Sunday, March 30, 2008

Big Hand Of Welcome

This was a reply to me from my Uncle Gary (Gerald Moore) in 2005 at my request for the story of an incident that happened to me as a child of 5 years old. The picture above was taken at my grandparent's 35th wedding anniversary in 1939 in Troy, Ohio, when I was that age. I am the shy lad on the front row fourth from the right. So this BLOG item was written by a guest blogger, Uncle Gary, who is 9 1/2 years older than I. He has the distinction of being born on Halloween. Biggest scare his mother ever got! Gary was the last of 12 kids of my grandparents. He is the last one of his family still living.
Dear Nephew,
Let me say first that you are very special person to me. As I have reviewed many times what you had to face by way of adjustment as a youngster, it warms my heart to see what you have accomplished with your life. You applied yourself so totally to all that you did, and more than once mutely challenged your uncle. You were remarkably free of upset and retaliation for any sort of wrongs. I loved to see you when you were elated about something ... your eyes became saucers, and your smile or laugh were like a morn in spring. I remember that you liked jello fervently! Once in particular, you came to the table, and seeing said commodity on the table, you lit up and almost shouted, "Oh boy ... JELLO!"

But my fondest memory is what took place one children's day program ... you were likely only five or six. You were supposed to greet and welcome everybody at the start. You had several lines which I can't remember, but you were supposed to say, "So I want to give everybody a great big hand of welcome". To make it graphic, somehow they had found a very large, hollow papier mache hand which fit over and dwarfed your hand. I could tell by the look on your face that you were a bit ill at ease, and when you didn't start your speech, I knew that your memory had left you. You had your hand behind you up until then, but in your distress, it crept around in front of you, and with your arm hanging down, the big hand fell off and hit the floor. Most of the kids went into laughter. Suddenly you came out of the blank look and joined in with the mirth, and breaking into a laugh yourself, you reached down, picked up the big hand, and tossed it a couple of feet into the air. The kids loved it! You reached down and picked up the hand again, and with utter glee, tossed it up as high as you could! As you were reaching for the hand again and the kids were "egging" you on, your daddy decided that maybe he had better go and get his little boy and take him back to the pew. It was beautiful! But I'm sure that everyone felt welcome.


UPDATE: I don't remember this incident. I lost my dad the next year (1940) to an illness that is curable today but wasn't then. He was 31 and I don't have any memory of him. Of course, Gary remembers his brother, Leonard, very well. He has been filling me in on some things that he recalls.

In the second row third from the right standing is my brother Ben who was two years older than I. My grandparents, Rev. Jesse I. and Mattie Moore are in the center. Behind my grandmother is my mother, Evelyn Moore. My dad is behind her right shoulder holding a sibling of mine which I believe is my brother, Bob. I have a sister, Faye, in the picture somewhere at age 2 but I don't know which one she is. Could be in the front row left. My sister, Lenna, came to the family in 1940, two months after our dad's passing. Uncle Gary is fourth row left. There eventually were 36 grandchildren giving me 31 cousins.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Model T Ford Opportunity

I attended Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California in 1953 and was fortunate enough to have my brother's car for transportation. Toward the end of my Freshman year, I got a knock on my dorm door from one of the guys across the hall. He was on a committee that was planning the rally for elections for the next school year and was in charge of getting a donated 1913 Model T Ford to the campus. However, he didn't have a car and asked me to drive him to Monrovia which was about seven miles away.

We arrived and when he saw what he was to drive, he said no way! Never drove one of those before! I think he was expecting something like the Model A which drove like cars of that day but the Model T was quite different. This car had a hand crank to start it. Three pedals on the floor instead of the usual two. One was the brake of course. One was reverse gear and one was two forward gears -- push down for first and let up for second. The emergency brake was also the clutch. The gas feed was on the steering column as well as the advanced spark needed on this car. So coordinating all this took all your attention.

I asked the owner how to drive it because I had never done it either but was game for trying. He briefly explained all the details and then I took off without any further assistance from the owner. Would you let your prize antique car leave with someone who had never driven one before? And not go through a test drive first?

I drove the Model T and my college friend drove my car back to the campus. This was through many lights and traffic. After we arrived on campus, two students got in the back in red and white outfits with posters and we drove all over the campus getting everyone excited about the elections. You will find our full page picture in the Model T on page 121 of the 1953 La Sierra yearbook. That was the only day I have ever driven a Model T Ford. I bought a model of the 1913 Model T Ford for my home as a reminder of that interesting day.

