Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Words You Don't Want To Hear In The Same Sentence

For instance ---- I need to see your driver’s license, registration and insurance.

Yep -- I was pulled over last night and the policeman was perfectly right in doing so. I was caught blocking an intersection at Bristol and Irvine. I was in the left turn lane for the on ramp of the 73 Toll Road going home from playing golf at Newport Beach Golf Course. The light changed and I went forward expecting room but the SUV in front of me stopped leaving me out in the intersection. The light changed and here I am without a place to go. I took the next lane and soon lights were flashing behind the car.

The policeman said those words and told me why he pulled me over. I told him I knew why as I was caught in no man’s land at a busy intersection expecting traffic to move and it didn’t. He took the items to his car to check them out and I knew I had no violations on my driver’s license, the car was registered to me, and the insurance was current. He came back and gave me the items and then another piece of paper -- “Written Warning Of Violation”. He said this will go nowhere, will cost nothing, but is just a warning not to do that again. I said “thank you” and offered my hand. He shook my hand and smiled and it reminded me of the Sergeant on the Hill Street Blues television program -- “Hey, let’s be careful out there!”

This is the fourth time I have been stopped by the police in 59 years of driving. The first was when I was 17 years old and was stopped because I was driving 36 mph in a 25 mile zone. The cost? $11 - one dollar a mile over the limit! I would imagine it is a lot more now.

The second time was when I was 25 years old - Rick was 3 and Brenda was a baby. I went through a “yellow” light and the nice policeman said it was “red”. So did my wife, incidentally. Rick was really excited because the nice policeman was going to come and talk to daddy!

The third time was about 15 years ago when I made a U turn and was pulled over immediately. He asked me if I knew why and I said I just made a U turn and I don’t know why he stopped me. He pointed to the very large sign that said “No U Turn”. I told him I didn’t see the sign but I saw him. I said “Do you think I would do it knowing you were there?” He said “No - I don’t think you would. Don’t do it again”. A verbal warning that time.

The police were right in pulling me over for the blocked intersection. I was in the wrong -- just got caught in thinking the cars would be moving and they didn’t. I appreciate the “Warning” and the professional way the policeman handled the situation. It doesn’t hurt to be nice to the authorities and to have a clean record on your driver’s license also.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Remembering Faye Moore Johnson

Faye Moore Johnson -- July 2, 1937 to January 24, 2009

Faye Johnson passed away Saturday evening (1-24-09) at 6:40 p.m. Kansas time at the age of 71 of liver failure. Faye wasn’t known to a lot of people but she was to me -- she was my sister. By that I mean we had the same mother and father. We weren’t raised together as you would think of as a family.

Faye is three years younger than I and was born on July 2, 1937. She was the 3rd child of Leonard and Evelyn Moore. She had two brothers older than her. Ben was born in 1932 and Dick in 1934. Her younger brother Bob was born in 1939 and sister Lenna came along in 1940, just two months after our father had passed away from illness.

Our family was split up by court order among relatives of our father in 1942. Faye was 5 at the time. She went to live with our Aunt Ruth Reynolds in Elkhart, Indiana. They raised her as one of their own. She always called Aunt Ruth “mom”. I got to see Faye often as I lived with our grandparents in Celina, Ohio and her new parents came to see Ruth’s father and mother on occasion. Ernie and Ruth moved to California in the early 1950s and Faye was able to attend one semester of Pasadena Nazarene College while I was there. She was unable to continue college and married Russ Johnson who she met through our brother, Ben, who settled in California after his time in the Navy.

Russ and Faye had four children. Jeannette, Lynette, Leonard and Jim. Jim preceded her in death a few years ago having taken his own life during a difficult time. Russ and Faye divorced after many years together and ended up in the same town as their children. They both moved to Stafford, Kansas and kept in touch through activities with their children who had moved there separately.

Russ passed away a couple of years ago. Through Russ, Faye was able to meet Les Carter, a cousin of Russ’ who lived in Nebraska. They had a relationship until Les also died in 2008.

