To refresh your memory: I wrote in that column about enduring summers in Cape Girardeau, Mo., located along the Mississippi River about 100 miles south of St. Louis.
A reader who commented on that column wrote:
"So, Greg, did the legacy of a certain rotund pundit have anything to do with your decision to Rush out of the Cape?"
This is a not so obscure reference to one Rush Limbaugh III, who grew up in Cape Girardeau and got his first radio gig there. When I lived in Cape Girardeau, as a cub reporter in the early 1980s, Rush had moved away to the big city. Kansas City, to be exact. After dropping out of college to pursue a radio career, Rush worked for a short time as a promotions director for the Kansas City Royals.
Although I don't recall ever having been introduced to Rush, I'm relatively certain he was in Cape Girardeau from time to time while I was there. His parents were still there at the time as well as siblings and cousins.
In fact, the Limbaugh clan is one of the most established, respected families in Cape Girardeau. Rush Limbaugh Sr., Rush's grandfather, was a federal judge based in eastern Missouri for decades, retiring in 2008. And many of Rush Sr.'s children and grandchildren were or still are lawyers in the area. I covered cops and courts in Cape Girardeau, so I got to know Steve Limbaugh, who was the prosecuting attorney for Cape Girardeau County at the time. Although he was really young for a county attorney — he was 26 when he was elected — he was competent and effective, and a very nice guy. He later served as a district judge and as a Missouri Supreme Court Judge, before being appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush in 2008. (Yes, the entire Limbaugh clan is Republican.)
Here's another note about Cape Girardeau that long-time Rochester residents might find interesting. For most of the past decade, up until last year, the Mayor of Cape Girardeau was a banker named Jay Knudtson. He was forced to step down as mayor because of term limit laws. Knudtson is a native of Rochester and a graduate of Mayo High School whose parents still live here. The last time I exchanged emails with him Knudtson was pondering a run for a seat in the Missouri Legislature. I'm hoping to write a column about him sometime soon.