It’s Cold, Snow Foolin’

I can see from the weather reports that Cape is colder than West Palm Beach, but we still had ice on our bird bath this morning. The difference is that you folks EXPECT cold weather. It comes to kind of a shock to us South Floridians. Our last ice-on-the-bird-bath experience was last February and our last snow (although some folks claim it snowed or sleeted here yesterday) was 1977.

Here are some pictures from the late 60s of an ice storm that blew through Cape County.

Houck Railroad Cut between Cape and Jackson

This is the old Houck Railroad cut on Old Jackson Road between Cape and Jackson before my dad had a contract to widen the road.

Dad’s construction company won the job to blast the rock of the cut so the road could be made wider. One day he came home in a crankier than usual mood.

It seems that someone miscalculated the load of explosives for one of the blasts and a huge boulder went flying though the roof of a nearby house. Nobody was hurt, but it became a piece of family lore forever after. You can’t go past that spot without someone commenting about “the day that….”

Here’s a more recent picture of the cut and an account of a bike ride through it, including a trip over a bridge I’d rather forget.

Cape LaCroix Creek Bridge

This looks like the new Cape LaCroix Creek bridge on Route W – Old Jackson Road – shortly after it was built. The view is to the southeast.

If I’m correct, the road running along the bottom of the treeline was a shortcut that followed the creek and bypassed the normal intersection of Old Jackson Road and Boutin Dr. and came out near the Heartland Care Rehab Center. The road has been abandoned for years.

I am told that there was an abandoned old house on that road, just after you crossed a steel bridge, that had a short lane that provided an observation platform for young folks who wanted to watch satellites pass overhead. Google Earth shows that the bridge might still be there, but there are trees hiding where the house used to be, so I couldn’t tell if it had finally fallen in.

Location of Bridges


View Cape LaCroix Creek bridges in a larger map

Here’s a gallery of other ice photos

Click on any image to enlarge it, then click on the left or right side of the picture to move through the gallery.

 

Capaha Park Lagoon Ices over in 1968

Treading on thin ice, literally

Cape Girardeau's Capaha Park Lagoon frozen over January 1968Four folks brave – or foolish – enough to ignore a DANGER sign walk on the ice covering the Cape Girardeau Capaha Park Lagoon in late 1967 or early 1968.

This picture was on the end of a roll of film of buildings I was shooting for The Southeast Missourian’s year-end Achievement Edition. (In internal Missourian-speak, that was called the Atomic Edition. Never did learn why.)

When I came home from Ohio University on Christmas break, editor John Blue asked if I’d drive all over Southeast Missouri taking pictures of new construction.

Guidelines

  • Shoot all of the new commercial buildings you can find in each town.
  • Shoot a handful of new or remodeled residential buildings with a value of more than $25,000. (For awhile, I thought I might have a future as a property appraiser.)
  • Start at the far end of the circulation area and work my way to the center so they didn’t have to pay me mileage to backtrack.

Easy money for a college student

Most of the rolls of film had a note on them that said, “Printed 1/11/68,” so I’m going to assume they were shot within a week or 10 days of that date. It was a pretty good gig. Five dollars a shot, plus mileage. I’m sure I scored a couple hundred bucks for a week’s work.

That was good money in those days. When I left The Missourian to go to school in Ohio, I think I was making about $80 or $90 a week as a reporter.