Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year In Review - OR - What Happened To 2008?

Does it seem like a few days ago that we welcomed 2008? On December 31, 2007, none of us knew what was in store for us in the brand new year of 2008. It’s like that every year. A clean new slate to see what we can do with 365 days to make our life and lives of others better. It’s a mystery out there in front of us waiting to see what adventures we will about to endure.

And now 2009! Here are a few things that 2008 brought us that had an impact on my life. You can add to the list through the Comment section at the end of this post.

1. Since June of 2007, we have planned and saved for our 9th cruise and the first one since 1999. Our daughter’s family wanted us to take this with them since it originates in San Pedro which we can easily drive to because Ann needs her electric scooter to get around. A seven day trip to Mexico. This happened at the end of June. You can read about it and see many pictures on postings written in July.

2. In May we drove to Fresno to attend a Tribute to the Watchmen Gospel Quartet who announced their retirement for the end of 2008. I was privileged to be a co-founder of this group in September 1971 and sang bass for 11 years before turning it over to my son, Rick. Dennis Zimmerman kept the group going through many personnel changes and finally after 38 years of spreading the gospel through quartet music, they are retiring. Congratulations Dennis.

3. July 22, 2008, Ann and I celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary. Talk about time passing quickly!

4. On Sunday evening, September 7th, I performed in a musical evening at Town & County Manor in Santa Ana. My cousin, Eileen, lives there and she and I put together a pretty good program for the residents of that retirement community. Lots of great comments. You can read about that in September’s offerings.

5. In November we as a nation participated in an election year that didn’t quite go as I had hoped but we have to deal with disappointments as they come. A lot of factors combined to bring about the results in the Congress and the White House. Now we will have to pray for those in leadership that they will use good judgment in handling our national and international affairs.

6. Another highlight in my life came on December 5th as I appeared as Angel Gabriel in a Star P.A.K. production at Coast Hills Church. This was the first time I have performed with my two youngest grandchildren in a program. What an honor! This has also been in a previous posting this month.

7. If you want to watch time pass swiftly, just be around grandkids. I can’t believe that we have a granddaughter in second year of college. Emily is home for the winter break now and we’re very glad to see her again. Her brother, Eric, is now a Senior in Mission Viejo High School and will be graduating in 2009. Hannah is in Middle School in the 6th grade and Rachel is in Elementary School in the 4th grade. Gee - I can remember when all of them were born! And I can remember me being in all those grades - has it really been that long ago? I guess I must be having a lot of fun because time is flying by very fast.

8. Things to look forward to in 2009:

A. My 75th birthday in April. WOW! Three quarters of a century!
B. Son-in-law Scott's 50th birthday in March!
C. My daughter’s 50th birthday in April! She’s always been exactly 25 years behind me. I wonder why that is?
D. Eric’s high school graduation in June.
E. Many school programs and plays my grandkids will be doing.
F. Ann and my 54th wedding anniversary in July.
G. New opportunities to sing and perhaps some acting as well.

I imagine there will be many other interesting things that we will do but that will be noted in future postings. Thanks for being along for the journey this year and let’s all hope for a great year in 2009.

My family all wish you a wonderful and Happy New Year. May it be your best year ever!

Dick & Ann Moore - 53rd Wedding Anniversary Portrait

Anne, Emily, Eric, and Rick - Christmas photo 2008

Hannah, Brenda, Rachel, and Scott -- Christmas photo 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009 from the Dick & Ann Moore Family!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maxine & The Christmas Spirit

She knows how to say it. Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kiss Their Noses As Greeting

Emily about the age of this story and Papa

For a number of years our family had annual Disneyland passes with parking and could go any time we wanted and stay as long as we wanted. Sometimes it was just for dinner together in the park followed by the fireworks show.

Our first grandchild, Emily (now 20 years old), was three weeks old when she visited Disneyland for the first time. As she grew, we could watch her relate to the Disney characters and enjoy meeting them. Her big thing was she wanted to “kiss their noses” as her way of greeting and meeting. The characters all allowed her to do her thing and she became a hit with the cast members.

One day when she was still quite small, I was holding her on Main Street when we turned the corner and there was Br’er Bear standing next to the building wall frozen in space. Not a hint that anyone was in the costume. He about 7 feet tall and it would be difficult for Emily to do her normal greeting. I was talking to Emily and stating that I was not sure that anyone was in this costume and that he was too tall for her to kiss his nose.

Without hesitation, the cast member inside the costume slowly started lowering himself until he was at the height that Emily could give him her greeting. Emily planted one on the nose and then the “bear” slowly rose to his normal height. Never saying a word. No indication that he acknowledged her greeting.

We had a good laugh at that. It was wonderful for the cast member to recognize that this was important to Emily and he did what was necessary to keep the tradition going for her. It’s things like what he did that will bring you back for another day in “The Happiest Place On Earth”.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dickens Christmas Carolers

For six years at two different churches, Ann and I were in a group of singers that dressed in the Dickens era costumes and sang Christmas music for various functions.

We started this in 1979 at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California. The Melodyland Singers sang throughout the year in evening services and during the Christmas season rented Dickens costumes singing wherever we could arrange a concert. We were with this group for three years.

The pictures below were taken at South Coast Plaza Mall in Costa Mesa at Nordstroms with David Feit-Pretzler as our director. Following David was Art Ortiz for one year. Under Art’s direction we sang on television on the PTL Club at Trinity Broadcasting Network Channel 40 in addition to our appearances in the Malls.

Ann - Far Right
Dick - Middle Back Row

Ann - Back Row 6th From Left
Dick - Back Row 2nd From Right

Melodyland had Christmas drama and music productions over one or two weekends with 5 to 10 performances and the group sang to the waiting crowd prior to their entering the auditorium. We left Melodyland in February 1983 and that ended our special singing so we thought.

We started attending South Coast Community Church in Irvine the same month and joined the choir under the direction of Steve Nichols. Steve then held auditions for the Madrigal Singers which was basically like the group we left. That Christmas we dressed up in Dickens costumes and sang in a number of places including private parties. We did that for three years also. All our songs were memorized and unaccompanied by any instruments. The director used a pitch pipe to start our song.

These times are fixed in our memories as wonderful experiences that enhanced our singing years. We will never forget those many nights that were spent singing the carols to an appreciative audience.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Angel's Christmas

For a number of years, Ann and I have attended programs called Star P.A.K. written and directed by Kathleen Chapman with choreography by her daughter, Nancy Matossian. Our granddaughters, Hannah (now 12) and Rachel (now 10), were in these productions. The children are taught how to act, sing, dance, and do choreography in front of an audience which is very valuable training for their future. And it builds confidence.

We spent our time at these productions taking pictures of the program as it went along and tried to enjoy the event in between snaps of the camera. Afterward, we took a lot of pictures of the girls with Kathleen and Nancy. Ann is a genius on the computer making multi-page cards using the pictures we took. A set was also made for Kathleen and Nancy for their files.

Eventually, Kathleen gave us a front row seat for taking pictures which helped get the best shots of the entire production. We were a fixture on row one right next to the director, Kathleen Chapman.

As reported in May on this BLOG, our daughter, Brenda, went on a charity trip to Sumba, Indonesia for two weeks in April. She wrote up the story and gave me some pictures to put in the article that I posted. She told Kathleen about the BLOG item and when she looked it up, she saw two videos that I had made using what musical talent I have and this was a shock for her. She had no idea that I had done any acting or singing. She told me that I had to be in her next production.

