Sunday, December 28, 2008

Year In Review - OR - What Happened To 2008?

Does it seem like a few days ago that we welcomed 2008? On December 31, 2007, none of us knew what was in store for us in the brand new year of 2008. It’s like that every year. A clean new slate to see what we can do with 365 days to make our life and lives of others better. It’s a mystery out there in front of us waiting to see what adventures we will about to endure.

And now 2009! Here are a few things that 2008 brought us that had an impact on my life. You can add to the list through the Comment section at the end of this post.

1. Since June of 2007, we have planned and saved for our 9th cruise and the first one since 1999. Our daughter’s family wanted us to take this with them since it originates in San Pedro which we can easily drive to because Ann needs her electric scooter to get around. A seven day trip to Mexico. This happened at the end of June. You can read about it and see many pictures on postings written in July.

2. In May we drove to Fresno to attend a Tribute to the Watchmen Gospel Quartet who announced their retirement for the end of 2008. I was privileged to be a co-founder of this group in September 1971 and sang bass for 11 years before turning it over to my son, Rick. Dennis Zimmerman kept the group going through many personnel changes and finally after 38 years of spreading the gospel through quartet music, they are retiring. Congratulations Dennis.

3. July 22, 2008, Ann and I celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary. Talk about time passing quickly!

4. On Sunday evening, September 7th, I performed in a musical evening at Town & County Manor in Santa Ana. My cousin, Eileen, lives there and she and I put together a pretty good program for the residents of that retirement community. Lots of great comments. You can read about that in September’s offerings.

5. In November we as a nation participated in an election year that didn’t quite go as I had hoped but we have to deal with disappointments as they come. A lot of factors combined to bring about the results in the Congress and the White House. Now we will have to pray for those in leadership that they will use good judgment in handling our national and international affairs.

6. Another highlight in my life came on December 5th as I appeared as Angel Gabriel in a Star P.A.K. production at Coast Hills Church. This was the first time I have performed with my two youngest grandchildren in a program. What an honor! This has also been in a previous posting this month.

7. If you want to watch time pass swiftly, just be around grandkids. I can’t believe that we have a granddaughter in second year of college. Emily is home for the winter break now and we’re very glad to see her again. Her brother, Eric, is now a Senior in Mission Viejo High School and will be graduating in 2009. Hannah is in Middle School in the 6th grade and Rachel is in Elementary School in the 4th grade. Gee - I can remember when all of them were born! And I can remember me being in all those grades - has it really been that long ago? I guess I must be having a lot of fun because time is flying by very fast.

8. Things to look forward to in 2009:

A. My 75th birthday in April. WOW! Three quarters of a century!
B. Son-in-law Scott's 50th birthday in March!
C. My daughter’s 50th birthday in April! She’s always been exactly 25 years behind me. I wonder why that is?
D. Eric’s high school graduation in June.
E. Many school programs and plays my grandkids will be doing.
F. Ann and my 54th wedding anniversary in July.
G. New opportunities to sing and perhaps some acting as well.

I imagine there will be many other interesting things that we will do but that will be noted in future postings. Thanks for being along for the journey this year and let’s all hope for a great year in 2009.

My family all wish you a wonderful and Happy New Year. May it be your best year ever!

Dick & Ann Moore - 53rd Wedding Anniversary Portrait

Anne, Emily, Eric, and Rick - Christmas photo 2008

Hannah, Brenda, Rachel, and Scott -- Christmas photo 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2009 from the Dick & Ann Moore Family!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maxine & The Christmas Spirit

She knows how to say it. Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kiss Their Noses As Greeting

Emily about the age of this story and Papa

For a number of years our family had annual Disneyland passes with parking and could go any time we wanted and stay as long as we wanted. Sometimes it was just for dinner together in the park followed by the fireworks show.

