Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Is It Still A Vacation If You're Retired?

Ann and I are going on a vacation with our daughter and her family for a week of cruising down to Mexico. We are taking a Disney cruise starting Sunday which stops at three ports and returns to San Pedro. No flying! Just the crazy drivers on the 405 Freeway.

Brenda, Scott, Hannah and Rachel have taken this same ship two times before in the last two years. Both Caribbean cruises -- East & West. Now Disney has brought this ship over for the Summer to cruise the Mexican Riviera. They wanted Nana and Papa to join them on this cruise so we will be taking our 9th cruise and the first one since 1999.

We don't plan on getting off the ship at any of the ports -- Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. We've been to Mexico five times before and have no desire to see any more of that country. We are taking this cruise to be with the family.

I will not be posting anything on this BLOG while I am away. After we return and I have time to write, I will let you know what a great time we had. Hopefully some pictures to share with you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ansco Box Camera

I bought my first camera in 1948 while living with my grandparents in Celina, Ohio. My paper route supported my picture taking expenses. I was 14 years old and decided to buy a box camera to record my adventures, relatives, and friends. It was an Ansco Box Camera and my daughter, Brenda, has the original. I have one just like it that I found in an antique store in Oklahoma. That is the one pictured above.

The camera took eight (8) pictures to a roll and didn't have a flash -- all pictures had to be taken in daylight outside. I took pictures of our home, my grandparents, my older brother Ben who lived there with me and relatives who came to visit.

This is a picture of my brother Ben Moore at our home on Brandon Street 1948.

I have a picture of Grandpa's 1938 Hudson Terraplane, my Whizzer Motor Bike, Ben's motor bike, a 1948 Tucker on tour that stopped in Celina (see previous post). I regret that I didn't get a picture of my P48 Powell Motor Scooter.

Grandpa's 1938 Hudson Terraplane. Note the headlights moved to the fenders.

Cousins Norm Reynolds and Dave Ummel on my Whizzer Motor Bike

Ben on his motor bike

I have pictures of a few friends, especially my best friend Tom Keifer. Tom and I were the same age and attended the same church. He lived a few blocks from me and we would go bike riding often together on Sunday afternoons. We built a trailer that was attached to the back of my bike.

Tom Keifer on one of our Sunday bike rides.
The picture of four newspaper boys was taken out back of The Daily Standard office. These were fellows that I worked with when I was a paper boy.

L-R -- Paul Shiverdecker (bought my Whizzer when I moved), Tom Keifer, Ralph Grapner, and Morris (forgot his last name).

For several years we lived at 230 W. Warren Street in the church parsonage. Lots of kids in the neighborhood. Pictured here is the "Warren Street Gang" with me on the back left. The fellow in the front right is Bob Stein who took over my route when I left Celina in 1949.

I wish I had taken more pictures. I'm thankful that I did take some to remind me of earlier times of my life.

Happy Picture Taking To You!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ryan & Alan From Tahiti

Every Tuesday afternoon is reserved for me and golf. Ann is usually working on her computer and this gives me a few hours to leave the home and commune with nature -- a walk in the green pastures!

I used to have a regular foursomes and twosomes that met every Tuesday. The last twosome I was in met at 3:00 p.m. at the David L. Baker Executive Golf Course in Fountain Valley next to Mile Square. We aren't meeting now so I pick and choose what course to play each week. Sometimes it is Baker, sometimes Casta del Sol (Mission Viejo) and many times it is Newport Beach Golf Course, an executive (par threes and fours) located at the end of the John Wayne Airport runway.

This past Tuesday was one of those times I went to Newport Beach. I get to play all 18 holes for the senior rate of $13 if I am there before 3 p.m. Takes about 3 hours to play on most afternoons. Since I don't have a regular standing time with anyone now, I either play the 18 holes by myself or join someone at the starters window.

This time there were two young men that I joined and we all played 18 holes. They were Ryan and Alan. I asked if they were from around here and they said they lived in Tahiti and worked for Air France as flight attendants. They come to America twice a month sometimes spending 24 hours and sometimes have four days between return flights. This was one of the times they had four days and they spend it playing golf. Tough life! I asked them where else they fly and they said this is it -- two times a month.