Faye is the second of our family to pass away. Ben, the first born, died suddenly on April 22, 1963 of a heart attack. That was one day after his 31st birthday.

Although we weren’t raised together, we were family and kept in touch. Faye is now with the Lord and free from pain. The following pictures tell some of the story of our “reunions”.

Dick, Ben, Lenna and Faye at the 1948 Moore Family Reunion

Lenna, Dick, Faye and Bob -- 1952 Elkhart, Indiana (After Dick's HS Graduation)

Faye leaning on Dick's 1947 Plymouth - Whittier, CA Dick, Faye, and Bob at their mother, Evelyn's memorial service 1984
Faye and Bob (in driver's seat) with Bob's 1930 Model A Ford - Muncie, IN

Faye and Les Carter 2008

Pictures help keep memories alive. I'm glad we have these to remember Faye in healthier times.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New "Home " Church In Kansas City, Missouri

My New Home Church - KC First Church of the Nazarene

When I moved from Celina, Ohio, to Kansas City, Missouri, I changed from a small church of 125 to a large church of 400 or 500 attendees. Uncle Ray was the Music Director of Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene which was located at 41st & Harrison.

The first thing I noticed about this church was the number of kids my age. My last church might have had 3 or 4 my age but this one had 40 within a year or two of me. This was to become my social group and many hours would be spent together doing what kids do. We had hayrides, horseback rides, ice skating, swimming, ball games, taffy pulls, banquets, picnics, marshmallow roasts, and other great times.

The NTO group (Nazarene Teen Organization) met every Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. before our regular Sunday evening service. We had our own program and sponsors. Officers were elected and a paper was printed giving all the chit chat and gossip about the teen group. It’s fun to re-read these now and remember what being a teen was like. I kept 3 or 4 of these papers and found myself listed in them. We had our own distinctive car honk that was used whenever any of the group drove by another member’s home.

Some names in the group that come to mind are Don Cory, Donnell Whitcanak, Norma Dell Smith, Gloria Ramquist, Tom Ramquist, Delbert Gish, Barbara Gish, Chuck Harper, George Harper, Ralph Earle, Ann Edwards, Oletha Ludwig, Carolee Swim, Maylou Williamson, Joe Williamson, George Moss, Richard Davis, Evelyn Milburn, Charles Jones, David Benson, Ron Benson, Baylor Edwards, Shirley Edwards, Barbara Edwards, and Bud Bunnell to mention a few. In the Nazarene Teen Odes (paper) they are mentioned quite a bit.

Every year this group had a dress up banquet complete with music and program. One year four of us got together and sang a male quartet -- my first one. The members were Ralph Earle (Tenor), Chuck Harper (lead), Del Gish (Baritone), and Dick Moore (Bass). We sang “Dry Bones” and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We got together to do a few more songs and then took our group “on the road”. We sang at the mission for those less fortunate. That was a lot of fun for all.

Ralph Earle, Chuck Harper, Del Gish, and Dick Moore - NTO Quartet 1950

It was at this banquet that I had my first date. That was with Gloria Ramquist. Gloria had been dating Elbert Willingham who was in Bethany Peniel College (now Southern Nazarene University) in Oklahoma at the time. She eventually married Elbert. But he wasn’t there and I was, so we went to the banquet together.

Joyce Burr, Oletha Ludwig, Maylou Williamson, Barbara Gish, Gloria Ramquest, (don't know), Norma Dell Smith.

One couple that were sponsors for us were Don and Dot Farrand. Dot was a cousin to Ann and we became relatives later. Don was in the Nazarene Theological Seminary and became a pastor in Palo Alto, California. Don and I keep in touch by E-Mail now after re-connecting a few years ago.

I sang in the church choir next to Bob Edwards who later became my father-in-law. The church organist (Mildred Edwards) later became my mother-in-law. See the connection here?

Paul Martin was a popular evangelist who held services all over the country and came to our church several times. He had a radio program in Porterville, California, and had to record it on the road sometimes. He had me produce one of them and we became friends. Rev. Martin was in Kansas City when I graduated from Southeast High School in 1952 and he came to a party for me.