Well, it happened on December 5, 2008 at Coast Hills Church in Aliso Viejo. I was Angel Gabriel and the only adult in the production of Angel’s Christmas. The angels were all dressed in white and I was in a white tux and white everything else. My two granddaughters were in it with major speaking parts and even sang one of the songs on the mikes. They had to interact with Angel Gabriel (me) which was a thrill for all of us. The story is about young angels wanting to know more about the birth of Jesus and they knew that Angel Gabriel was there that night - that Holy Night! So when I came over to discuss the event with them, they hit me with a lot of questions which I attempted to answer. I sang “O Holy Night” to them and they sang it with me after my solo.
Dick singing "O Holy Night" to the "angels" from his elevated chair!

Angel Gabriel listening to questions from the young angels.

As you can imagine, this was an event in my life that I will never forget. I was first to take the bow at the end and then the kids. Hannah and Rachel came over to me and we took the final bow in front of the cast as a favor to me from Kathleen.
Hannah, Dick, & Rachel taking our final bow with the cast.

Hannah, Kathleen Chapman, Dick, Nancy Matossian, and Rachel

Yes, lots of pictures were taken and some of them are here in this posting. The kids dad, Scott, takes video of these productions and he and Brenda take many digital pictures. This time Ann had to do the picture taking as I was on stage. Ann will make us all memory cards to remember the night Hannah and Rachel was in a production of Star P.A.K. with their grandfather.
Hannah, Dick (Angel Gabriel) and Rachel on Gabriel's chair.

The entire cast of "Angel's Christmas"

The kids in the production were very kind and warm to me and some even asked for my autograph on the program. I guess they thought of me as a celebrity. Thank you, Kathleen, for giving me the opportunity to be in one of your fabulous productions.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Early Television - Part 2

When television started in the late 1940s, the sets had channels 2 through 13 - no remote - and you “clicked” through the channels to find the one you wanted. No instant going to a channel like we have today. In most TV markets, this was enough channels to satisfy the demand. In Kansas City, Missouri, for instance, we had one channel at first and then quickly grew to three. Channels 2, 4, and 7 became CBS, NBC, and ABC as time went on in major markets across the United States. Independents carried programs from all networks depending on what they wanted to show.

As the demand grew for more channels, another frequency was developed called UHF - Ultra High Frequency. These would be channels above number 13 and you had to have a converter attached to your set with a special antennae to receive these channels. These stations were “dialed in”. No clicking - just turn the dial like you did on the radio to the position that brought that station in the best.

From September 1971 to December 1982 I sang bass with the Watchmen Gospel Quartet mostly in Southern California. Our first TV appearance came on October 15, 1973 on a new station which appeared on UHF Channel 46 called Trinity Broadcasting Systems. It was a two and a half million watt station located in Santa Ana with call letters KBSA. This was a religious station that used our kind of music. Paul Crouch was General Manager and Jim Baker was President and Pastor On The Air. Their evening program was called PTL (Praise The Lord) and features gospel music along with speaking and interviews.

Another local quartet, The Californians, had recommended our group to the station and they had us on several times. In fact, we were the featured group on their Open House when they moved into better quarters. We provided the music for a banquet for Melodyland Christian Center and the event was videotaped for later broadcasting on TBN. Ann and I went to Catalina Island for a couple of days and stayed in the Zane Grey Pueblo. They had one (1) television and that was in the lobby. I knew the program was going to be on one night and we went in to the lobby to see it. Another couple came in to relax and I had the program on. I told them this quartet was very good and they would enjoy it. He looked at the screen - then to me - then back to the screen realizing that it was me on the tube! That was fun!

Dennis Zimmerman, Miles Collins, Roy Scott, Dick Moore, & Rick Moore (guitar)

This television company changed channels from 46 to 40 later and is now known as TBN, Trinity Broadcasting Network.

An Orange, California church called Brean Baptist Church took over the UHF channel number 46 and The Watchmen sang on it several times also.

When cable came to our homes, Channel 46 became Fox News and TBN is still on Channel 40.

For those who still use an antennae, your days are numbered. In February 2009, a converter is needed to receive programs on that set. Or you can go modern and get cable. Think of all the antennas on the roofs that will be coming down!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts For 2008

As we approach the Thanksgiving Season for this year of 2008, I want to leave some thoughts of thanks that I have been given.

I am very thankful to have been born into the Moore Family. Yes, I had a rough beginning as my father died when I was six years old. I don’t remember my life up to that point but I would imagine it was pretty good. Two years later my siblings were split up to several of the brothers and sisters of our father’s and I and my older brother, Ben, went to live with our grandparents.

Rev. Jesse I. and Mattie Moore had 12 children in 20 years time and now have taken on grandchildren of ages 10 and 8. You’d think they had done enough. Grandpa petitioned the court to allow him to place the five children into homes within his family instead of the foster homes we were headed for if he hadn’t intervened . He didn’t want any of his grandchildren to go to foster care and was willing to take on two of the five to raise as his own. He was a pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Celina, Ohio and was nearing retirement. Think about his situation and see if you would be willing to do the same thing!

I am very thankful for my Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith Moore who lived in Kansas City, Missouri. They came to visit Ray’s folks one week in August 1949 and when they returned home they wrote a letter asking me to come and live with them for my last three years of high school.
Grandpa said it was my decision. Grandma was ill and he told me that if I decided to stay, that would be OK with him. I decided to go Kansas City to finish my high school years. Because of that, I met my future wife, Ann. I often wondered what my life would have turned out to be if I had stayed in Ohio.

The Korean Conflict was going on when I graduated from high school making me very ripe for the draft into the army. If I would attend college, they would defer my draft until I graduated as long as I maintained a “C” average. Thankfully, I did. I was not a “student” and wasn’t planning on going to college except for the push from the government.

I am thankful for Pasadena Nazarene College for accepting me and for helping me get a college degree which made a big difference in my working years. I am very thankful for Bob & Mildred Edwards who prepared their daughter Ann for adulthood and who I married after my Junior year. She has added so much to my life that it would take several more stories to tell it correctly.

I graduated in 1956 two months after our son, Rick, was born. As a matter of coincidence, President Ike Eisenhower signed a bill exempting fathers from the draft. So I am very thankful for Rick joining our family and for the president’s timing. I am also very thankful for Brenda coming along three years later completing our family.

I am very thankful for C. F. Braun & Company and the Fluor Company for laying me off during the recessions of 1957 and 1958. That gave me an opportunity to join the State Farm Insurance family and spend 37 years with them retiring in 1996 with a pension.

Then we added in-laws -- Anne Jennings married Rick and they have Emily and Eric which gave us our first two grandchildren. Brenda married Scott Ostrander and they have Hannah and Rachel giving us a total of four grandkids. Aren’t we lucky?

I have lived a different life but a blessed and thankful one. I never considered that my life was any different from the normal. So many things had to happen to put everything in place to bring me to this time. I’m a lucky fortunate man! Somebody up there likes me!

Happy Thanksgiving Season!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Peter Potter's Platter Parade

In the early 1950s, I was in college at Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California. I put myself through a private college working as a dishwasher - bus boy for the Headliner Coffee Shop. There was not a lot of extra money in my pocket during those years!