They spoke good English to me but French to each other all around the course. So on number 18 tee I got an idea -- call Ann and let my new friend talk to her in French. I called her and said I wanted her to meet my new friend Ryan. Turned the phone over to him and he started talking French to her. Both had a laugh at that and then he switched to English to finish the conversation telling how he met me and enjoyed the round of golf.

I saw an opportunity to get a hit on my BLOG from Tahiti and gave both fellows a card with my web site address. They promised to check it out when they get back home. I told them that I have had hits from Romania, Switzerland, Canada, Korea, Netherlands, England, Australia, Finland, Italy, Indonesia, and Ireland. I needed someone from Tahiti to look at my BLOG too! I was pretty excited when I got five countries that found me on the internet and my son put me in my place -- he said he has 85 countries that have read his BLOG which is He writes and comments on political and current events and my BLOG is about the past and my memories. More people are searching for his information than mine.

Since they come into town a couple of times a month, I asked them to give me a call and we'll play golf again. Imagine, my golf partners come in from Tahiti to play golf with me!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


This story was first written and posted on our son's BLOG which is on June 17, 2007. Rick was traveling in New York City with his daughter's high school orchestra and I was keeping his BLOG alive by adding a post or two during his absence. A slight update and here it is for this Father's Day 2008.

Today is the day that we, as a nation, honor our fathers. Being one of those fathers makes me very proud to be known as Rick and Brenda's dad. God has entrusted Ann and I with their lives to bring them to adulthood so they too can experience the joys of families of their own.

Rick and Anne are blessed with two children which are nearly raised to adulthood themselves. Emily is 19 and a second year college student in Sonoma State University. Eric is 17 and will be a senior in Mission Viejo High School this coming fall. Brenda married Scott and together they have two girls. Hannah is 11 and moving to Middle School in the fall starting in the 6th grade. Rachel is 9 and will be in the 4th grade this school year. We are indeed very fortunate as a family for what God has entrusted us to do.

Not all families are made up as neatly as this. Some have lost a parent at an early age and didn't have the opportunity to have the "traditional" family through their childhood. I'm one of those. My father passed away at an early age (31 years old in 1940) when I was only 6. There were four children and one more on the way (born two months later) when this tragedy happened to our family. I do not remember my dad.

I consider myself fortunate to have not one but four fathers. My second dad was my grandfather who stepped in to keep the five children in the Moore family when foster care was evident. My older brother (Ben) and I went to live with our grandparents in Ohio AFTER they had 12 children of their own, raising 11 to adulthood. Here's two more to take care of now! But they never hesitated and we didn't suffer in the process. We lived with them from 1942 to 1949. My siblings (Faye, Bob & Lenna) went to live with aunts and uncles in our family.

In the summer of 1949, Ben left our grandparent's home to live with our mother in Indiana. Our grandmother became ill and I needed another place to call home for my last three years of high school. Uncle Ray and Aunt Edith, along with their daughter (Kathy - age 18 months) from Kansas City, visited his parents and on the way home discussed the possibility of having me come to live with them. Enter dad number three. I moved there within a week and started a whole new life. It was there that I met Ann who eventually became my wife of 53 years now. Uncle Ray passed away in January of 2007 and I will be forever grateful for his help in my teen years.

Dad number four was Bob Edwards, Ann's dad. If ever there was a father-in-law and a son-in-law that got along, it was us. He was the kind of person that you loved being around and always gave you his full attention. Ann and I were married after my junior year of college and Rick was on his way shortly. It appeared that I would have to drop out of my last year of college and support my family but Bob Edwards offered to pay for the college expenses if I would support my family. So I owe him big time for helping me get my college degree which was essential in my working career.

I have been fortunate even though I didn't have the "traditional" family. God has blessed me and my family even though we experienced the death of my father very early in life. God doesn't cause bad things to happen but does use those experiences for good. My life would have been very different had my father lived. But since he didn't, God put others in my life to help me and show me a father's love and guidance. "And I know that all things work together for good to them that love god, to them who are called according to his purpose" - Romans 8:28 KJV.

