Truck on I-55

Truck billboard near Sikeston 11-23-2013I’ve passed this high-flying 18-wheeler a bunch of times over the years, but this is the first time I’ve bothered to pull off the road to snap a picture of it. It’s on the east side of I-55 near Sikeston. And, yes, it’s the real deal, not a billboard or a model.

I was prepared with an excuse if a cop pulled up to tell me that stopping on the Interstate isn’t allowed: “But officer, my Check Engine light came on and I wanted to make sure everything was OK.”

Of course, when your van has 181,000 miles on it, the Check Engine light is ALWAYS on. I get out, raise the hood, check to see if the engine is still there and then keep driving down the road. If the light ever DOES go out, I’ll assume that the bulb burned out, not that the problem mysteriously healed itself.

The Kid has theories

Carving turkey 11-25-2010(That might be the reason Kid Matt concocted this Shameless Plug page. He doesn’t want to have to drive to some Podunk town to pick me up when the van dies.)

(He has a second theory, too: he says everybody is too busy heading out for Turkey Day, preparing for Turkey Day or recovering from Turkey Day that they aren’t going to be reading the blog this week. That’s why you’re going to get some light-weight content while I’m on MY way back to Florida.)

Oh, by the way, I covered the Sikeston Rodeo. Jim Nabors performed there in 1965. Here are more photos of the 1965 Rodeo.

On the road

Mary Steinhoff Ken Steinhoff 11-25-2013Speaking of travel, I left Cape Monday morning for Athens, Ohio. I was worried about the weather because of all the freezing rain, ice pellet, snow and sleet warnings along the route. On top of that, there was a forecast for four inches of snow in Athens on Tuesday.

To get home I was going to have to go over some pretty tall stacks of rocks where Florida Friend Jan saw her first snow in January.  I may end up staying an extra day in Athens if West Virginia gets any serious snow.

As it turned out, I must have been racing the frozen precip all day. I could see I was on the eastern edge for at least 40% of Monday.  The snow pellets sounded like my car was being peppered with BBs; the snow, fairly heavy from time to time, was pretty. It swirled around in the wake of traffic, but it never stuck.

Here was the obligatory Good-Bye selfie. It only took 19 frames to get one even close to having both of us in it.


Remember EDgewater? Or CIrcle?

Telephone similar to ones in kitchen and basementDo you remember giving out your telephone number as EDgewater 5-7543? Or, if you lived in Jackson, your telephone exchange was CIrcle.

This rotary dial phone was one I picked up used somewhere. It shows a number after area codes were assigned and names phased out. The phone in the basement is one that I talked on when I was a teenager, though. (Mother had been paying a couple of bucks a month to Ma Bell for the phone for 30 or 40 years. I wanted to hang on to it for sentimental reasons, so I paid the phone company a flat fee to own it.)

If you are a phone junkie, there is a site that has pictures of telephone central offices all over the country. Some of the ones in SE Missouri are interesting because they sit on fault lines and have had to be retrofitted for earthquakes.

When I was offered the job of telecommunications manager just before I left for Missouri on vacation in 1991, it dawned on me as I was driving through little towns like Old Appleton that if I took the job, I’d be in charge of more phones than a lot of towns had. I ended up taking the job and doing it until I retired in 2008.

Exchanges for this area

  • Advance – RAmond
  • Benton – KIngsdale
  • Bloomfield = LOcust
  • Cape Girardeau – EDgewater
  • Chaffee – TUlip
  • Jacksopn – CIrcle
  • Sikeston – GRanite

Lambert’s Cafe: Home of Throwed Rolls

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013For some reason or another, I’ve never been a big fan of Lambert’s Cafe, which bills itself as The Home of Throwed Rolls, but the place has a huge following. Mother, Friend Jan and I were getting a little empty while we were on a trek to the Stoddard County Confederate Memorial in Bloomfield, so we decided to pop over to the tourist attraction for Jan’s benefit.

License tags everywhere

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013I can remember going to Lambert’s when it was a small place. This one is huge with all kinds of interesting artifacts – particularly license tags – covering everything.

Throwed rolls

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013

When things got busy on May26, 1976, servers started tossing rolls across the room to customers. It has become as famous as flinging fish at Pike Place Market in Seattle. I’m not big on gimmicks, so that’s probably one of the reasons I’m not overly fond of the place. It IS good fun for folks who like that kind of thing.

The cafe’s website says they bake on average 520 dozen 5-inch in diameter rolls a day, for a grand total of 2,246,400 individual rolls a year. It doesn’t say how many of them aren’t caught.

Huge servings

Lambert's Cafe - Home of Throwed Rolls - 01-27-2013

I ordered the XXL Center Cut Ham. The site says they served 52,322 pounds of ham, country ham and pork steak a year. I think it all must have been on my plate. I wish I had taken the picture before I started carving. It was nearly half an inch thick, and as big as the platter. I brought home at least half of it.

Photo gallery throwed together

Here’s a gallery of photos taken in and around Lambert’s Cafe. I could pretend that I had done a bunch of research, but I’ll send you directly to the source for interesting factoids about the place. They LOVE keeping stats. Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the left or right side of the image to move through the gallery.

1965 Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo

I’m not much of a Jim Nabors fan and I don’t follow the Indy 500, but I did notice a brief story that said that Nabors, who has sung “Back Home Again” at the race since 1972, will be undergoing heart surgery and won’t be able to perform on May 27. Nabors, better known as Gomer Pyle, is 81. I covered him when he appeared at the 1965 Sikeston Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo. He must have a lot of fans. because someone goes to read the story almost every day.

Rodeo action missing in action

The Nabors film was filed separately from this action so it wasn’t available earlier. Some of this film had some pretty ugly scratches, so I just cleaned up the worst part and let it fly.

Jim Nabors as Gomer Pyle

You can see more photos of Nabors here.

Rodeo 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.