Ann came to the college in 1953 and since we knew each other from Kansas City, Missouri, we would spend some time doing things together. Anything that wouldn’t cost much was a plus to us.

We were within 20 miles from Hollywood where radio and television programs were made - some live and some filmed or recorded to show an audience so laugh tracks could be put on the show when it actually was aired to the public. We saw a bunch of radio and television shows which were free to attend.

One such program was a local television show that was shown only in Southern California called “Peter Potter’s Platter Parade”. Peter Potter was a local celebrity who had a program that asked the question “Will It Be A Hit - Or A Miss?”.

Hollywood was also the place where records were produced. We didn’t have Cds or cassette tapes then. Records were 78 rpm vinyl discs with one song on each side. Most times the “A” side was the main song and the “B” side was just another tune they recorded. The “B” side sometimes was the actual hit.

This live TV show was on Saturday nights in Hollywood with a live audience enjoying the show. It involved the host (Peter Potter) and a panel of guests who were mostly stars in the area who would listen to a new recording and vote whether it would be a hit or a miss. The fun part was when the actual artist was behind a curtain that the panel couldn’t see or didn't know that they were there and they voted it a “miss”. Talk about backpedaling! It was all in fun though and many of the songs they thought wouldn’t make it actually did.

We attended that show a few times and always thought it was a night well spent. The show was only local and didn’t make it out of the Southern California area. I have no idea how long they were on the air as nothing is on the internet concerning the show.

Peter Potter did have a national show called “Jukebox Jury” which aired from 1956 to 1959. It ran along the same theme as the local show.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Musical Night At Town & Country Manor

I have spent my life singing in church - solos, duets, trios, quartets, ensembles, choirs. In 1998 I switched churches and went to one that has only contemporary style music which left me out of performing.

My cousin, Eileen Nixon, lives at Town and Country Manor which is a retirement living community. A couple of years ago she asked me to join her and her sister, Carolyn Hesson, in a music program for the people who call this their home. Carolyn was visiting from Baltimore. Eileen has done a lot of solos in church and so have I. Carolyn does mostly harmony with Eileen or singing in choirs. The three of us put on a nice program using background tapes. The people loved it.

There is a church on the grounds called Community Bible Church and one of the residents is the pastor. Robert Witchey asked Eileen to put on a pre-Easter program with family for March 2007. That program involved the three of us again along with my son, Rick, and his daughter, Emily. Rick sang a solo and Emily played the Irish Whistle. This program was also well received.

After the program, the pastor came up to me and asked if I would do a couple of numbers for their upcoming Good Friday Service in April. I agreed and once again sang for the residents of this community.

Pastor Witchey asked Eileen if Dick (me) could put together a program of music and do it for an evening service on September 7, 2008. She asked and I agreed to do it. This will be the most I have sung in a long time but these people think I am a young man compared to them and they like to hear me sing.
Dick - Concert at Town & Country Manor - September 7, 2008.

Dick Moore and his cousin Eileen Nixon put on this program.

Eileen and I did a duet to start off the program using a pianist, Eunice Crooks, to assist the music program. Eunice lives there and is very good on the piano. We did an old song called "I've Discovered The Way Of Gladness" which was sung a lot 50 years ago. Eileen led the congregation in several hymns and introduced me. I sang three numbers and she introduced Bob Blaustone, another resident, who plays a jazz piano. He never had a lesson but did a great job.
The four participants of the musical night -- Dick, Eileen, Bob, and Eunice.

Eileen then sang a solo and a duet with me. I related a story of my last visit to my home church in Celina, Ohio in 1952. That story is in a previous post on this web site. I completed the program with two numbers that worked well together to form one song. They were "That One Lost Sheep" and "The Ninety And Nine". Most of the residents have come from a background of either being a pastor or a missionary or part of the family of one of those. This community is run by The Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. They understood all the songs and enjoyed the kind of music that isn't done in most churches anymore.

(When I have time to get the DVD to my son, Rick, he will help me post the song listed above so you can hear it. I don't know how to do that and have to rely on him to get it posted.)

I received a nice letter of thanks from Pastor Robert Witchey and he said "the one question they have asked is --when is he coming back?" That makes a person feel real good that some people enjoy his kind of music. I think we will be doing a Christmas program with the family sometime near Christmas. If we do, I will write that up too!
Reception line after the concert joined by granddaughters Rachel & Hannah.

It's nice to feel wanted!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My Friend - The Money Pit

In 1999 I had a 1985 Chevrolet Celebrity that broke down on the way to my golf game. I was able to drive it into the MacPherson Chevrolet in Irvine (off the 5 Freeway at Lake Forest) and told them to fix the problem. It was my second car as we had newer car that we drove most of the time. Ann drove the newer car and the Chevrolet was my car to use for errands and golf.

I needed a ride home and Ann wasn't there. So I called my neighbor Ted and he came to get me. While I was waiting for him to show up, I visited the used car lot and spotted the car pictured above -- a 1992 Chevrolet Cavalier. They wanted $4,995 for it. When Ted got there, we took the car for a test drive and I fell in love! Got to have it! I pointed out my car to the salesman and said if he would give me $1,500 in trade for that I will buy this one for the balance.

He agreed. But -- I needed to get Ann's approval first. After I got home, Ann and I went to the dealer and test drove the car once more. She agreed with me that it would be a big improvement on what I was driving and we made the deal.

Yes, the car has had problems over the years -- haven't we all! But every time I spent some money on it, I appreciated the car more and wanted to keep it. I have bought this car a couple of times with repairs but still wanted to keep it. One day while I was getting gas at a local Shell station, a young girl drove up behind the car and got out to ask me where I got it. I told her and she said that it used to be her car and the dealer said they would have to get rid of the car as it would be too expensive to bring up to standard. Of course, they gave her very little in trade. Now she finds it out on the street! Car dealers!

In June 2007 I took my grandson to an Angel's ball game with the New York Yankees and you know it was sold out. Over 44,000 people there and the parking lot filled up. After an exciting game they had fireworks. I usually leave the game about the top of the 9th and get out of the lot before the others. This time we decided to stay for the fireworks. Big error! By the time we got to the car, the lot was jammed with cars trying to leave and it took 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot. Once on the 57 freeway we thought we had smooth sailing and then everything came to a halt. They (Cal Trans) decided to repave the 5 freeway leaving only two lanes open going south. We were literally on a parking lot for a very long time.

Guess what happened? The car overheated and actually pegged out - as hot as it can get! We couldn't get off and we couldn't go forward. I finally got him home about 12:45 a.m. and drove the car (hot) home. I had a feeling that I had fried the engine and took it to the Chevrolet dealer near me. After a day or two, they told me that the engine was ok but the heater core had to be replaced as that was where the coolent was going out. A labor intensive job since the dash had to be removed -- mucho dollars. I took the car on a trip to Newport Beach to a luncheon and on the way back home, it overheated once again. I drove right into the dealers service area and they had the car for a couple more days.

This time they replaced some things (at my cost) and then called me to tell me the engine was too bad and had to be replaced at the tune of $3,100. I told them I would think about it and get back to them with a decision. After about a week, I told them I am having it towed home and not fixed at this time. When I was waiting for them to bring the car out, they drove it to me! So we drove it up on the tow truck and got it home. I could drive it in and out of the garage so I could get to things behind it. But it couldn't be driven on the street as it would lose water.

