The U.S. Corps of Engineers Motor Vessel Mississippi was docked at the Cape Girardeau riverfront August 14 and 15. I thought it might be neater to see it at dusk than daylight, so I went Friday night.
It was a perfect night, with the temps in the middle 70s for a change. Throngs of people crawled all over the boat, billed as the largest diesel towboat built in the United States. To save myself a bunch of typing, I’ll just give you a link to The MV Mississippi’s website.
Niece Amy is getting married in Tulsa this weekend, so there has been a mass exodus from Florida headed to Oklahoma. It wasn’t exactly on the path, but Sons Adam and Matt, their spouses and their brood, stopped by to see Mother, who is very much on the mend.
She and I both finally got to meet the newest arrival, Finn Levi Steinhoff. You can click on the photos if you want to be exposed to excessive cuteness.
Mother, Matt, Malcolm and I got together to update the last four-generation photo we took several years ago.
It was decided that three months was too long for me to go without a haircut and beard trim. (Like my barber says, “There are two kinds of men with hair on their faces: those who have beards and those who don’t shave.” I’m pretty sure I had slipped into that second category.)
I polled my Facebook friends and got several suggestions for a local barber. My requirements: “I want an old-fashioned barber. I don’t want a stylist, I don’t want the place to smell like hair spray, and I want a REAL barber chair, not some light-weight aluminum job.” Basically, I was looking for Ed Unger, but he retired in 1983.
I eliminated the ones from Bill Hopkins that suggested PETCO and a barber who is pretty good “when he is sober.” For the record, I was very happy with Scott at the Varsity Barber Shop.
Cards keep coming in
When I mentioned that Mother loves getting mail, scores of you sent some really cool cards. This one, by Jane Paquin, 74, of Seal Beach, Cal., was one of the most unique.
Tower Rock Whirlpool
The whirlpool south of Tower Rock kept trying to get organized, but it would dissipate before it got going good. Still, it was fun for the group to guess whether a floating log would get pulled into the swirling water or if it would escape and go straight downstream.
I’ve driven the road between Cape and Wittenberg so many times that I take the hills and curves a little on the fast side. About two-thirds of the way there, Daughter-in-Law Sarah looked at Malcolm and warned, “I think we’re about to have a Dramamine moment back here.” I slowed down.
Gerard to the rescue
When we made it to the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum, Gerard Fiehler came to the rescue with a can of soda to calm things down. Before long, Malcolm was listening to Gerard tell him (and let him see for himself) the difference between how a harpsichord and a piano make sounds.
He liked the whirlpool, liked the museum, liked picking up railroad spikes along the train tracks, but he REALLY liked driving his great-grandmother’s riding mower around the back yard.
“Look at all the alligators”
When we went down to the riverfront, Graham looked at all the logs floating down the river and said, “Look at all the alligators!” You can tell he’s a Florida boy.
They got to splash rocks, see a towboat taking on fuel, touch the river and look at the mural on the flood wall. It’s a good thing they didn’t see this woman doing The Foolish Frolic in the floodwaters. They’d have probably tried it and ended up in New Orleans.
River walk photo gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. In order of tallness: Adam, Carly, Graham, Elliot and (being carried), Finn.
You wouldn’t have had to fight for parking at noon-thirty on Wednesday August 13 when Ernie Chiles and I flew over the Isle Cape Girardeau Casino.
I didn’t look at it under a magnifying glass, but I DID blow it up a bit on the screen to let me count about 244 cars, two buses and what might be an RV in the parking lots. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)
Here are some earlier posts about the casino and shoe factory area.
I looked at a series of frames that showed the downtown shopping area parking lots from the city lot south of Independence to the two lots north of Broadway, plus Water Street and east of Spanish Street. The photos were taken on the same pass, just minutes before the Casino photo. I counted about 210 vehicles ion the downtown shopping district.
[I cheated a bit. Because of the angle, I couldn’t see cars parked on the east side of Main, so I doubled the number of cars parked on the west side, assuming that the same number of parking spaces were occupied on that side.]
(Sorry for the cloud shadows at the top left. I tried get Ernie to lasso them and drag them out of the way, but he said that kind of thing was out of his pay grade.
It would be interesting to know how many of the cars in both locations were owned by employees rather than customers.
I was headed over to the Emerson Memorial Bridge to work on an illustration for a Bill Hopkins mystery book still in the plotting stage. There was time for a quick visit to the riverfront. In the distance, I could see a toddler about the age of my Grandson Elliot throwing sticks and rocks in the Mississippi while being photographed by Dad.
Checking out the video
Amazing how kids that young can understand the workings of smart phones and tablets. He is obviously enjoying seeing himself. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)
Loud moving things are trains
After watching for a few minutes, I walked over to meet Carson, age 18 months, and his dad, Brad. Brad has lived in Cape most of his 33 years and loves to fish on the river. While we were talking, the barge came close enough that Carson heard the noise of the engines and started saying, “Train, Train!”
Time to explore
Before long, it was time to explore a new section of the riverfront.
More splashes needed
Watching Carson pitch things reminded me of the boys skipping rocks with the old traffic bridge in the background in 1966, and the Duncan kids of Kennett learning the fine art of skipping from a stranger in 2011.
Toddlers are back-loaded
When I first saw Carson bending over facing the steep downgrade to the water, I was afraid he could tumble forward and keep on rolling until he ended up in New Orleans in a few days. (Dad was keeping a close eye on him, not to worry.)
When I got closer, though, I remembered how back-loaded toddlers are. Their center of gravity is well behind them, particularly if that diaper is full.
Telling him all about it
It was just about time to leave, so Carson was telling his dad all about his adventures. Another man and boy are content to sit in front of the floodwall mural watching the action.
You can’t beat the riverfront at the end of the day.