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.
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.