I placed it on Non-Operation status with the DMV and dropped insurance to only Comprehensive. It sat for months with me going back and forth in my mind as to whether to have the car fixed or not. If not, I was going to give it to a charity or sell it for parts. I was told about a company that would give you $500 for any car working or not. That was going to be my choice if I was not going to fix it.

I internet searched for rebuild and used engines thinking the dealer's mechanics knew what they were talking about. Finally in September of this year I called the owner of A-Z Tech Automotive in Mission Viejo who I knew and discussed the situation with him. He said for me to tow it to his shop and he would look at it personally for free. He would let me know what the problem was and what it would cost to fix. It's my decision as to what we do. One more attempt to get it fixed and have a second car for errands and golf.

The owner called me the same day and said that the engine was fine - just had a blown head gasket. The fix is labor intensive and I agreed to have it fixed. He recommended a couple of other items when getting into the job. I trust him so said ok. The total cost was $1,265. A little less than I was quoted by the Chevrolet dealer! Not bad for a used car. Where could you go to get a used car in this shape for that price?

Something funny happened on the day I drove it home. In the mail was a letter from the Chevrolet dealer saying they missed me -- 14 months had passed!

I love having the car available. It will take miles off the newer car and allow me to drive it for a few more years. I don't have to rent a car when the good car is in the shop for repairs. I recently had to do that before I got the Chevrolet running.

Cars are a money pit -- but could we do without them?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Want You To Meet My Uncle Ray Moore

I lived with my Uncle Ray Moore for my last three years of high school. He passed away January 7, 2007, just before he would have turned 89 in February. Here is the obituary that tells of his life.

Bethany, Oklahoma

Monday, January 08, 2007

Renowned Nazarene educator and minister of music Ray Howard Moore passed away January 7. He was 88.

Moore was born on February 17, 1918, in Bronson, Michigan, to Jessie and Mattie Moore. A 1941 college graduate of Olivet Nazarene College, Moore earned his Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1956. He was honored with a doctorate in music from Olivet in 1980.

Moore faithfully served as a minister of music and educator in the Church of the Nazarene for more than 60 years. He served churches in Detroit, Kansas City, and Bethany, Oklahoma. He was also a professor at Olivet Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Southern Nazarene University, and European Nazarene Bible College.

For 20 years Moore was music director of the radio broadcast, “Showers of Blessings” and “La Hora Nazarena,” which were broadcast around the world from Nazarene Headquarters in Kansas City. He also led Ambassador Ministry Teams to Central and South America as well as Europe. He started radio stations in Kankakee, Illinois (WKOC) and Kansas City, and built communication equipment for missionaries around the world. Moore (W5RSL) was an avid ham radio operator, beginning at the age of nine.

Moore’s life of distinguished service was marked by numerous awards and recognitions, including the Heritage Award from Southern Nazarene University, the “O” Award from Olivet Nazarene University, and the Cathedral Choir Heritage Award from Bethany First Church of the Nazarene.

He is preceded in death by his first wife Edith, granddaughter Amanda Moore, stepson Mark Rawlings, and nine brothers and sisters. He is survived by wife Nelda, daughter Kathy (Ron) Johns of Tulsa, son Phil (Donna) Moore of Bethany, son Harlan (Barbi) Moore of Oklahoma City, special nephew Dick (Ann) Moore of Mission Viejo, California, stepson Mike (Micki) Rawlings of Dallas, and stepdaughter-in-law Kelly Rawlings of Wichita. Surviving grandchildren include Lindsay Moore (Ken Marshall), step-grandchildren Ron (Brenda) Johns, Jr., and Michelle, Jessica, Shelby, and Gunnar Rawlings. Surviving siblings are sister Pauline Alexander of Covington, Ohio, and brother Gary (Marge) Moore of Kansas City.
The mention of "special nephew Dick (Ann) Moore of Mission Viejo, California" is me. This is very special to me as Ray had 33 nieces and nephews and he mentioned me. Of course, it was because I lived in his home for three years and the others didn't. But Ray was special to me too. He was my 3rd dad. My father (his brother, Leonard) passed away in 1940. From 1942-1949 I lived with Ray's mother and dad, Rev. and Mrs. J. I. Moore. In September 1949 I joined Ray's family.
I thought you'd be interested in reading about Ray's life. His sister, Pauline, has since passed away leaving only his brother, Gary Moore, still with us of the 12 kids.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Name Is The Same

Dick Moore meets Dick Moore at the Moore Family Reunion

Ever meet someone with the same name as you? I had the occasion to do just that at a family reunion of the Moores this last weekend.

My cousin, Eileen Nixon, set up a Moore Family Reunion at her retirement home in a special room for just such a purpose. Lunch was provided as we got a chance to chat with close and distant relatives from the Moore branch.

Go back two generations and you have the grandfathers of most of the ones that were there. Kids not included as I am a grandfather to two of the girls that attended this event. My grandfather was one of 12 kids in his family and he had 12 kids in his own family. So there are a lot of Moores out there. We had two of my grandfather's brothers represented at this reunion. Issac Pearl Moore, Howard Moore, and Jesse Irvin Moore (my grandfather) were part of that large family and had descendants at this luncheon.

Here is where the duplicate names come into play. Howard's grandson is Dick Moore. Jesse's grandson (me) is Dick Moore. Both of us were at this luncheon and met for the first time. I had heard of him before but never had an occasion to meet him. The other Dick Moore's dad was also Dick Moore. Getting confusing? I guess my name is more common than I thought. But when you have a lot of members of a family, they tend to use the same first names down the chain.

I'm Richard A. Moore. My son is Richard R. Moore. His son is Eric Richard Moore. Get the picture?

To add to the name confusion Richard R. Moore and Richard A. Moore are both married to Ann Moore except my son's wife spells her name with an "e" - Anne. Both couples live in Mission Viejo, California. He has received calls for me and I have received calls for him. Rick and I both sang bass in the Watchmen Gospel Quartet with Rick following his dad.
Sameness runs in our family.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Everything's Up To Date In Kansas City

I was 15 years old when I moved from Celina, Ohio to Kansas City, Missouri. I had lived with my grandparents from 1942 until September 1949 and my grandmother's health was failing. My brother, Ben, left right after his Junior year in high school to live with our mother in Muncie, Indiana. So I was alone for the first time in my life and needed another place to call home.

Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith Moore lived in Kansas City and was visiting Ray's parents which were my grandparents. They had a daughter, Kathy, who was 18 months old at the time. Kathy and I got along great and on the way back home to Kansas City, Edith asked Ray if they should take Dick into their home. Ray wrote me a letter which I still have in my memory box asking me to consider moving to Kansas City and finishing my high school years in their home. Ray was my dad's brother.

Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith - my new parents in Kansas City

I accepted their invitation and before I knew it, I was on a train to Chicago where I met up with another uncle, Dale, who accompanied me to Kansas City. I arrived in my new home just a few days before the school year was to start. My wardrobe was lacking in decent clothes and we went shopping. What I wore in Ohio just didn't work in Missouri!

Their home was a single story, two bedroom, one bath home. Kathy was sleeping in their bedroom and the music room (Ray taught voice) became my bedroom.