I'm very proud of my family - can you tell? Happy Father's Day, Rick and Scott! Thanks for allowing me to have the grandchildren I have to enjoy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fellowship - With Long Time Friends

In 1982 we were attending Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim near Disneyland. We were in the regular 120 voice choir that sang and practiced weekly. We were also in the community musical performance choir (300 voices) three times a year giving special original performances with orchestra and drama. Most of the time it was one weekend type of musical giving five performances. Once we gave 10 performances over two weekends for the Easter season. Our 3,000 seat auditorium was packed for every performance.

These involved many hours of practices and staging. The original theater was "in the round" and the church continued that set up for their services and specials. During our Sunday services, the choir was in a section directly behind the speaker of the day like you find in most churches.

Being together that much tends to develop friendships of those who regularly sing in the choir. There were five basses who were married to five altos and we formed a "Fellowship Group" to meet monthly for dinner, dessert and catching up with each others lives and families. A host couple was selected and the other four couples would go to their home for dinner and dessert. After one round of that, the gals got smart and said "let's go out to dinner and back to the host home for dessert". It's been that way every since.
Original Fellowship couples -- Dick & Ann Moore, Dick & Alice Carter, Harold & Fran Daigle, Priscilla & Dave Bechok, Betty & Bob Mann.

We bought Entertainment books that gives one free meal if another one is purchased and enjoyed quite a selection of restaurants to choose from and enjoy. All five couples lived in Orange County so it was easy for us to get together monthly - on the 3rd Friday night of the month. That was automatically set aside by each couple.

Then we started moving! The Daigles moved to Texas. So we were down to four couples locally. The Carters moved to Oceanside and the Bechoks moved to Carlsbad. Our Fellowship Group continued to meet every month (except December) even though it meant some driving. When it was time for the Carters or Bechoks to host, the Moores and the Manns drove down to their area. When we in Orange County hosted, those south drove north.

Then Alice Carter passed away from cancer and Dick Carter married Carolyn (Kiki) and they moved to Apple Valley. More driving - both ways. The Carters did the most as there were three couples that lived a distance from them. But we drove up to Apple Valley when they hosted.
The current Fellowship couples -- Dick & Ann Moore, Kiki & Dick Carter, Priscilla & Dave Bechok, Betty and Bob Mann.

In January 2007, the Carters were to host that month. Everyone had too much on their schedule (all retired now) and we couldn't meet. Let's try February. No - this month was too busy too! OK - March it is. Finally in the last week of March, we found a day we could all go up to Apple Valley and have our "monthly" fellowship. We changed from dinner to lunch time to help with daylight driving. After that one, we decided since there were four couples and four quarters in the year we would each take a quarter and find a date to host during that quarter. Certainly we could find one day where all could have available. We also changed off of Friday as traffic was heavy going to most places. So starting in 2007 we changed from monthly to quarter and this has worked out best in our busy schedules.

Today (June 12) is that day for Betty and Bob Mann to host. They had the second quarter (April, May, June) and we were able to find a day when all four couples could get together. We still buy the Entertainment books but don't use them as much as we did in the past.

These are fun times with long time church friends. We met them in 1973 at Melodyland and keep in touch by email and phone besides meeting in person quarterly. All couples attend different churches now and no one is in the choir at their church. Music was what brought us together.

Next quarter -- the Moores host.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Private Retirement Party

In early June of 1996, Ann put together a private retirement party for me which included friends from several churches and close friends - non State Farm friends.

This was held at the Claim Jumper in Fountain Valley on Brookhurst Street. We had their private room in back and they served us a very nice lunch. I would estimate we had 50-60 people there. Our son, Rick, was the master of ceremonies for the program and a good time was had by all.

Our family at the time - Hannah was "on the way" and Rachel joined us two years later. Emily is now 19 years old and Eric will be 17 years old this month. This is where you notice the passage of time -- in the growth of your grandchildren.

Part of the program was a "Willie and Julio" duet singing "To All The Girls I've Loved Before". This was sung by Dick Moore and Jeff Harrison. We did that song in a Hootenanny at our church and I had my pigtails on singing Willie better than Willie. (Personal opinion). Jeff and I impersonated the voices for the party and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I'll print the picture of us from the Hootenanny in another post when I write about that event. Dave Cole and I did that song first on a cruise to Mexico in their Talent Show in 1995.