I am barely visable in the picture above behind the wheel. This was not the picture in the yearbook but taken at the close of the rally.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

FDR's Little White Book

The January 2008 issue of Guideposts magazine had an article concerning a Bible that was given out in 1941 to all service personnel in the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

The inscription on the flyleaf read:

January 25, 1941

To the Armed Forces:

As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attending the highest aspirations of the human soul.

Very sincerely yours,
Franklin D. Roosevelt

You will note that this Bible was given out before we were at war with Japan and Germany. This white book was apparently the entire Bible.

I have a brown one that is just the New Testament, Proverbs, and Psalms given to me by my Uncle Carlan for my 10th birthday in 1944. He received it while serving in the Army. It has the same inscription.

Ann made a card in September 2003 using the picture of the inscription page on the cover. Inside she put the following message to President George W. Bush, then Commander-in-Chief.

President George W. Bush,

The picture on the front is of a New Testament that was given to me in 1944 for my 10th birthday. It was given to me by my uncle, Carlan Moore. This was my first 'Bible". Uncle Carlan was in the Army Air Force during World War II. This New Testament was given to all in uniform at the time. I am including the inscription from my uncle which says "When you grow, this will be as good as ever". I have grown to appreciate and live by these words my entire life. Carlan just passed away at the age of 89.

President Roosevelt gave a message to all service personnel that is included on this card. It was heartwarming to me to note that he, as Commander-in-Chief, believed in God and was bold enough to say so.

You also have shown your faith to the world which I admire from our President and Commander-in-Chief. Mr. President, you are doing a fantastic job and I am very proud of you, our service personnel, and our country. My prayer is that you will be allowed to continue for a second term.

Dick Moore

I received the following letter in reply --

September 29, 2003
Mr. Dick Moore
21345 Carabela
Mission Viejo, CA 92692-4995
Dear Mr. Moore:
Thank you for your kind words of support.
As President of the United States during this time of great consequence, I am honored to lead our country. I am also pleased with the progress we are making in America as we continue to reform domestic programs, secure our homeland, and work to extend peace and freedom around the world.
I appreciate your support as we continue to work on many issues that are important to Americans. Laura joins me in sending our best wishes.
George W. Bush
UPDATE: Yes, he did get a second term. And no, I am not pleased with everything that he has done as president. But, the alternative would have been much worse for America as I see it.
I have been on the White House Christmas Card List every since he was president. I am honored to have them and will keep them for historical purposes as well as this letter.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Then ... And Now

No, this isn't about our son, Rick Moore, and his group, Crimson River Quartet! Their new CD is entitled "Then ... And Now".

My "Then" was 1952-1953 and "Now" is 2007-2008. I'm referring to my first year of college and Emily's (our granddaughter and Rick's daughter) first year of college.

There are a lot of things that have changed over the past 55 years as far as attending college is concerned. Here are a few of them.

1. I attended a small private church sponsored college called Pasadena Nazarene College (PNC). In 1973 they re-located to the San Diego area and is now known as Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU). PNC had approximately 1,200 students which included a high school academy. Emily attends Sonoma State University which has approximately 8,000 students. Quite a difference there.

2. Because PNC was partially supported by the Church of the Nazarene, my full time (16 units) tuition was $250 a semester or $500 a school year. Yes, I went through all four years for approximately $2,000 in tuition. Emily's is slightly more than that! I don't know exactly what but it is in the many thousands per semester and this is a state sponsored school as apposed to a private college. And yes,PLNU is also in the many thousands per semester to attend now. More than Sonoma.

3. Gasoline was 19 cents a gallon and now it is over $3.60 a gallon. The cost of a first class stamp was 3 cents and now 41 cents going to 42 cents in May. You could get a good meal for under a dollar and now you are lucky to find one for 8 or 9 dollars. We (Ann and I) used to go to a small eatery and get a taco and a Pepsi (in the bottle) for 50 cents per person. Total one dollar for the two of us! Try that today even at Taco Bell. Our favorite eating place was Bob's Big Boy in Pasadena where we got a good hamburger, fries, and a thick shake you had to eat with a spoon for a very reasonable price.

4. Communication with the outside world was by a pay telephone down the hall in the dorm where anyone walking by when it rings would answer and yell out for whoever is needed. Now everyone has a cell phone on their person and can be contacted at any time. We still wrote letters back then to people at home or friends wherever they might be. Some were in the service of our country as the Korean Conflict was going at the time and so was the draft. Now we "talk" by e-mail and everyone in school has an e-mail address given to them by the school so professors can get current information to them as soon as possible. WOW! Who would have thought that would happen?

5. Emily even has a BLOG to keep everyone up to date as to what she is doing and thinking. She includes pictures. Family and friends can call up the site daily to get the latest Emily connection. Another one of those "WOW" things.