My new home on 67th Street in Kansas City, Missouri

It was obvious that something had to be done as Kathy was needing to be moved out of their bedroom and into one of her own. Ray began plans to "raise the roof" and add a second floor to the home. He became the contractor and the hired hand to do the job. He needed help on raising the roof but everything else he (and sometimes me) did the job. In time three bedrooms and a bath were added upstairs. They would need all three bedrooms after I left for college as Philip and Harlan were born to the family. Kathy, Philip, and Harlan had their bedrooms upstairs.

I spent my last three years in high school attending Southeast High School which is pictured below.

Southeast High School - attended there 1949 to 1952

I graduated from there in June 1952 and was off to Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California in the fall. I returned to Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith's home for the summer of 1953. When I returned to college, I never went back home for anything other than a short visit. I stayed in the "old" home when I went back in July 1955 to be married to Ann.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Early Days Of Television

I was born before television was a household word. We marveled at radio! How could they send the sound from New York City clear across the states to Los Angeles? Now add the picture and you can imagine our amazement.

Television was introduced to the general public at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City on Sunday, April 30, 1939. This is just before World War II started. So it had to take a back burner for development until after the war ended in 1945. The first station was in New York City and basically served a few people in that city. Not many sets were available elsewhere but time brought many manufacturers all over the USA to develop this unique entertainment vehicle.

At the World's Fair, visitors crowded together to watch NBC broadcasts or internal closed circuit demonstrations. Frequently, volunteers were escorted outside to the cameras and encouraged to wave at the folks inside. Television was such a novelty at the time that "I was televised" cards were handed out as a souvenir of the experience.

I lived in Kansas City, Missouri in 1949 when TV came to that city. Of course, the picture was in black and white only at that time. You had certain hours that you could watch anything. Programming went off the air with the National Anthem being played and sometimes a prayer by a local pastor. Then you got the test pattern which was used to adjust new sets. The first station there started just after I arrived in Kansas City. It was WDAF-TV Channel 4 and had it's start on October 16, 1949. Radio stations that started TV stations just added "TV" to their call letters. NBC radio station WDAF was the first to get a license to broadcast TV in that area. As there were few TV stations, they weren't affiliated with just one network but chose programs from all networks. WDAF-TV was affiliated with NBC, CBS, ABC and an independent called DuMont Network. The station later became the FOX Network station for that area. Randell Jessee was the first anchorman for the station and well known in the Kansas City area.

In early 1950 I caught double pneumonia and was bed fast at home while the doctor made daily house calls to save my life. Our teen group at Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene (NTO) rented a 7 inch round tube TV to keep me occupied. The only TV in the home! I later was able to buy the first TV for my aunt and uncle that I lived with there. A store was selling a few sets for a very low price if you got there in time and Uncle Ray did.

There were a few shows like Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater in 1948. He kind of pioneered the variety comedy show idea. In fact, NBC gave him an unheard of contract in 1951 for 30 years at $100,000 per hear to do 360 shows. When his TV show was cancelled, NBC had the obligation for the balance of his 30 year contract. But Milton Berle couldn't appear on any TV show on any other network during the contract. He was tied to NBC which he tried to get out of but they wouldn't let him. Minor players now get that amount or more per show and he had to settle for a yearly payment. Contrast his earnings with the last year of "Friends" where all six players received One Million Dollars per half hour each for 22 episodes ($22 Million per actor). What sounded great in 1951 became a noose around Uncle Miltie's neck.

When someone got a new television set, they also got a lot of visitors stopping by for a visit. It was so new that people couldn't get enough of television. What in the world did we do with our time before television came available?

Some of new television shows were:

Ed Sullivan's "Toast Of The Town" (variety show)
Your Hit Parade (countdown to the top songs of the week)
Arthur Godfrey (daytime talk show with guests)
Your Show Of Shows (Sid Caesar & Imogene Coco - Variety)
The Honeymooners (Jackie Gleason situation comedy)

There were some radio hits that moved to television:

Red Skelton, Jack Benny, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Fibber McGee & Molly, Bob Hope, Amos & Andy, and The Lone Ranger. These were just a few of them that I could think of quickly.

It was an exciting time in the entertainment industry. Television gave the movies a boost because the movies could be shown again in another medium. Think of all the actors who took a flat fee and didn't get residuals because they didn't know the movies would be shown again.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's Happening To Television?

EDITORIAL - One Bloggers Opinion

Recently we had the Emmys and I didn't watch it - neither did millions of others as they have lost their glow and interest. I checked the paper the next day and not ONE of the shows or the actors/actresses of those shows had I seen! This is a big departure from TV shows of the 50s, 60s, and even the 70s.

I can remember watching live shows in the 50s that were very entertaining and you didn't want to miss one week of those shows. We didn't have videotape or TIVO/DVR then so if you were out and missed it, you'd have to wait until the summer for the rerun. Did you know that shows had 39 new programs a year? Did you know that they were sponsored by ONE company which you related the product to the show/star? Remember Dinah Shore and "See the USA in your Chevrolet"? TV breaks didn't have 10-12 commercials each time which made it difficult to attach the product to the program or stars.

Another thing I noticed is that TV GUIDE pushes the shows that I don't watch or care anything about. It is becoming a Celebrity magazine with TV listings. I don't watch 90 percent of the shows they feature each week. That is why I am not renewing my subscription that I've had with them since the 1960s. I will write a letter to them returning their renewal form stating the reasons why we are parting company.

It seems to me that the writers of the shows now have to "push the envelope" on every moral issue trying to influence the general public to their way of thinking. Mostly in the gutter. Sex scenes are common place now. This is with anybody on the show - definitely not with a spouse. Nudity is being common place now. They are trying desperately to include foul language and make it acceptable as the normal talking that the average citizens do with each other. I guess I'm not average.

Every show now must have the token homosexual or lesbian and make it appear as "normal". Once I see that, I turn the channel and never look at that show again. This is why the shows that are popular today are not on my viewing list.

What do I watch? Golf and pro Lakers basketball. Some A&E channel shows like "The First 48 Hours" and "Dog, The Bounty Hunter". Some History channel shows like "Shockwave" and shows involving World War II stories. I love "Monk" and "Psych" on the USA channel. We watch "Little People, Big World" on the TLC channel. We enjoy "Dateline" and "48 Hours". I watch "The Unit" which is an exciting show. We enjoy "So You Think You Can Dance", "Dancing With the Stars", "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent". The only family type show we watch is "Everybody Hates Chris". I hope it stays as good as it is now but it is written by Chris Rock who is not known for this type of humor.

Television will not get better and you will have to be selective on what you watch on the main Network Channels like CBS, NBC, and ABC. A media watchdog called Parents Television Council is trying their best to improve quality of "Prime Time" shows but it is an uphill battle. We have been supporting them since they began soliciting support by a comedian named Steve Allen. Steve knew how to put humor in TV that was actually funny. He was disgusted with what was happening to his media and wanted to help make it better again.

I will be posting a story about my recollections of the early days of TV soon. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Nice Topping Of The Day

We used to attend a church called Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim right next to Disneyland. At the time, it was a large church with perhaps 3,000 regular attendees on the weekend. Ann and I were in the choir of 120 voices.