In 1952 I met David Cole in our dorm at Pasadena Nazarene College. When Ann Edwards came to the college in 1953, she and Marlene Webb sang in separate trios and later in a ladies quartet for the college raising endownment money for the school. Marlene started dating Dave who sang in a male quartet for the school and later married him one month before Ann and I were married in 1955. So we (Ann & I - Dave & Marlene) double dated a number of times and became very close friends all these years. They lived in Yuba City in Northern California and came down to my party. Dave retired from his position as Assistant School Superintendent a couple of weeks later and we went up there for his party. Been close friends for over 55 years.

Dave & Marlene Cole with Marlene's cousin Ordell at our party.
The party was one that I will remember for the rest of my life. I've been blessed with wonderful friends and a great family.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Elvis Stories

In the early 1970s, probably 1972 or 1973, Ann and I attended a Quartet Gospel Concert in the Long Beach Auditorium. At that time I was involved in quartet music with a group that started singing together in 1971. We were interested in "the big groups" that traveled full time in this field like The Blackwood Brothers, The Imperials, J.D. Sumner & The Stamps, The Spear Family, The Oak Ridge Boys, and many others. Every year some of these groups would come to Long Beach to entertain those that enjoyed that type of music.

J. D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet was at this particular concert and J.D. was talking to the crowd. He said a friend of his was back stage and he wanted him to come out and take a bow. This friend couldn't sing for us because of contract obligations but he could at least come out and take a bow. Out comes Elvis Presley, cape and all. The crowd went wild including us. We had never seen Elvis in person before so it was a treat just to have him on stage waving to us.

The Stamps Quartet sang with Elvis backing him up in Las Vegas. Elvis always had a gospel quartet with him on concerts in Las Vegas and many times on appearances on TV such as the Ed Sullivan Show. The Stamps were the latest group that he worked with on tour.

Elvis Presley was making a comeback at this time and his popularity was still high. People loved Elvis. His personal appearance shows sold out quickly. He was a showman.

We had watched him on TV but this was the first time we actually saw him in person. The only time. Never went to a concert but saw him perform on television many times.

The company I worked for had an anniversary party to celebrate those who had served the company many years and on one occasion they hired "The Legends", a group of impersonators. Of course, they had "Elvis". A friend of mine was an Elvis freak and I talked to the person impersonating Elvis and told him about her. He made her day by singing a song to her in person. That was fun to watch.
But --- there has only been one Elvis.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Grand Birds Once Again

Fake Plastic Plants In Atrium

Years ago we put a stand with four fake plastic plants in our atrium just off the front room. Our glass doors are next to it so we can see what is going on in the atrium.
Well, a lot is going on there. Every year we have finches returning to build their nests in the top plant only. Always the same place. They build new nests as I always clean out the old one as soon as our grand birds fly away.
This year we have had one batch of five babies hatched and they have flown the coop. I watched the last three fly away one after the other. It takes two weeks from hatching to fly a way. It is fun to watch them develop and test their wings.

Bird Beak - There are five of them in there!

The second batch was started shortly after the first nest was taken out. Within two days, a new nest was started. Five more grand birds are there and hatched. I expect fly away sometime after June 4th.

Fur Balls In Tight Fit

June 1, 2008 Picture

Last year in one of our batches a lone bird just didn't want to leave home. Probably a male. He made his way up to the top of the plant and just sat there while his parents and siblings were calling him from a nearby bush to join the world. Finally he tried his wings and was surprised that they worked!

"I'm Sitting On Top Of The World ---"

I expect one more batch of birds before the summer is over. My guess is that the ones that were hatched there come back with their mates to start their family because "there's no place like home".

UPDATE: I believe today (June 7th) is the day. Four have left the nest with the 4th one just minutes ago. Only one left and he's (she's) going to be lonely since his siblings have left. So I will post when we have all five birds out of the nest.
FINAL UPDATE: The last bird got lonely and flew away. I just checked the nest at 12:10 p.m. on 6-7 and we are now EMPTY NESTERS once again.