6. In 1952, reports and themes were written on a typewriter. I had a portable one that came in handy for the many themes and reports that were required in college. However, Emily has a MAC laptop computer (gift from Nana and Papa) to do her items requiring a nice printed page. When I made a mistake, I had to do the whole thing over. If I needed multiple copies, we had carbon paper to assist. Emily just asked the computer for as many copies as she needs. And corrections are done quickly and without writing the whole thing over. Besides that, her computer gives her e-mail access with the world as well as a method to update her BLOG whenever she wants to do so.

7. Capturing the events of your life in college requires a camera. I had a small film camera that took black and white pictures 12 to a roll outdoors (no flash). So you pick and choose what you want to remember and not forget to have enough film with you to take all the pictures you desire. Emily has a digital camera with hundreds of image capacity that takes color pictures with flash and she never has to worry about "do I have enough film". And she gets to see her picture immediately after taking the shot to see if she needs to retake one. Her pictures are downloaded onto her computer and she can keep what she wants deleting those she doesn't want. From my time in college, this is another "WOW"!

8. I was able to put myself through college by working part time in a coffee shop as dishwasher. Paid all my bills and even had a few dollars left for fun. You can't do that today. Loans are the choice many have to resort to if you don't have parents who can afford to pay your bills.

9. My first year I had my brother's car -- a 1939 Pontiac. See the posting entitled "Built-In Speed Regulator". The second year my roommate had a 1937 Plymouth that he allowed me to use when needed. During my Junior year I bought a 1947 Plymouth that had 50,000 miles on it and a re-built motor. Paid $495 for it. What can you get for that price today? My car was 7 years old then. So go back 7 years and you are looking at a 2001 car. You will pay 10 times what I did for the same thing.

10. When I graduated in 1956, Rick was with us having made his appearance two months before my graduation. I bought an endowment insurance policy that would pay his college -- $2,000. HA! When he attended PLNU in 1974, we were paying $307 a month for his college! At this time that is cheap! I bet he wished he could pay that price for Emily's education.

These are just a few of the differences between my first year of college and Emily's first year. Times change. What will it be like 55 years from now?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

3 Things To Ponder: Cows, The Constitution, The Ten Commandments


Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our Government could track a single cow, born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the state of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.


They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.


The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this. You cannot post Thou Shall Not Steal, Thou Shall Not Lie, and Thou Shall Not Commit Adultry, in a building full of judges, lawyers, and politicians.

It creates a hostile work environment.

Thanks to my cousin, Kathy Johns, for this e-mail on Ponderisms.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"TUCKER" - The Man And His Dreams

In 1988 a movie was made concerning Preston Tucker and his unique automobile. This brought back memories of my youth growing up in Celina, Ohio. I was a newspaper boy and read an article concerning a revolutionary new car that was going to be displayed in our little town of 5,000 people. I was 14 at the time.

Getting close to driving age and generally interested in cars anyway, I grabbed my Ansco box camera and joined the crowd to look over this new concept in automobiles. The styling was far superior to any cars out in 1948, starting with the distinctive three headlight front with the middle light turning as the steering wheel turns to follow the road. No other car has attempted that innovation to date.

This new car concept also included many innovations that have been adopted by the large manufacturers since Preston Tucker brought out his unique automobile. These include trunk in front, engine in rear, seat belts, disc brakes, fuel injection, and several more. Unfortunately the big three made it impossible for him to mass produce this car and only fifty (50) were made.

I feel honored to have been able to see one in person and take this picture when the Tucker was introduced to the public. If you haven't seen the movie, you can rent it from your video outlet. I recommend it. But watch all the way through the credits -- they show actual pictures of the people and places in the background.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


In another post I mentioned how to turn your "job" into a "career". This is an open letter that I had available at my retirement party May 23, 1996. After spending 37 years with State Farm, I related to everyone what I did that made my "job" a "career". Perhaps some of this can be used in the profession that you have chosen to pursue.
March 3, 1958 -- a day that seems like such a short time ago and yet at times so long ago! Probably a date before many of you were born. Or perhaps you were in grade school then.

You see, that is the day that I walked up to 1727 West 17th Street, Santa Ana and began a job -- not a career -- just a job. It was to pay my bills for a while and there was no thought that this would be the company that I'd receive a retirement check in the future. But days kept following days, months and years kept piling up until we have reached 1996. Where has all that time gone?

When I start reviewing my "career" year by year, it becomes clear to me that the years indeed have flown by. One committee after another. One special project or event after another. They are all there to remind me that it has been a busy work life and a fulfilling one at that. State Farm gave me the opportunity to use my skills and abilities and to gain new ones by being offered a special job or project to complete.

