Fires and Small Towns

Here’s how you know you’re in a small town: when folks hear sirens, they turn out to see what has happened. I was struck by the bystanders giving the once-over to this gas station fire in Scott City.

I didn’t have a date for the fire, so I couldn’t find the story, if any, that went with the pictures.

This looks like the owner

Unlike the people who looked like plain old gawkers (I admit to being a professional gawker), this man has the look of someone who has lost his livelihood.

Did fire start at pumps?

I don’t know if the fire started at the gas pumps and spread to the building or vice versa. Seeing the damaged cars reminded me of something that happened in West Palm Beach in the early 1970s.

A fellow brought his brand-new Corvette in to the dealer for service. He demanded that they park it far away from any other car in the parking lot so it wouldn’t get dinged.

The service manager had it parked in the very back row of the lot. Right next to the FEC Railroad main line.

Yep, you guessed it. The FEC had a massive derailment that afternoon and dumped tons of railroad cars on top of the man’s precious Corvette.

Other fire and fire equipment stories

Pi Kappa Alpha’s fire truck

Scott City fire truck

1989 Idan-Ha Hotel fire

The lily pond behind Fire Station #1

An Ohio family watches their home die

Sikeston church destroyed by fire

Cape’s old Fire Station #2 on Independence

200 to 300 lives were lost when the steamboat The Stonewall burned near Neely’s Landing

Boy Scout Chuck Dockins rescues two girls from burning auto

Scott City fire photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery. Look for some things you don’t see any more: a AAA Emergency Service sign; a Public Telephone sign, and a horseshoe tacked above the door to the station (with the prongs pointing up to keep the good luck from spilling out).

Scott City Fire Department #2

I was going through some of the unlabeled coffee can film this afternoon when I ran into this shot of six young men posing on a fire truck. It’s about the size of what we would use for brush fires down here, but I see it’s got ladders and hose reels, so it might have been all Scott City needed for general purpose fire fighting.

The guys look pretty young. I wonder if it might have been an Explorer Post? I’m guessing it was taken in 1966 or 1967. Click on the photo to make it larger.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

I found the original Missourian story that ran August 7, 1965, on the Youth Page. The boys are members of the Illmo-Scott City’s Second Fire Department. They are, bottom row, from left, David Hahs, Mark Hillemann, Cecil Page and Jerry Paul Dunger, chief; top row is Thomas Clymer and Don Underwood.

Christmases Past

This is the time of year when newspapers run lots of year-end stories.

  • They’re popular with readers.
  • They can be produced early before everyone disappears.
  • They’re easy.
  • Everybody is too busy to read the paper, so you don’t want to burn up serious stories.

So, in that spirit, I’m going to recycle some stories from past Christmases. Follow the links for the Real Deal. Click on any photo to make it larger.

This was from a photo book Wife Lila and I did on our first Christmas as a married couple.

David’s first bicycle

Getting a bike for Christmas was a Big Deal. Here’s a video of Brother David getting his and helping Dad put it together. I love the way he keeps reaching over with his bathrobe sleeve to wipe off fingerprints from the chrome.

Christmas Confusion

People were running all around to try to figure out where these photos were taken.

Could it have been Good Hope?

Nope, it turned out to have been in Jackson.

 

St. Mary’s 1967 Christmas Novena

Missourian caption Dec. 24, 1967: The Rev. Bosco Westrich of St. Mary’s Cathedral presides over Friday night’s observance of the Christmas Novena at the church. At the left, an altar boy departs. The Novena is a nine-part series of Christmas services which will conclude on Christmas Eve. The banners on either side of the altar were made by school children of the parish.”

Witness Protection Program Santa

This is the first and only Santa I’ve ever seen wearing a full-face mask. (He’s almost as scary as this Easter Bunny in my past.)

Hutson’s Christmas Display

Hutson’s Fine Furniture has been hosting a Christmas display window for as long as I can remember. It’s not quite as large as I remembered it, but it’s still magic for youngsters.

Hutson’s is 2011 Old Town Cape Ornament

Coincidentally, Hutson’s window display was chosen as Old Town Cape’s featured ornament this year. Here’s a list of past ornaments.

Common Pleas Courthouse Live Nativity scene

Close to 2,000 people a day stopped by the live Nativity scene on the steps leading to the Common Pleas Courthouse in 1965. The exhibit proved so popular that the run was extended past the expected Christmas Eve closing date.

North County Park

Cars line up bumper to bumper to enjoy the Christmas displays at North County Park.

Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum

The folks at the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum have been putting together a wonderful Christmas display for the past six years. Here are photos from this year’s exhibit (plus a shameless plug for my Tower Rock book and East Perry County Calendar. Follow this link to see the 2010 exhibit.

Water Park holiday lights

The Family Aquatic Center at Osage Center was all lit up for the holidays. Quite impressive.

Here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas or whatever holiday you’re celebrating at this time of year. We’ll probably take it easy for a couple of days. I’ve got a Top Stories of 2011 Review in the works.

Nash Road Transportation Corridor

When bicycle tourist John Gorentz, AKA Spokesrider, passed through Cape on his way from Michigan to New Madrid, I tried to pick him a better route to follow than the Missouri River Trail that runs through the hills and curves of New Hamburg. One alternative was to take Nash Road. Unfortunately, at that time is was a dusty gravel road. On a recent trip to the airport to eat, we decided to see if the road was finished. It is and it is really nice. (Click on any photo to make it larger.)

Bloymeyer roundabout

When I was flying aerials in November 2010, I noticed the Bloymeyer roundabout joining Nash Road, Hwy 25 and Hwy 77 had been completed. In this photo, Nash Road comes in from the top left. Hwy 25 from Jackson and Dutchtown is on the lower left and then turns to the right to go to Advance and Bloomfield. Hwy 77, at the top right, goes to Chaffee.

Mario’s Pasta House and a water hole is opening up at the intersection to take advantage of the traffic coming off I-55 and headed through. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other businesses open up, maybe even the old Montgomery Drive-in.

A nail in the coffin for Dutchtown

This is going to put another nail in the coffin of Dutchtown. Northbound I-55 traffic headed to towns south and west of Cape won’t have to go all the way to Hwy 74 and then through Dutchtown. It’ll be able to take a fast (60 mph), straight road with good shoulders straight down to Hwy 25. There’s not much out there yet except farm land, so there aren’t many driveways and side roads to watch.

When Hwy 74 floods at Dutchtown, which it seems to be doing more and more often, traffic has to go all the way to Jackson to get through. Nash Road is on the dry side of the Diversion Channel, so the highway department won’t have any incentive to raise the roadbed in Dutchtown to keep it above water.

Nash Road: south of Diversion Channel

Nash Road starts south of the Diversion Channel and north of the Cape Girardeau Airport.

Road is a shipping hub

I was surprised at the number of warehouses and depots that have grown up on the road.

Railroad derailment

In early October, 15 empty cars on a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train derailed on the tracks that parallel Nash Road. Nobody was injured and no hazardous chemicals were involved, The Missourian reported. I include these photos only because you could see them from Nash Road and because Keith Robinson, a railroad buff, is a regular reader.

Nash Road photo gallery

Here is a gallery of photos taken of and on Nash Road. Click on any image to make it larger, then click on the left or right side to move through the gallery.

 

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.