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.