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!