up a chance to appear on Faune Riggin’s KZIM/KSIM morning show the day after the 4th to talk about Smelterville: A Work in Progress. The station and the host are a bit to the right of what I’m comfortable with, but Faune did a good job of playing it down the middle. She seemed to really like the photos and asked good questions.

I gained a new appreciation for what happens when the station in short-handed and the host is simulcasting on two stations, doing promos, reading the news, giving the weather and screening telephone calls. She had a lot of balls in the air, but still had time during pauses to talk about how we were going to do the interview.

First Friday at Annie Laurie’s Antiques

Jon Selph at book signing 07-05-2013Laurie Evert, my wife’s niece, was kind enough to give me space (and sweet iced tea) at  Annie Laurie’s Antiques to meet folks who were interested in the book and the Snapshots of Cape Girardeau calendar. Jon Selph, Class of 1964, showed up a little early.

Fast and furious

Annie Laurie's book signing 07-05-2013After Jon got settled in, there was a steady stream of former classmates, some, like David Hahs, who went back to Trinity Lutheran School kindergarten days. I discovered that I have lost the ability to talk and take pictures at the same time. I kept kicking myself for not shooting (photographically, that is) the folks who were kind enough to stop by to say a nice word and to pick up a book or a calendar.

I loved it when someone said this blog was her morning newspaper. Looks like I’m back where I started in 1959, except that now I’m pitching prose and pictures into virtual puddles instead of the kind that go “Splash!”

How do I get one?

Annie Laurie’s is going to carry a limited supply of books and calendars. If you can catch me before I leave Cape in a couple of weeks, we can arrange to meet. Or, if you aren’t local, Wife Lila is standing by to take your order. If I can hand you the publication, the price is $20 for either. If it has to be mailed, it will be $25. The easiest way to handle the mail order is to press that Donate button at the top left of the page. Make a $25 donation per book or catalog, tell us what you are ordering, your name and your mailing address. Wife Lila will get your book or calendar in the mail as quickly as she can saddle up the horse.

Also available at the Cape Convention Bureau in the H&H Building on Broadway

Calendar sample pages

The calendar covers October 2013 through December 2014, so you can start filling in appointments right away. Here is what it looks like. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.

Johnny Rabbitt Day – March 13, 1966

Johnny Rabbitt petition drive

This caption ran under this photo in The Southeast Missourian’s Youth Page on March 2, 1966:

Five members of Cape Girardeau’s Teen-Age Club hold a petition containing the signatures of more than 1,000 high school pupils asking Johnny Rabbit, KXOK disc jockey, to come here March 13 to emcee a dance at the Arena Building. Money from the dance will be used to pay Teen Town operating expenses previously underwritten by the United Fund. A TAC spokesman said that the teens would like to pay their own expenses so that United Fund money could be used for “underprivileged families.” The youths above are, from left, Bruce Ashby, son of Alfred Ashby, 1502 New Madrid; Steve Robert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Norman Robert, 1608 Perryville Rd.; Alan Hecht, son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Hecht, 2416 Terry Hill; Miss Mary Wright, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earnis Wright, 811 Perry, and Miss Jane McGinty, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Charles McGinty, 2435 Brookwood.

I was editor of the Youth Page at this time, and I used this photo as a four-column masthead for the page from time to time.

T or TT?

One thing that’s interesting is that both The Missourian and the photos show Johnny Rabbitt spelled with one T. All of the references I can find on the web show Rabbitt spelled with two Ts. I’ll stick with the two-T version.

Rabbitt’s real name was Don Pietromonaco. He was on the air at KXOK AM630, a 5,000-watt radio station, from 1963 to 1969, He died in 1997. Here’s a fairly good tribute site with more info.

I was a WLS Dick Biondi fan, myself

Dick Biondi (whose name I had never seen in print before writing this) came booming out of Chicago on 50,000-watt WLS. Go here to hear a clip of him. He is credited with being the first U.S. disc jockey to play the Beatles after he cranked up Love Me Do in February 1963. His signature song was On Top of a Pizza.

I had one of the first transistor radios to hit the market. It was a little bigger than a pack of cigarettes and used an earplug for a speaker. I can recall sitting at Camp Lewallen Boy Scout Camp listening to Biondi many a night. (I wore the radio when I was delivering newspapers, too. One day I walked up to a house to collect for the paper and the elderly woman looked at me, shook her head sadly, and said, “It’s a shame that a boy your age has lost his hearing.” She gave me a larger than usual tip, so I didn’t tell her it wasn’t a hearing aid.)