We were able to take a number of trips with this choir and this story is about one of those. The choir went to New York City and to Washington, D.C. in 1976, two weeks after the 200th anniversary of our country. We had opportunities to sing on the Capitol steps, at the Pentagon, and visit the White House lawn for a reception of the German Chancellor given by the then president, Gerald Ford.

But one thing stands out in my mind -- a thoughtful act on the part of a taxi driver on a rainy evening. We had some down time to do whatever we wanted and some of us went to the Smithsonian Institute. We visited the Centennial Building which housed the gifts to the USA from countries around the world on our 100th birthday - 1876. Fascinating place to see what was "new" in 1876.

Smithsonian Institute Centennial Building shown new in 1876.

It was raining when we came out of the building and we needed a cab to get us back to our sleeping quarters. There was a cab sitting right outside the building and I asked if he was for hire. He was. We had five of us and we asked him to give us a quick look at the capitol city as we didn't have much time there and wanted to see things -- like the Lincoln Memorial. He started the meter running and we went around the town seeing the sights from the cab as it was still raining.

Then he asked, "do you like ice cream? I know this great place in Georgetown that has the best ice cream!" I could just see the bill going higher but didn't notice that he had turned off the meter. So we went to an ice cream store and all of us including the driver enjoyed some great ice cream.

The driver engaged us in conversation all through the tour and enjoyed himself with us having some great ice cream. One of the gang. When he stopped where we were staying, I asked him what the charge was -- NOTHING! He said he had a great time sharing his city with us and we were the last fare of the evening for him.

Were we visited by an angel?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11 Thoughts & Remembrances

It has been seven years since 9-11-01 and the attack on America in New York City. I don't believe the people involved thought the Twin Towers would come down - just cause a panic and some loss of life and damage to buildings. I think they were surprised at what a group of 19 could do with hijacked airplanes by giving up their lives for 72 virgins each! Why punish the virgins too?

I have visited New York City twice in my lifetime and on both occasions have stood on top of one of the Twin Towers. In 1973 they were built. I was on a choir tour ( along with my family including Rick) on the East Coast in 1976 with Melodyland Christian Center choir. We had some down time in NYC and some of us decided to take the subway to the World Trade Center. The observation deck at that time was on the building with the TV tower (first one hit and second one to fall). It was outside on the roof with fence to keep you safe. It was night and we saw the Statue of Liberty lit up in the harbor. Quite a sight!

The second time was at the end of a cruise from Montreal to NYC in 1997. We hired a limo to take us to the various sites of interest including the World Trade Center. This time the observation deck was enclosed and at the top of the second tower hit and the first one to fall. This was during the daytime and we had a beautiful day to view Manhattan and the harbor with the Lady holding the torch. It's a sight that is forever etched in my mind. Picture taken from that position keep the memory alive.

View of the World Trade Center from the city and from observation deck.

On 9-11-01, I was called by my daughter to turn on the TV. The hole in the side of the building with fire and smoke coming out didn't compute in my head. How could a plane just fly into that building? At the time it was thought an accident but soon we found out the truth when the second tower was hit by a passenger jet airplane. We knew there would be loss of life and property damage but never dreamed those buildings would collapse due to the fire and weakening of the superstructure. I cannot imagine what the people felt when they knew they couldn't be rescued from that burning infernal and knowing they would meet their Maker soon. Thoughts of family and friends would have been paramount and not the things of this world that we accumulate. Puts life into perspective.

I'm very glad that I had the opportunity to visit those magnificent buildings before they were demolished. Put your memories of 9-11 in the Comments section.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Do You Want Me To Preach Too?

High School Graduation Picture 1952 Kansas City, MO

I grew up from age 9 to 15 in a small town of Celina, Ohio. My brother, Ben, and I lived with our grandparents and Grandpa was the pastor of the local Church of the Nazarene. In June of 1949, Ben left the home to live with our mother in Indiana. Grandmother's health was failing and in September I moved to Kansas City, Missouri to live with Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith Moore. I graduated from Southeast High School in 1952 and was making plans to attend Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California.

Rev. J. I. and Mattie Moore, my grandparents

My grandmother had passed away two years earlier. I wanted to visit my retired grandfather and my hometown one more time before leaving for California. I had my brother Ben's 1939 Pontiac (he was overseas in the Navy at this time) and I stopped in Muncie, Indiana to visit my mother and my younger brother Bob. I took Bob with me to Celina and up to Elkhart, Indiana to visit our sisters, Faye and Lenna who were living with other relatives.

Celina Ohio Church of the Nazarene 1948

We were able to spend a couple of days with Grandpa and visiting friends in Celina. On Sunday, we visited my former church and the then pastor who I had not met before asked me to sing a solo for the evening service. I was introduced in church as the grandson of Rev. J. I. Moore. The Moores had a reputation for being singers and he thought I was a singer also. I had never sung at that church and had sung solos only for the teen group at the church in Kansas City. I agreed to do it because there probably wouldn't be more than 50 people there that night. Then he asked me to do a duet with Helen Howell who I was talking to and who used to be my brother Ben's girl friend. OK we said. Then he asked me to lead the singing for the service and I asked him if he wanted me to preach also -- he asked "Could you?" I drew the line on that.

But my last visit to the church included participating in the entire music part of the evening service. Something I will never forget.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cornelius Richard Van Mattimore

WHO? Ever hear of that person? I haven't either but I was named after him! Actually he changed his name when he became a movie actor. He is know as Richard Arlen. Born on this day in 1898 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

During World War One Richard served in the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as a pilot. He never saw combat. After the war he drifted around and eventually wound up in Los Angeles, where he got a job as a motorcycle messenger at a film laboratory. When he crashed into the gates of Paramount Pictures and suffered a broken leg, the studio provided prompt medical attention. Impressed by his good looks, executives also gave him a contract after he recovered. How's that for an entrance?

He started in silent films as an extra. His big break came when William A. Wellman cast him as a pilot in the silent film "Wings" (1927) with Charles 'Buddy' Rogers and Clara Bow. The story of fighter aces would win the Oscar for Best Picture. In "Wings" he had a scene with a young actor named Gary Cooper. In 1929, he again worked with Cooper in the western "The Virginian" only this time Cooper was the star and Arlen was the supporting actor. These two films were the high point of his career. He made many 'B' pictures but nothing worth noting.

Married three times, he spent most of his life with Margaret Kinsella from 1945 to March 28, 1976 when he died of emphysema. He lived in North Hollywood, California.

My mother loved the name 'Richard Arlen'. So I became Richard Arlen Moore.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Radio -- Television Without Pictures

Television came into being in the late 1940s but few people had sets to receive the programs. I'll write about that in another post as this one is concerning radio.

Our entertainment in the 1930s and 1940s came from a small box that sat on a table in the living or dining room. Some had large radios that were floor models and more powerful to pull in stations far away. I remember our family radio in the dining room which became the center of our evenings. We could play games and listen to our favorite radio show at the same time.

We had only AM stations as FM hadn't been invented yet. All sets and car radios were tube types which took a little time to warm up before you could hear anything. Tubes had to be replaced when they burned out.