Ron Lush was a traveling music evangelist whom I became acquainted with there and later our paths would cross in California. Ann would tutor his son in reading. Interesting how things work out.

As you can guess from the above, I married Ann Edwards, daughter of Bob and Mildred Edwards. Dave Benson was my roommate for three years at Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California. I still keep in touch with Don Cory who lives in Palmdale,California. I was an attendant in his wedding to Angie. Barbara Gish is now Barbara Dickens and lives in Texas. We correspond at Christmas. Ann and I reconnected with Elbert and Gloria Willingham at my Uncle Ray's burial service in Kansas City a couple of years ago. Oletha Ludwig married Gary Hart who became a Senator from Colorado and ran for president at one time. Oletha's (Lee) mother made Ann's wedding dress. Ralph Earle is a psychologist in Arizona and we saw him a few years back when the college we attended in Pasadena sold their land and we gave it a proper sendoff. Baylor Edwards, Shirley Edwards, and Barbara Edwards became relatives of mine through marriage to Ann. Carolee Swim and Chuck Harper were in our wedding party.

The church at 41st and Harrison burned down a number of years ago. Our wedding on July 22, 1955 was held there. Ah -- memories!

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Celebration Of Thanks (4-8-84)

This coming April, I will be celebrating my 75th birthday! But, just 25 short years ago I celebrated the BIG ONE -- number 50. Ann and I like to celebrate milestones in a big way and she planned a concert in my honor at the church we were attending at the time -- South Coast Community Church in Irvine. I wrote up the story for my company paper as it was unique.

She called the concert “A Celebration Of Thanks”. Here is the story as it appeared in my company paper (edited).

Bulletin insert for South Coast and Liberty Baptist churches.

It’s true -- you don’t turn 50 every day! But it is one of those times of your life that need to be celebrated. Just think -- a half a century!

My wife, Ann, started planning for my party several months in advance and was making it a surprise. However, at one point close to the event, she had to tell me about it since I needed to prepare for my participation. She gave a concert in my honor with a reception following it. For 11 years, I sang with a quartet called The Watchmen Gospel Quartet traveling up and down the coast of California with a couple of trips to Idaho. I left the group in November 1982, turning the bass singing part over to our son, Rick, who did it for 8 years and carried on the Moore tradition. He later started his own quartet called The Crimson River Quartet which is still going though not as active at this time (2009).

Ann wanted to feature The Watchmen in this concert along with other specials. She wanted me to join them so I needed to get together with the fellows and practice once more. It had been 16 months since I sang with them and, frankly, I was a little rusty on the words. Ann also wanted me to sing a solo which is why she had to tell me about the concert ahead of time and not make it a complete surprise.

We had been attending South Coast Community Church in Irvine for about a year when she approached the Board of Directors with a proposal. Could she have the use of the 1850 seat auditorium for a concert to be given in honor of my 50th birthday and invite the church next door, Liberty Baptist, to join us. We’d call it “A Celebration of Thanks,” uniting our two congregations following our Sunday evening Bible study. She also requested the use of the fellowship hall for a reception with cake, punch and coffee. The board thought it was so unique that they gave the use of the auditorium and fellowship hall for no charge. Normally there is a charge for that even though it is only the charge for janitorial services.

Over 300 engraved personal invitations were mailed to friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives. A special insert was printed and placed in the church bulletin for three Sundays preceding the concert. The insert was given to Liberty Baptist church also and they used it in their bulletins. An ad was placed in the Orange County Register newspaper featuring The Watchmen Gospel Quartet. A friend who is a caterer was hired to provide the cake and other items needed for the reception.

The Watchmen Gospel Quartet featuring their former bass singer.