Our first grandchild, Emily (now 20 years old), was three weeks old when she visited Disneyland for the first time. As she grew, we could watch her relate to the Disney characters and enjoy meeting them. Her big thing was she wanted to “kiss their noses” as her way of greeting and meeting. The characters all allowed her to do her thing and she became a hit with the cast members.

One day when she was still quite small, I was holding her on Main Street when we turned the corner and there was Br’er Bear standing next to the building wall frozen in space. Not a hint that anyone was in the costume. He about 7 feet tall and it would be difficult for Emily to do her normal greeting. I was talking to Emily and stating that I was not sure that anyone was in this costume and that he was too tall for her to kiss his nose.

Without hesitation, the cast member inside the costume slowly started lowering himself until he was at the height that Emily could give him her greeting. Emily planted one on the nose and then the “bear” slowly rose to his normal height. Never saying a word. No indication that he acknowledged her greeting.

We had a good laugh at that. It was wonderful for the cast member to recognize that this was important to Emily and he did what was necessary to keep the tradition going for her. It’s things like what he did that will bring you back for another day in “The Happiest Place On Earth”.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dickens Christmas Carolers

For six years at two different churches, Ann and I were in a group of singers that dressed in the Dickens era costumes and sang Christmas music for various functions.

We started this in 1979 at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California. The Melodyland Singers sang throughout the year in evening services and during the Christmas season rented Dickens costumes singing wherever we could arrange a concert. We were with this group for three years.

The pictures below were taken at South Coast Plaza Mall in Costa Mesa at Nordstroms with David Feit-Pretzler as our director. Following David was Art Ortiz for one year. Under Art’s direction we sang on television on the PTL Club at Trinity Broadcasting Network Channel 40 in addition to our appearances in the Malls.

Ann - Far Right
Dick - Middle Back Row

Ann - Back Row 6th From Left
Dick - Back Row 2nd From Right

Melodyland had Christmas drama and music productions over one or two weekends with 5 to 10 performances and the group sang to the waiting crowd prior to their entering the auditorium. We left Melodyland in February 1983 and that ended our special singing so we thought.

We started attending South Coast Community Church in Irvine the same month and joined the choir under the direction of Steve Nichols. Steve then held auditions for the Madrigal Singers which was basically like the group we left. That Christmas we dressed up in Dickens costumes and sang in a number of places including private parties. We did that for three years also. All our songs were memorized and unaccompanied by any instruments. The director used a pitch pipe to start our song.

These times are fixed in our memories as wonderful experiences that enhanced our singing years. We will never forget those many nights that were spent singing the carols to an appreciative audience.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Angel's Christmas

For a number of years, Ann and I have attended programs called Star P.A.K. written and directed by Kathleen Chapman with choreography by her daughter, Nancy Matossian. Our granddaughters, Hannah (now 12) and Rachel (now 10), were in these productions. The children are taught how to act, sing, dance, and do choreography in front of an audience which is very valuable training for their future. And it builds confidence.

We spent our time at these productions taking pictures of the program as it went along and tried to enjoy the event in between snaps of the camera. Afterward, we took a lot of pictures of the girls with Kathleen and Nancy. Ann is a genius on the computer making multi-page cards using the pictures we took. A set was also made for Kathleen and Nancy for their files.

Eventually, Kathleen gave us a front row seat for taking pictures which helped get the best shots of the entire production. We were a fixture on row one right next to the director, Kathleen Chapman.

As reported in May on this BLOG, our daughter, Brenda, went on a charity trip to Sumba, Indonesia for two weeks in April. She wrote up the story and gave me some pictures to put in the article that I posted. She told Kathleen about the BLOG item and when she looked it up, she saw two videos that I had made using what musical talent I have and this was a shock for her. She had no idea that I had done any acting or singing. She told me that I had to be in her next production.

