Antiques in Cape Girardeau

It was chilly this morning and we had some Birthday Season celebrating to do, so we didn’t get on the bikes today. Bro Mark was looking for some stuff for friends, so we hit some of the Cape Girardeau antique shops.

First stop was Annie Laurie’s Antiques, which happens to be Wife Lila’s niece’s place. It was the former Ford & Son’s Funeral Home. I have to admit that it always feels strange to be standing in the viewing room where my dad’s funeral was held in 1977.

[Editor’s note: I’ve been wrong all these years. This building wasn’t Ford & Son’s. It was Brinkhopf Howell Funeral Home. My old classmate, Brenda Bone Lapp caught the error and Laurie of Annie Laurie’s confirmed it. I was dead wrong, if you pardon the pun.]

Pitchfork on sale in old viewing room

It’s particularly odd when you see a homemade pitchfork on display in the old viewing room. Reminds me of the old saw about the funeral for the meanest man in town. Just about everyone in the area attended the service, “not to honor his memory, but to make sure he was really dead.”

I bought a Souvenir Folder of Cape Girardeau, a collection of picture post card-type pictures, to compare and contrast with today’s landscapes.

We’ve come a long way

One of the first things I saw in Pastimes Antiques was a reminder of just how far we’ve come in this country. One night this week we’re watching Barak Obama stumping to be president of the United States and a day later, we’re looking at a collection of Black memorabilia of the most racially offensive nature I ever recall seeing.

There wasn’t a stereotype left untouched. Lil Black Sambo and Aunt Jemima were tame compared to this stuff.

I’m not knocking the antique shop for carrying it. It’s probably valuable to see how crap like this was acceptable at one time.

Finally found a Cape Coke bottle

Way back about the time the earth’s crust cooled, many communities had their own soft drink bottlers. Coca Cola, in particular, would manufacture their bottles with the name of the bottling city on the bottom.

I’ve kept my eye open for a Cape Girardeau Coke bottle in good condition for years, but I hadn’t found one until today. When I was a kid, we’d walk on the side of the road looking for bottles so we could collect the 2-cent deposit. I’m ashamed to admit that I would have had to harvest 600 bottles to pay for my new possession.

Neat bike

This kid’s bike has seen better days, but the really unique thing about it was that it came with a picture of the original owner.

I hit the Mother Lode

At our last stop, Spanish Street Mercantile, we hit the Mother Lode: three Central High School Girardot high school year books from my dad’s high school days. There was also a Girardot from 1947, my birth year.

A yearbook that was a year or two out of my dad’s era still had a girl’s corsage pressed between the pages and her name card in it.

11 Replies to “Antiques in Cape Girardeau”

  1. Hi Kenny,
    I enjoyed your “Antiques in Cape Girardeau” this evening. You and I graduated the same year…1965 Cape Central. I have been enjoying your pictures that you send to the 1960’s newsletter. My father’s visitation was at the funeral home on Broadway where the Annie Laurie’s Antiques is now. However, in 1984, when he passed away and also in 1976, when my grandmother passed, it was not Ford and Sons. It was Brinkopf-Howell Funeral Home. I do not remember it being Ford and Sons. I moved away from Cape in 1973, but have made frequent visits.

    My parents, Eldon and Murriel Bone, owned and operated the Idan-Ha Hotel throughout my childhood. Would you happen to have any photos of that building before half of it burned in the late 60’s? It was located at the southwest corner of Broadway and Fountain. The H and H Building, the Marquette Hotel, and the Post Office were on the other three corners.

    Looking forward to seeing more of your pictures. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!
    A fellow CHS Tiger,
    Brenda (Bone) Lapp

    1. Hi Brenda;

      My name is Roosevelt James, and I had the pleasure of working for your parents back in the 60’s.(1966, as a dishwasher, at the Ada Ha) They gave me my first job! I was truly blessed by the work ethic and zest for life they instilled in me. I believe they were from Sikeston, Mo.

      It is with a pleasure to meet you and I hope all is well with your parents, even tho they must be getting along in years now.

      One last note, they really stressed me getting my education, Please tell them I have obtained four (4) Master Degrees since then, many thanks to them. God Bless. Go Tigers

  2. Thanks, Brenda.

    I’m sure I have pictures of the old Idan-Ha. I’m in Cape for a few more days, then I’m headed back home to try to wrap my head around how I’m going to attack the pictures from Cape.