One of the reasons we wanted to involve the church next door was the lead singer in the quartet attended there. Also, our church had moved in to this location about six months before and we needed to get better acquainted with them. The music director at Liberty Baptist was a friend of our daughter, Brenda. He and the lead singer for the quartet used to sing with Brenda at La Quinta High School. The two fellows also prepared some musical numbers for the concert.
Ann and I sang in a small group called The Madrigals at South Coast. They were to sing in the concert also. So you see, I had three things to get ready for, and no one would want that just to happen without any practice.

The South Coast Madrigals - Dick Top left -- Ann 2nd from left front row

My uncle and aunt, Ray and Edith Moore from Oklahoma, surprised me and joined us for the celebration. Ray was in music all his life and sang a song for the concert. I had lived with them my last three years of high school.

Uncle Ray Moore singing a solo -- Dick Moore featured on a solo also.

So the big night arrived and, believe it or not, we had about 1,000 at my 50th birthday concert party. And I knew most of them! The quartet sang, invited me to join them, the Madrigals sang, I soloed, Uncle Ray soloed, Danny and Dave from Liberty Baptist performed, a trio called The South Coasters sang, and a good time was had by all. The reception followed with cake cutting, pictures, etc. Ann had a professional photographer and also had the concert put on videotape for my future enjoyment.

Dick & Ann cutting the cake with daughter Brenda looking on.

Relatives that attended the concert and reception.

Looking at the pictures I see many of my relatives who are no longer living. I’m so glad that they were able to participate in my special night of celebration.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Moore Family Reunion Of 1993

The Moore family (my uncles and aunts - dad’s brothers and sisters) have had a Round Robin going for many years. One who receives it takes out their last letter and writes a new one. Then it is on to the next person to do the same. It takes about five months for the robin to make it’s flight and return to you. My dad, Leonard, had passed away in 1940 and when the robin was started, his family was not represented. Uncle Dale asked me to represent the Leonard Moore family in the robin about 1988 or so. I joined it to bring them up on our family and what my brother and sisters families were doing. I knew all the aunts and uncles very well as I had contact with them while living in their parents home in Celina. So I was a natural to join and was glad to do it.

After a few years I thought it was time for this family to get together once more. We had most of the family together for grandpa’s birthday parties but not all could make it. I wanted to honor the original members of my grandparents family with this reunion. They were all getting up in years and before too long wouldn’t be able to make a trip to whatever location was chosen for the reunion. Everyone was all for the reunion but no one wanted to step forward to plan the event. So I took charge and became the Director of the Moore Family Reunion of 1993.
Director and Master of Ceremonies Of The Moore Family Reunion Of 1993 - Dick Moore

It took 18 months of planning to get this organized and done. My superintendent at State Farm was a computer whiz and he helped me design a letterhead for communications that included two pictures -- grandpa and grandma! I had copies make and used them in all requests and information that I needed sent out to the family. We had to choose the time and the place for this reunion. I lived in California and we have a lot of things to do here but some were coming from the east coast which made it a long trip. I decided to hold it in Oklahoma City over the weekend of July 30, 31, and August 1, 1993. This was Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We wanted to spend as much time together as we could. Uncle Ray and his family could help me because they live nearby. Ann’s sister, Helen, also lives there and could recruit her family to help in the details of the reunion.

Phil Moore helped me with the talent show. Linda Comingdeer registered everyone and handed out packets of materials that we had for all. Ron Comingdeer took pictures at the program so we could enjoy the family and not be concerned with documenting the reunion. Perry Gering handled the video portion of capturing the reunion on film. Ron also ran the golf tournament for me. Others had a role such as securing the locations of our gatherings and entertainment. A lot had to be done and the family helped when given an assignment.

I took a week’s vacation during Ann’s Spring Break and we went to Oklahoma to handle some details. One of the things I did was to meet with the Mayor of Bethany, Oklahoma, and explain what we were doing. I went to City Hall and found that he doesn’t office there. He was a Farmers Insurance Agent and handled his mayor duties out of his insurance office. This was interesting as I worked with State Farm, a competitor. I asked him if he would declare July 31, 1993 as “Moore Family Day” in Bethany. He said he would be happy to help in making this a memorable day for all. He would come to the main program on Saturday and present each honored guest with a proclamation declaring the special day. He did a wonderful job on this and made everyone welcome. He didn’t want to leave the program as he was having as much fun as the rest.