The "stars" of radio then were Fibber McGee & Molly, Lum & Abner, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Fred Allen, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Milton Berle, Perry Como, many Big Bands, and others. You never lacked for anything to listen to and wouldn't be embarrassed by anything said on the air. Each radio program was sponsored by ONE (1) sponsor. You identified with the star and the sponsor. Lux, Kraft, Chesterfield, Jello, Texico, Chase & Sanborne, etc. Now on television we have 10 commercials at every break and you really don't know who is sponsoring the program. Stars salaries have risen so much that it takes a lot of companies to put on one program.

There were dramas and adventure shows. One of my favorite was "The Lone Ranger". I remember sending off 10 cents and a box top for a map of the area he worked his magic so you could follow him through this place and that -- like you'd see on TV.

The picture was in your head. They would describe something and you'd come up with the picture. Imagination! You lost a lot and gained a lot when television came out.

When I was in college at Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California, we went to Hollywood on weekends to see TV and Radio shows by being in the audience and putting laughs on the program. The last radio show I went to was "The Bob Hope Show" at NBC. He interacted with the audience after the show. One person mentioned that his friend Bing Crosby wore a hair piece and wondered if Bob did. Mr. Hope asked him to come up on stage and each would pull the hair of the other. Brought some laughs on that one. "Our Miss Brooks" was another radio show we attended and got a chuckle out of Eve Arden playing a single person prominently pregnant at the time.

Radio now is mostly music and you listen most of the time in your car. Lots of types of music to choose from - your pick. Those were the days, my friend. I thought they would never end. But everything does.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Powell P-48 Model Scooter -- 1949/1950

Transportation Item Number 3

At the end of the school year in 1949, my brother Ben decided he would forgo his senior year of high school and move to Muncie, Indiana, to live with our mother. For the first time in my life, I was not living with a member of my immediate family. Ben and I had always been together. Faye, Bob, and Lenna went to other relatives homes and I saw little of them. Sometimes they didn't feel like family as we weren't raised together.

So, here I am alone with my grandparents in Celina, Ohio. One day I met an adult who had a P-48 Powell Motor Scooter for sale. This scooter cost $300 brand new in 1948 (a lot of money then) but he wanted to get rid of it. He offered it for $50. I told Grandpa about it and he said that wasn't possible and that I didn't understand what he wanted for the scooter. He said he wanted to see it and we'd decide if it was worth the amount he wanted. This scooter was perfect. When Grandpa asked him what he wanted for it, the man said $45. SOLD!

Now I had a Whizzer Motor Bike and a P-48 Powell Motor Scooter to get around on. Let me tell you about the Powell. This scooter could really go. I checked the speed with a friend driving a car (no speedometer on the scooter) and got it to 70 miles an hour! It had a 7 horse power motor that was kick started. No key for this one either - a switch to click and you kick start the engine. You could take this scooter if you knew how to ride it. A centrifugal clutch meant no shifting gears. Just give it more gas and away you go. It has a two gallon seat shaped tank (you sat on it with a cushion) and the scooter got 50 miles to a gallon of gas. 100 miles to a tank.

The Powell was made in Compton, California. Here I am in Ohio with a product that was made a few miles from where I now live in California. They are no longer in business. I think they made scooters through 1950 or 1951 and stopped business.

I never took a picture of this scooter. Another regret! So a few years ago I wrote to Reminisce Magazine to a feature they call "Can You Give Me A Hand?" and asked if anyone had a picture of the P-48 Powell. I got seven or eight responses and one even sent me the Parts List of this model which included the picture below. I corresponded with a fellow from Northern California by email for a while. He had a 1950 model which looks more like a small motorcycle. He sent me a picture of it. We exchanged stories of our riding memories and I lost contact with him. If any of you reading this had one of these scooters, let me know in the Comments section at the end of this story.
That summer, Grandma became ill and it was difficult for her to be responsible for a 15 year old as well as her husband. So another home was needed for me. (Grandma passed away the following summer.) In September 1949 I moved to Kansas City, Missouri to live with an uncle and aunt. I had to decide what I was going to do with the two items of transportation that I had. I sold the Whizzer Motor Bike to a fellow Daily Standard newspaper delivery boy named Paul Shiverdecker for $100. He was happy and so was I. I shipped the Powell to my new home and used it around Kansas City. I rode it in the winter and got double pneumonia which nearly took my life at age 15. Another story - another post. I rode the scooter to school and parked it on the street. Again, no one ever took it without my permission. Something that couldn't happen today. During 1950 the scooter broke down and I gave it to Uncle Bob who lived in Indiana. He was very handy with machines. The last thing I heard it was in his garage still not fixed. I don't know what happened to it.

I was very fortunate to have the funds to afford these items for my personal pleasure. Grandpa was supportive and helped me to keep them in working order. I had freedom to get around the town and into the surrounding countryside. It was handy in Kansas City as well. I never had a license plate on either of my toys or registered with the DMV as you now have to do. Of course, at age 15, I didn't have a driver's license either. That is needed today. Too much bureaucracy now! A kid can't be a kid anymore! Oh yeah - no helmet!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Whizzer Motor Bike -- 1948-1949

Transportation Item Number 2

I lived with my grandparents in a small town in Ohio named Celina. Probably had no more than 5,000 people in it then and you could easily get around the entire town. Before I got my bicycle, I used to walk everywhere.

Something about a little town in the 1940s -- no one ever thought of putting locks on their bicycles. You could leave them anywhere and they would be there when you were ready to go again. I never had a key to the house. We may have locked it at night when we went to sleep but I don't recall that. People respected your property.

I bought a magazine called Popular Mechanix probably for 15 cents or so and used to look at the ads in the back. I saw that someone in Pennsylvania had a Whizzer Motor Bike kit for sale - used. Total cost $60. You had to supply the bike and install it yourself. Since I had the money, Grandpa sent the $60 to the address and in a couple of weeks the motor and accessories arrived. I traded my Schwinn bicycle for one that the kit would fit and Grandpa and I put it together.

The Whizzer didn't have a key for security. Anyone who knew how to start it and ride the motor bike could do so. We never gave it a thought that anyone would do that without permission. I kept it in an unlocked garage seen behind my cousins in this picture.
My Whizzer with cousins Norm Reynolds and Dave Ummel. Their mothers were my father's sisters. We used to get a lot of company stopping by for a day to visit my grandparents (their parents) so I got to meet a lot of my cousins. There were 12 children and 36 grandchildren which meant I had 31 cousins. There were 5 kids in my family.

The Whizzer could go 35 miles an hour and get 125 miles per gallon of gas. It had a one gallon tank. Gas was probably 15 cents a gallon so that was not an expense to worry about. I remember one day my best friend, Tom Keifer, and I rode to a town 5 miles away and went to a motion picture show to see "Pride Of The Yankees" about baseball player Lou Gehrig starring Gary Cooper. This is my favorite movie. I have it on tape. The Whizzer was parked outside the theater unlocked and was there when we came out. Imagine that today!

I directed the Moore Family Reunion of 1993 held in the Oklahoma City area. The planning took me 18 months and about $2,000 of my own money but I felt it was worth the effort to get the family together one last time. I will write about this event in another post but there really is a connection to this story. After the long weekend reunion, I needed some down time. Ann and I drove over to Branson Missouri to see some of their shows and relax. One afternoon we were walking through a very interesting store of "things of yesteryear" and I remarked to Ann that the only thing this store lacks is a Whizzer Motor Bike. I turned a corner and there it was -- a beautifully restored Whizzer with the original price tag on it -- $100. The current price was $4,995. I remember selling mine for $100! The Whizzer company had been out of business since the early 1950s and the only way you could get one of these then was to find a restored one.

