Wife Lila and some of her friends threw together an impromptu 50th class reunion in 2016. They realized that most of them are turning 70 years old in 2018, so it was a good time to have a 70th Birthday Party.
Marilyn Maevers Miller of Charleston and the Class of 66 Lunch Bunch handled the local logistics and provided excellent eats.
The classmates gathered at an outdoor pavilion in South County Park Friday night. The photo shows about 50 attendees, and even more might have missed being in the group shot. Click on the image to make it large enough to see faces. Anyone who appears in the group shot above has my express permission to reproduce it for personal use.
Singing broke out
Bill Jacqie Jackson brought his karaoke equipment from his South Florida post-retirement job, and attracted an active group of “singers” toward the end of the evening.
The good thing about attending a group 70s Birthday Party is that all of the people who would yell, “Turn that music down!” are AT the party.
A cold front moved through on Saturday, so Bob Ward offered up space in the Elk’s Club to get the group out of rain and cold winds.
In the last few years, I’ve heard all kinds of stories about wild parties in Klaus Park, but I never got the word of them when I was growing up. From what little research I’ve done, it sounds like the land, like North County Park, South County Park and the VA Hospital site were all party of the County Farm at one time.
Considered for multipurpose building
A May 20, 1984, Missourian story by Mark Bliss said the land was being considered a possible site for the Cape Girardeau multipurpose building. County Court Presiding Judge Gene Huckstep said he had been contacted by several individuals about the possibility of the county offering a neutral site for the building which would eliminate a battle for the site between proponents of the Drury Development Corporation site south of Howard Johnson Motor Lodge along I-55 and the Bertling-Sprigg Street site (which is where the Show-Me Center was eventually built).
The park is relatively undeveloped. I’ve seen runners on the unpaved trails, and Missourian photographer Laura Simon shot some beautiful photos of fat bike (that’s the tires not the riders) riders in the park this fall. I missed the bikers, but DID see lots of hickory nuts on the ground.
Old jail site
The story also mentioned something else I’m going to have to research. “The County Court presiding judge ruled out the old jail site, across the interstate from Klaus Park, as a multipurpose building site because it contains only 23 acres. The building committee has indicated that a site of 30 acres is needed.
“In addition, Huckstep said, ‘we feel that the jail site is committed to a veterans home.'”
I never knew there was a jail located in that area.