We started with a picnic in a local park. Dick standing by the sign.

We would first meet at a local park in Bethany for lunch on Friday. Uncle Ray organized this for us. At this time we would share pictures of the past and present for each family. We had a banner that a friend made for me to identify the actual place for the picnic. It was great to see everyone and talk over “old times”. We met again that evening after dinner for a concert at the First Church of the Nazarene in Bethany given by one of the professors at Southern Nazarene University. He did a program on the piano like Victor Borge which was hilarious. Also demonstrated the various styles of church pianists which had everyone laughing very hard.

The next day was Saturday and we had suggestions for get together opportunities. The golf tournament was held at the University of Oklahoma. Uncle Ray had his brothers and sisters over for brunch. The zoo and several museums were available for meeting someone and enjoying the morning. The packets we had given each family contained many suggestions for use of this time.

Our main program would be at 3:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene. My cousin, Phil Moore, was the Minister of Music there and arranged that room for us. Here we had the Mayor of Bethany proclaim the day as ours and he handed out an individual proclamation to each aunt and uncle or family member if they were not there. I accepted the one for Leonard Moore. Aunt Betty had passed on and her daughter Donna accepted for her. The only living member of the original family that wasn’t there was Carlan. He was unable to make it that weekend. But the other eight living members were there and what a time they had. Each one was able to relate a story of their childhood living in the Moore household. We talked about the “Humor of J. I. Moore” relating some funny things that grandpa had said or done. We had the talent show with many participating in it. Uncle Gary and his daughter Becky sang a duet. Ray, Dale, Bob, and Gary sang a quartet. Doris and her daughters Eileen and Carolyn sang a trio. Eileen and Carolyn did a funny sketch about two cats. Phil, Harlan, Rick and I sang a quartet number about “What A Meeting” relating our reunion in Heaven. Rick sang a solo. I was scheduled to do one but time got away and I decided not to do it. Ray and Gary did a duet. It was a great time.

Uncle Dale had prepared “The History of the Moore Family” which was printed in the program and he delivered it orally as well. Uncle Cecil was a pastor in Georgia and he delivered a sermonette on “Family Values”. I brought a clock momento to each of the honored family members which had a picture of their parents on the inside cover. The clock was engraved with their name and date. I had several nieces and nephews call each one up and give them the gift.
The ladies of the church prepared the evening meal for us. So we continued the conversation around tables and food. Ernie Reynolds was the first grandchild of our grandparents and we asked him to pray for the family.

On Sunday morning we gathered back at the Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene to worship together. The Moore Family sang a special number for the congregation as most of the family are singers. This was a wonderful experience. We had lunch together at the church and bid everyone farewell. Of the nine living members at the time, eight have gone on to their reward in Heaven to this date. Bob, Doris, Dale, Cecil, Ruth, Carlan, Ray and Pauline have reached their eternal destination and are rejoicing with their family members who have gone on before them. We have pictures and video of them participating in the reunion which I believe was Heaven inspired. I am so thankful that I took the time and effort to get the family together and share this one last time enjoying each others company.
Front Row: Pauline, Doris & Ruth
Back Row: Gary, Cecil, Ray, Dale, & Bob

The Moore Round Robin continues to fly with cousins taking the places of those who have passed on. Gary is the last remaining of the 12 siblings and still participates in this letter exchange. The family continues to keep in touch and we hope it will continue for many years.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

In Memoriam -- Patches 2006/2007-2009

Patches having fun on one of his exercise toys.

The following story was written six months ago and just never published. Now the subject of the article has passed away. If you know anything about hamsters, they have a very short life - usually two years at the most. Patches just passed that time and has left a hole in the hearts of it’s owners and playmates.

He was the second hamster this family had taken into their home. Twister was first and spent his brief life with this loving family. Both will be missed as they were loved as pets. Ann wrote a book on Twister complete with pictures for the girls to have as a reminder of his time with them. The book has been read in the girl’s elementary school classes.

