Bookends: Garber’s & Harbor Freight

I was going to check out Cape’s new Harbor Freight store the other night, but I got there too late.

As I was driving through Town Plaza Shopping Center, my eye was drawn to a big, red Garber’s sign. It’s nice to know that it’s still in business.

I did a post in 2014 about stores that were around in 1954 when Charles Garber founded Garber’s Men’s Store. It moved to the Town Plaza Shopping Center in 1960, the same year that Pop’s A&W Drive-In opened.

Charles Garber retired in the early 1970s. Newlyweds Rodney and Dimple Bridges bought it. Bridges said in a 2011 Missourian interview that Cape had nine men’s stores when Garber’s was founded. Today, it’s the only one left standing.

On the opposite end

The new Harbor Freight, is located at the opposite end of the Plaza from Garber’s, where the AMC Town Plaza 5 Cinema used to be. It’s a bigger store than what I’m used to in Florida.

Drool mop-up on Aisle 3

I told one of the guys at the cash register that I thought they would have to wipe up the drool when I took B-in-Law John to my Florida store. “Funny you would say that,” he said. “We joked that were were going to have to mop the floor here on opening day.”

I managed to avoid temptation on my first visit, but I’ll be back when I crank up a project that needs some tools or parts that don’t have to last a lifetime. (Of course, when you reach my advanced age, it’s possible that the stuff will outlive me.)

Goodbye Trish’s Place

New Walmart site was Plaza Galleria 08-17-2014When I was driving east on Independence from Kingshighway, I expected to see a big empty spot where the old Plaza Galleria, the ice skating rink, used to be, but the space was even more empty than I thought. This photo is looking south toward the back of the Town Plaza Shopping Center.

Among the missing buildings was a strip of businesses, including Trish’s Place. I was never in the joint, but Missourian photographer Laura Simon showed up on May 31, 2014, to shoot a gallery of photos of the closing of the local watering hole.

Earlier Plaza Galleria posts


Town Plaza Shopping Center

Town Plaza mergedI usually don’t run photos that aren’t mine, but I saw this ad in my 1962 Girardot and figured the list of businesses would trigger some memories. The shopping center turned 50 in 2010, if you want to feel old.

Western expansion was a reason for the success of the Town Plaza, but I suspect the biggest draw (other than being the New Thing) was ample free parking. Outside of that, it was a row of businesses, just like Main Street.

The Mall killed the Town Plaza

Aerial Westpark Mall 04-17-2011The Westpark Mall offered what the Town Plaza didn’t: an inclosed shopping area where you could go from store to store in climate-controlled comfort. It was a destination where you could eat, sit and people-watch as well as shopping, all without sweating or freezing.

This aerial, looking to the northwest toward I-55, was taken April 17, 2011. Click on the photos to see more detail

Other Town Plaza stories

Sexual Desire and Ken’s Calendar

 Ken Steinhoff 2013-2014 Calendar

BRAIN FART ALERT: I may make calendars, but I have trouble with dates. In an earlier version of this post, I had the wrong date for our Hastings visit. It will be Saturday, June 29, 2013. (That’s today unless you are reading this in the future.)

Now, retuning you to the original programming

What do those two topics have in common. Not much, to be frank.

Let’s try to straighten this out. Anne Rodgers, my former colleague at The Palm Beach Post, bike riding partner and road tripper, is promoting her book, Kiss and Tell: Secrets of Sexual Desire from Women 15 to 97. She spent two years working with a gynecologist surveying 1,300 women and doing in-depth interviews of a hundred of them. The result was a decade by decade picture of what turns women on (and off). You’ll be surprised to see what the teens had to say. You’ll be even more surprised to read the chapter that includes the experiences of a 97-year-old.

We’ll be at Hastings June 29

How do I fit in this picture? Anne has heard me talk about Cape so much that she, like Friend Jan, just had to see the place.

photoTo help make the trip pay off, she scored a book signing at the local Hastings store in the Town Plaza shopping center on William Street Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The nice folks at Hastings said I could sit next to Anne, so I will be there with a stack of my 2013-2014 Snapshots of Cape Girardeau calendars for sale. I’ll also have prototypes of my “Smelterville: A Work in Progress” book.

My work is better than Anne’s. I have pictures. She, however, is better looking.

Come on by, let’s talk, look at old pictures of Cape and catch up.

If you miss me there, you can find me at Annie Laurie’s Antique Shop on First Friday, July 5. I’ll also be appearing on the KZIM morning show on that day to talk about the Smelterville project. (I’ll hold the photos up to the microphone, but I’m not sure how they are going to look at the far end.)

Click the link to read reviews of Kiss and Tell: Secrets of Sexual Desire from Women 15 to 97 and order online (I’ll actually make a few pennies on the transaction).

Calendar photo gallery

Click on any photo, then click on the side to move through the gallery. (By the way, the girl on the cover of Anne’s book isn’t Anne. I’ve been asked.)