    They’ve been filed away pretty much chronologically, but usually with cryptic notes on the negative sleeves. One of the problems with newspaper photographers is that we have a short attention span (hey, our lives are divided into 1/1000ths of a second).

    We shoot the assignment, slug it with something that will be meaningful for a few days, then move on to the next fire, flood, famine or Kiwanis check-passing.

    Not only will I probably have pictures of the Hotel, but I may have pictures of it on fire. I vaguely remember coming into town on vacation and seeing smoke and flames and shooting pictures of it.

    The only thing that might make those hard to find is that I probably had the film processed at The Missourian, so it’s not going to be filed with all my normal Cape stuff.

    If I haven’t gotten back to you by the reunion, bug me again. In fact, poke at me every few months.

    I really looking forward to launching the Central High site. It uses a different template than this blog, so I haven’t gotten it tweaked to look how I like it yet.

    Based on the responses I’m getting on Margi’s email list and Facebook, it looks like lots of old CHS Tigers want to see what they looked like in the 60s. That’s the 1960s, NOT the age of 60s.

  3. Miz Brenda, Mam,

    You were right. It WAS Brinkhopf Howell, not Ford & Sons.

    I changed the reference.

    I feel dumber than usual. Darned facts and details always get in the way of a good story.

  4. Brenda left me this note, which I reprint with her permission:

    Ken, thank you so much for letting me know about this!!!! I do not remember ever seeing that picture of the hotel. It was so special to see something that was so important in my youth that I thought was gone forever except
    in my memory (which isn’t always correct!!).

    The other picture showing the hotel burning was sad, but I am so appreciative of being able to see it. I actually watched the hotel burn that night.

    My boyfriend (husband now) was bringing me home and we saw the fire. I wonder if the time listed in the paper as the time of it being reported (1:40 a.m.) was correct. If so, I
    must have been out pretty late that night as the fire was already well advanced when we saw it. I went home and woke my parents to tell them.

    Daddy and I walked back down there and watched for awhile until it became too sad to watch. Mama didn’t go down there with us as she said she couldn’t bear to see it. We lived just around the corner at 315 Bellevue at that time.

    Again, thank you for letting me know about this. Are you still planning topost your pics of the hotel at a later time?

  5. I responded:

    I wonder if the place burned twice? When I shot it, it was after I had moved to FL and came back to town on vacation. I know it wasn’t in the middle of the night.

    And she replied:

    In response to your wondering if the hotel burned twice, that does sound vaguely familiar. It seems that there is a remote memory back there telling me that I remember it rekindling and starting up at a later date. I will try to find out.

    My brother, sister, and I will be together Thanksgiving and I will talk to them about what kind of old shots we might have. I think that there were some interior shots of the coffee shop after a remodeling job and maybe
    something in the cocktail lounge/bar, the Rainbow Room.

    I appreciate your keeping an eye out for pictures of the hotel as you go through your stuff.

    What elementary school did you attend? I went to Lorimier. We lived just up Lorimier hill from the N’Orleans Restaurant(the old opera house).

    Do you have pictures of the old Junior High School with the infamous fire escape on the back? I’ll bet that would be a popular picture for the Tiger newsletter.

  6. Just read your comments about our store. I sure hope that you give us a more fair assessment next time. We have WAY more than Black Memoribilia in Pastimes Antiques. (Which I had a hard time finding in the store after I read this article). We have over 10,000 sq. ft. of a little bit of everything. We have a huge collection of vintage jewelry, hats and clothing. Not to mention the furniture, glassware, books, records and the largest collection of Military items in town. We have so much more than the items you mentioned. Please stop by again some time, let me show you around. Thanks,
    Deb Maevers
    Pastimes Antiques
    45 N. Main St.
    Cape Girardeau, MO

  7. Deb,

    Thanks for the invitation.

    This wasn’t supposed to be a comprehensive piece about antique stores in Cape. It was just a quick account of a day antique shopping.

    I DID say that I didn’t fault a store for carrying that kind of racist vintage material. Sometimes it’s important to see just how far we’ve come.

    I’ll tell you something I AM looking for: Polks City Directories for Cape between 1963 and 1967. Not phone directories (although I might be interested in those, too.)

    I need those to help identify pictures that I took in that period that I’m publishing my Cape blog.

    If you have any, let me know. I’ll have my Mother come by and pick them up. (Or, I’ll be back in Cape in February or March.)

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