Here is a story about Patches written last summer.

Patches Escape

Our daughter’s family has a hamster named Patches. Hannah and Rachel (ages 12 & 10) take Patches out of his cage often to play. Being nocturnal, hamsters sleep during the daylight hours and have their fun during the evening and early morning hours. One of the things the family does each evening is to check the cage before going to bed and say goodnight (good morning to Patches) making sure he is secure.
Patches loved going through tubes to see what was on the other end.

Some six months ago the check found that one of the openings was left unlocked and there was no Patches to talk to that evening. A quick tour of the house didn’t turn up any clues as to where he was either. Our daughter, Brenda, remembered that during the day they cleaned the carpets and left the doors open to air out the house to help the drying process. Naturally, she thought that Patches had made a bee line to the door and beyond! All kinds of thoughts went through everyone’s mind but they held on to hope that he was still in the house. But where?

Food was left out to lure him from hiding and to confirm that he was still in the house. During the next early morning hours Brenda got up and went downstairs about 3:30 a.m. and saw Patches in the kitchen. She called all members of the household to come down and help catch him. Hannah had noticed a dust bunny trail that wasn’t there before (they had the house cleaned the day before his escape) and finally caught him trying to escape once again. The mystery was solved and he was securely locked in his case once again. A sigh of relief was heard from the family --- and from Patches!

Their family and Nana and Papa (us) prayed for Patches to be found. Papa dreamed that he was found. In the morning Brenda called to tell us that Patches was found and securely back in his cage. She mentioned the time that he was caught. When I went into the office in my home I noticed a battery operated clock on my desk was stopped during the night. It stopped at 3:50 a.m. Could that be an angel confirming my dream?

Hannah was leaving for camp soon and Nana makes interesting cards for her to receive while she is there. This time it was a story of “Patches Escape” trying to get to Hannah‘s camp. Naturally, she didn’t want Hannah to receive a number of cards with Patches’ picture on them if he wasn’t found before she left.

Patches was a good pet and will be missed by the family.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmases Past

Intentions are great but they must be carried out to be effective. Like New Years Resolutions! Ann and I started out married life together on July 22, 1955 and celebrated our first Christmas together that year. We thought -- wouldn’t it be great to purchase a special ball each year for the Christmas tree and in 50 years we would have a tree with a special ball for each year! Great idea you think? We intended to do just that.

After Christmas was over, Ann would write about what we did and interesting things that year. This paper would be rolled up and attached to a string which will make it possible to pull it out of the ball and read in years to come. That lasted just four years. Balls 1957 and 1958 have broken but we still have the paper with her thoughts. Balls 1955 and 1956 were on our tree again this year -- 53 years later! Ann was “in a family way” for our first Christmas in 1955 and Rick joined us in 1956.
Our first Christmas ball ornament 1955

Our second Christmas ball ornament 1956

Our daughter came along in 1959 and she thinks it was because of her that we stopped the tradition. Maybe just being a busy family did it. I don’t know or remember why that tradition stopped. Brenda has carried on the tradition with her family.

Another tradition we have is Christmas music. There are lots of records (yes the vinyl type), CD’s and cassettes, Video and DVDs that get played every year starting on the first day we decorate the house for the season. We have six weeks of Christmas music going at home and in the car. The very first recording we purchased for Christmas is still being played 53 years later. It’s a favorite and was put together by RCA Victor with the current entertainment singing stars of that time. Of course, Perry Como is on it!

To Wish You A Merry Christmas
The RCA Victor Family
Copyright 1954, Radio Corporation of America

Other artists on this record are Eddie Fisher, Eddy Arnold, Eartha Kitt (who just passed away and is still known for her rendition of “Santa Baby”), Tony Martin, Dinah Shore, Vaughn Monroe, The Three Suns, and a few popular orchestra leaders like Hugo Winterhalter.

Traditions are wonderful if carried out. Kind of like New Years Resolutions.