Well, it happened on December 5, 2008 at Coast Hills Church in Aliso Viejo. I was Angel Gabriel and the only adult in the production of Angel’s Christmas. The angels were all dressed in white and I was in a white tux and white everything else. My two granddaughters were in it with major speaking parts and even sang one of the songs on the mikes. They had to interact with Angel Gabriel (me) which was a thrill for all of us. The story is about young angels wanting to know more about the birth of Jesus and they knew that Angel Gabriel was there that night - that Holy Night! So when I came over to discuss the event with them, they hit me with a lot of questions which I attempted to answer. I sang “O Holy Night” to them and they sang it with me after my solo.
Dick singing "O Holy Night" to the "angels" from his elevated chair!

Angel Gabriel listening to questions from the young angels.

As you can imagine, this was an event in my life that I will never forget. I was first to take the bow at the end and then the kids. Hannah and Rachel came over to me and we took the final bow in front of the cast as a favor to me from Kathleen.
Hannah, Dick, & Rachel taking our final bow with the cast.

Hannah, Kathleen Chapman, Dick, Nancy Matossian, and Rachel

Yes, lots of pictures were taken and some of them are here in this posting. The kids dad, Scott, takes video of these productions and he and Brenda take many digital pictures. This time Ann had to do the picture taking as I was on stage. Ann will make us all memory cards to remember the night Hannah and Rachel was in a production of Star P.A.K. with their grandfather.
Hannah, Dick (Angel Gabriel) and Rachel on Gabriel's chair.

The entire cast of "Angel's Christmas"

The kids in the production were very kind and warm to me and some even asked for my autograph on the program. I guess they thought of me as a celebrity. Thank you, Kathleen, for giving me the opportunity to be in one of your fabulous productions.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Early Television - Part 2

When television started in the late 1940s, the sets had channels 2 through 13 - no remote - and you “clicked” through the channels to find the one you wanted. No instant going to a channel like we have today. In most TV markets, this was enough channels to satisfy the demand. In Kansas City, Missouri, for instance, we had one channel at first and then quickly grew to three. Channels 2, 4, and 7 became CBS, NBC, and ABC as time went on in major markets across the United States. Independents carried programs from all networks depending on what they wanted to show.

As the demand grew for more channels, another frequency was developed called UHF - Ultra High Frequency. These would be channels above number 13 and you had to have a converter attached to your set with a special antennae to receive these channels. These stations were “dialed in”. No clicking - just turn the dial like you did on the radio to the position that brought that station in the best.

From September 1971 to December 1982 I sang bass with the Watchmen Gospel Quartet mostly in Southern California. Our first TV appearance came on October 15, 1973 on a new station which appeared on UHF Channel 46 called Trinity Broadcasting Systems. It was a two and a half million watt station located in Santa Ana with call letters KBSA. This was a religious station that used our kind of music. Paul Crouch was General Manager and Jim Baker was President and Pastor On The Air. Their evening program was called PTL (Praise The Lord) and features gospel music along with speaking and interviews.

Another local quartet, The Californians, had recommended our group to the station and they had us on several times. In fact, we were the featured group on their Open House when they moved into better quarters. We provided the music for a banquet for Melodyland Christian Center and the event was videotaped for later broadcasting on TBN. Ann and I went to Catalina Island for a couple of days and stayed in the Zane Grey Pueblo. They had one (1) television and that was in the lobby. I knew the program was going to be on one night and we went in to the lobby to see it. Another couple came in to relax and I had the program on. I told them this quartet was very good and they would enjoy it. He looked at the screen - then to me - then back to the screen realizing that it was me on the tube! That was fun!

Dennis Zimmerman, Miles Collins, Roy Scott, Dick Moore, & Rick Moore (guitar)

This television company changed channels from 46 to 40 later and is now known as TBN, Trinity Broadcasting Network.

An Orange, California church called Brean Baptist Church took over the UHF channel number 46 and The Watchmen sang on it several times also.

When cable came to our homes, Channel 46 became Fox News and TBN is still on Channel 40.

For those who still use an antennae, your days are numbered. In February 2009, a converter is needed to receive programs on that set. Or you can go modern and get cable. Think of all the antennas on the roofs that will be coming down!