In a way, I guess I'm one of the "pioneers" of State Farm. The company was approaching 5 million auto policies in force when I started. Our office, the Southern California Regional Office, was the 12th regional office to be built and was just three years old when I joined it. We were sewing papers to the backs of applications, pulling those apps and x-cards (what are those?) for every piece of correspondence and phone call received because we had no computer retention at that time. What do you do when you can't find the app? Put it on the Hunt List which could get up to 20 pages daily. Took more time to check the hunt that to process the work. We "punched" cards by keypunch machine to enter the policy and rating information into the computer system so that renewal billings and policy records could be printed. Then we had to print the policies on a printing press in each division! I'm not talking about a copy machine -- a printing press!

Ever hear of "Freq Sheets"? Those are claim frequency sheets that were attached to each app to record the loss history. This was hand written by the underwriter after reviewing the actual claim file. If a policy went inactive, the sheets were removed from the app and attached to an alpha inactive card so we would have the information if a reinstatement came later.

So much of our work is automated today that it is hard to relate to the "good old days". Apps are now on film, loss histories are kept on the system, changes to policies require very little input, and everyone has the latest information at their fingertips through their terminal or work station. We wouldn't have believed this would be possible back then. And E-Mail -- that's another story!

On July 1, 1996, I will close out a 37 year career with this company. I have had the opportunity to serve the employees in a number of committees over the years. Some of the time it was just a part of the committee and other times I was appointed to lead the committee. I served the Activities Committee as Treasurer, Retirement Chairman, and President. I was involved in the Anniversary Party Committees many years and was Co-Chairperson for the 1980 party which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Southern California Region. I was appointed the Pilot Team Supervisor to develop the first team for our region and prepare the office for the conversion upon the teams success. The Editorial Board, Credit Union Committees, Agent's University, RAMAC Zone Team, Mesa Clerical Workshop Day -- all were a part of my work life. The State Value Committee was formed and I served as Chairman for the two years it assisted the divisions. The Class Plan CP95 Team prepared us for this new ratings system which took most of my time in 1995 as Team Leader.

Why am I listing these? It's not to heap any recognition on me but to let you know what changes a "job" into a "career". It isn't time. It's involvement! It's in giving of your time to make a difference. The more you do, the more opportunities you will have to contribute. Don't just let "George do it" but volunteer yourself.

There are many changes on the horizon. Many opportunities for involvement. Now it is your turn to make a difference. We pioneers brought State Farm to it's present position of leadership and it is your turn to take it even further. Find a place to serve and do it to the best of your abilities. You will enjoy your work more, make new friends, show management that you are capable of more challenging projects, and believe me, the time will fly by faster than you expect it to.

Keep State Farm strong. Keep the retirement plan strong. Most important -- keep taking care of the policyholders who keep us in business.

Thank you for being a part of my life.

Dick Moore, Auto Operations Supervisor

UPDATE: Reviewing this I can see many other changes that have taken place. The building that I had my retirement party is now gone. It stood near the 405 Freeway and Harbor Blvd and was replaced by many Design Center buildings. The operations moved to Bakersfield with some claim functions still in rented facilities in Irvine. They no longer use film as everything is stored digitally in the computer systems. E-mail is a major part of every one's day now. But opportunities still exist! The Pilot Team project started as a So Cal study and expanded into the entire company. Very successful project!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's A God-Thing -- Divine Appointment

This story was originally posted on in September 2007.
Once a week I spend 3 or 4 hours on the golf course to clear the cobwebs out and to get some exercise honing my golf skills. On Thursday afternoon (9-13-07) I visited a favorite course, David L. Baker Executive Golf Course in Fountain Valley. I used to have a regular game with a friend of many years but we haven't been playing for a few weeks.

So I join anyone who is available or go out by myself if the course isn't too busy. It was really busy Thursday and I was teamed up with a grandfather and his grandson. We said our usual "hellos" and started play. The grandfather was from the San Francisco area and was visiting his daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. They decided to go out for a game of golf on a very nice day.
As we traveled around the various holes we had time to wait and engaged in conversation. I mentioned I have four grandchildren and one was in college. It was in his area of the state and he knows the college well. I mentioned she was involved in music and plays the flute, piccolo, and Irish Whistle. She is now learning the piano in college. The grandfather's name is Joe Linn and he has been in music all his life as a quartet member, church music arranger, and has a singing group called "The Joe Linn Trio". We were off and running on what each of us has been doing for our entire lives.