The company has been back in business for a few years now and you can check it out on . A new one with up to date technology runs about $2,000 today. They would be great for a small town with little traffic but not practical for a city of any size over 25,000 people. Too dangerous. Not enough power. But great to ride!

This is a picture of a new Whizzer from their website.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

My Teen Transportation - Schwinn Bicycle

This was not my Schwinn bicycle - just a picture of one I found on the WEB.

Transportation Item Number 1

I mentioned in an earlier post that my brother, Ben, and I shared a bicycle during the early 1940s. That was because skinny rubber tires where hard to get making bicycles hard to get also. Our grandfather was fortunate to buy a new bike for us to share.

I was a newspaper delivery boy from 1943 to 1949 for The Daily Standard in Celina, Ohio. I was able to make money to support my "habits" and help pay my own way. I saved everything I could during these years in order to buy tangible things that would last me and make my life more enjoyable.

Right after World War II ended, my Uncle Carlan came home from the service to Celina and later offered me his Schwinn balloon tire bicycle for $30. I grabbed at it as I needed my own bicycle to do the paper route that I had walked up to this time. It was used, of course, but in excellent condition.

Recently a Teaching Pastor of Saddleback Church, Doug Fields, mentioned in a sermon that he had a bike from Montgomery Wards and then asked how many in the crowd had a "Schwinn". Of course there were a lot of us and he then made some remark about the "rich kids" had Schwinns. He was from the other side of the tracks! Schwinn was a very popular brand and was more expensive but not that much.

I had that bike until I bought a kit for a Whizzer Motor Bike that needed a different design than the Schwinn in order for the motor to fit. So I traded it for one that we could put the engine and accessories on. That story is next in my "Transportation" series.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Say Cheese! Big Smile Everyone!

Disney Cruise Item Number 6

Formal Night Family Picture - Dick, Ann, Hannah, Rachel, Brenda, Scott

One of the features of a cruise is that you will have your picture taken a lot of times. You don't have to buy even one of them. But they are hard to resist especially when they are great shots of everyone in the picture. I wonder how many pictures are thrown away after each cruise.

The ships photographers are busy all day and evening long. Taking and printing pictures and posting them on screens for you to look at and buy. Some are informal like at your table in one of the restaurants. Some are formal settings that they put up backdrops in the main lobby and you can stop and have the picture taken or not. Up to you. The formal pictures on Formal Night are keepers if you have dressed up for the occasion. Many do for that night. It is also the night you can get your picture take with the Captain. He's dressed up -- why not you?

Formal Night With The Captain.

Theme nights also provide a reason for picture taking by the professionals of your family. We had Pirate Night, Formal Night, and Informal Night. The rest were Casual Nights with some picture taking going on. Since this is a kid's cruise, we had a Character's Breakfast where the Disney Characters came to your table and got their picture with your kids taken on your camera - no professional pictures. I'll post some of our pictures later.

Included below are several formal and informal pictures taken of our family.

Pirate Night - A lot of people dressed up for this one!

Formal and Casual shots of the family. It's nice to have these to remember your cruise by and share with others.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

An Evening With Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman with his two Oscars for Mary Poppins.

Disney Cruise Item Number 5

We were fortunate to have been on the same cruise as Richard and Elizabeth Sherman. He doesn't take these that often but Richard had a working vacation cruise with his family which happened to be the same one we were on. One of the evening shows featured him at the piano demonstrating and telling stories about his career in songwriting.

Who is Richard Sherman? The soundtrack of our childhood resonates with beloved songs written by the Sherman Brothers. Richard and his brother Robert. Their career spans almost 50 years and includes two Academy Awards for Walt Disney's "Mary Poppins" - Best Score and "Chim Chim Cher-ee" - Best Song. Other musical honors include three Grammy Awards, 24 gold and platinum albums, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and introduction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

1960 marked the start of a phenomenal multi-year association with film producer Walt Disney, during which time they composed over 150 songs for his films, TV shows, and theme parks. Their Disney credits include the films "Jungle Book," "The Parent Trap," "Bedknobs and Broomsticks," "The Sword in the Stone," "The Aristocats," "The Happiest Millionaire," the "Winnie the Pooh" films, and of course, "Mary Poppins," among many others.

The Sherman Brothers worked directly for Walt Disney until Disney's death in 1966. Since leaving the company, the brother songwriting team has worked freelance on scores of motion pictures, television shows, theme park exhibits, and stage musicals. There is always Sherman Brothers music playing somewhere on the globe through such beloved attractions as "Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room," "It's a Small World" (whose unforgettable and often parodied title song is considered among the most translated and performed songs on earth), "The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh," and "Carousel of Progress".

In 2000, The Sherman Brothers wrote the song score for Disney's blockbuster film: The Tigger Movie. This film marked the brothers first major motion picture for the Disney company in over 28 years.

Since 2002, Robert Sherman has lived in London, England. He moved from Beverly Hills while Richard remained in California. Surprisingly however, the separation has not impeded the brothers collaborative process. The brothers have credited this to the technological advents of fax machines, email, and low cost international telephone service. Also, both brothers travel between Los Angeles, New York, and London frequently which also facilitates their work. Since Robert's move, the brothers have continued to collaborate on various musical plays. Richard Sherman said that he would "never" retire! He loves what he does and that keeps him a young 80 year old.

One afternoon he gave a question and answer meeting where the audience could ask him anything and even get a musical rendition of the song they asked about. One of the most asked question was "How did you make up the word Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Here is his answer:

"That's a word we sort of concocted from our childhood when we used to make up double talk words. In the screenplay version of Mary Poppins we wanted her to give the children a gift they could bring back with them from inside the chalk drawing when they came out into the real world. If it was a tangible thing like a seashell or pine cone it would disappear. So we said, 'Remember when we used to make up the big double talk words', we could make a big obnoxious word up for the kids and that's where it started. Obnoxious is an ugly word so we said atrocious, that's very British. We started with atrocious and then you can sound smart and be precocious, we had precocious and atrocious and we wanted something super colossal and that's corny, so we took super and did double talk to get califragilistic which means nothing, it just came out that way. That's in a nut shell what we did over two weeks. All together you get Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

(The above information was found on the internet but he discussed all of this in his meetings.)

Our family had the privilege of running into the Shermans several times and they began to consider us friends. They would stop and talk to us when we met up and even consented to be included in our family picture in our Pirate's makeup for Pirate Theme Night.
Richard & Elizabeth Sherman with Dick & Ann and the Ostranders being pirates!

His last working public appearance on the ship was an autograph session which was scheduled for 45 minutes. It ran 1 hour and 45 minutes. Our granddaughters, Hannah and Rachel, stayed in line holding number 80 (out of 100) until they could get him to sign his autograph and get pictures with him. He took all the time you needed and was very gracious to everyone. His wife, Elizabeth, was there waiting and came over to talk to us once more. They are a very humble couple and someone you would like to know.

Hannah & Rachel with Richard Sherman at autograph session.

The latest DVD version of Mary Poppins has a long addition with Richard Sherman talking, demonstrating, and interviewing giving viewers and insider's look at making the film. Worth picking up for the additional information.