I mentioned I was a founding member of The Watchmen Gospel Quartet and sang with them for 11 years turning my bass singing part over to my son, Rick, who held it for 8 years before starting his own group - Crimson River Quartet. I've been involved in choral music for many years up to 1998 and have sung solos, duets, trios, quartets, ensembles, choirs, and was for eighteen months involved with a semi-professional chorale called Masterworks Chorale. Joe's involvement kind of followed the same pattern. He was 14 and I was 15 when each of us sang in our first quartet.

We started to find common ground and even people we both knew. Joe asked where I attend church and I menioned Saddleback Valley Community Church. Even though 20,000 attend there every weekend, he asked if I knew his son-in-law, Tim Davis. I know who Tim is and I have talked to him a couple of times but Tim wouldn't know who I was. Might recognize me if he saw me but not by name. Tim works with the music department of the church and specializes in vocal training for specials. He sometimes leads the singing. He has a great voice and does a fine job leading the contemporary songs that dominate the music program. The grandson I played golf with is Tim's son, Christian, age 10.

We found another connection with Bob Krogstad who arranged and produced a Christmas CD called "A Christmas Celebration". He knew Mr. Krogstad. I worked on the CD in a group called "Long Beach Festival Singers" that became "Masterworks Chorale" led by Ron Colvard.

I said the Watchmen Quartet started at the Garden Grove Church of the Nazarene. He said he has done a lot of church music arranging for Lillenas Publishing Company of Kansas City which is the music company sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene. Well, I asked if in his dealings with Lillenas he has met Harlan Moore who had a very responsible position with that company. Joe said he had been with Harlan many times and knew him very well. Harlan is my cousin. His dad was my "dad" for the last three years of high school in Kansas City.

I was able to share with Joe that Harlan's wife, Barbi, was having surgery the next day for a brain tumor that has returned after five years. Joe also knew Barbi and will keep her in his prayers for healing and recovery. Joe had cancer surgery two years ago and could understand what Barbi is going through.

Joe Linn was here to help his son-in-law arrange and produce a personal CD. Joe is an Executive Pastor in his community church in the Bay Area.

Small World - but connected.

UPDATE: I have Tim Davis' CD that Joe worked on and it is great. It is a Christmas solo album titled "Christmas Dreaming". You can check it out on .

Saturday, March 1, 2008

An Anniversary - 50 Years Ago Today

Today, March 3rd, I celebrate another milestone anniversary. It was 50 years ago today that I started my job at State Farm Insurance in Santa Ana, California. It's an interesting story about how I got that job.

I was working in Maywood (Los Angeles) at the Fluor Corporation in Expediting of materials to the various jobsites that the company was working around the globe. They built refineries, asphalt plants, etc. The year was 1958 and we were experiencing a recession in America. Work was very light - in fact if I had all that I would be doing that day at 8:00 a.m., I could be done by 8:45 a. m. You can see it was a very boring time for employees. Layoff time couldn't be very far away.

The manager called me into his office that week and said that I would be laid off in a week and that I needed to find another job. I could use my sick days (hadn't been off in the 11 months there) if I had an appointment. Just call in that I did indeed have an appointment and do my best to convince the people that I need to come to work for them. I went to an employment agency (if you get a job, you pay a fee) and they sent me to Allstate Insurance Company for an interview. The person I saw said that he didn't know why they sent me as there were NO job openings at all at Allstate. He suggested I go to State Farm Insurance and see if they have anything. I said "State Who?" At that time I didn't recall ever hearing about State Farm.

I called and got an appointment for an interview at State Farm the next day. Since the employment agency wasn't involved, I didn't have to pay for the job. I got hired that day and had to take a physical the next morning. Two days out of the five that week I was off my job at Fluor and returned the last three days to complete my work record with them. I started the following Monday which was March 3, 1958, at State Farm Insurance, 1727 West 17th Street, Santa Ana, California.

I was hired at $5 more a month because of "my experience" and that brought my monthly gross salary to $326 a month. Quite a drop from the $390 I was making at Fluor. You know what? That day as I started my training as a Service Trainee in the Los Angeles Auto Division they offered me up to 20 hours a week overtime at time and a half! So for the next six months I was able to get my regular hours in plus 20 extra overtime hours which paid the bills for my young family.

At the time my family consisted of Ann, Rick (age 23 months) and myself (age 23 years). Brenda came along in 1959 to complete the family.

I spent 37 years with this "job" and retired July 1, 1996. I took 16 months off State Farm after I had been there 11 years to try my luck at personal investment and insurance selling which was a disaster. Returned to State Farm and completed my working years. I will tell you how to change a "job" into a "career" in another posting.

The picture above was taken on my first day at State Farm for my Personnel file.