Saturday, February 28, 2009

Small College Advantages - Part C 1954-1955

PERSONAL NOTE -- THIS IS MY 100TH POSTING ON THIS BLOG THAT STARTED FEBRUARY 2008! I didn't know I had this much to say! On to number 200.

This is a series of five postings. If you haven’t read the previous three stories, please do so now before reading this current posting.

C. Junior Year 1954-1955

Ann spent the summer traveling with an Endowment Ladies Quartet for the college which paid her first semester of school expenses for the following year. But the trip was long and tiring. Besides singing in churches they were counselors in church camps. No trip home but her folks did come down for a weekend in New Mexico to give her a break. I drove up to Salinas for a surprise visit. The pastor’s wife was the sister of my Aunt Edith where I spent the last three years of my high school. So I arranged to stay there with them and gave Ann another break from her routine.

My summer was spent working at the Nazarene Book Store and writing letters! Wrote to her every day and she wrote to me every day. Yes, some of those letters still exist but will have to be destroyed before my kids get to them! There is a story about her receiving these letters which will be in another posting some day.

This is my junior year. Two down and two to go. Checking my yearbook, there is only one picture of Ann and I besides our class pictures. We were part of a picture story done about one of our friends about writing a term paper. There were twelve pictures going about his day finishing with the paper done. We were in one of those pictures with Gene Rice. Ann was pictured with a ladies trio for the college endowment. I didn’t get many signatures or comments written in this book but two that stand out are Dave Cole and Marlene Webb. They were getting married in 16 days, just one month before Ann and I were. As stated in a previous post, Marlene and Ann were born the same day but didn’t know each other until they came to college and sang in the Endowment Groups. You can read about that story here. Dave also sang in a quartet for the college.

This year the people owning the house that we rented a room in asked us to move out of the room. But instead they gave us the entire upstairs apartment for the same price! We had a bedroom, living room, partial kitchen (no sink), and a bathroom all to ourselves and furnished. The bedroom and kitchen were partitioned off with a free standing book case cabinet full of dishes. When Dave was to leave for a two week choir tour, he set two clocks so he wouldn’t oversleep. The one in the living room went off and so did Dave -- right into the cabinet knocking it over with a loud crash. Remember this is early in the morning. Then he was gone for two weeks. The people thought we had fought and he left. We straightened them out.

Since this was my junior year, the school had a Junior Ditch Day when all the juniors skipped classes that day and this year the trip was to Catalina Island and the city of Avalon. One catch -- the juniors always captured the Senior Class President and took him and his girlfriend along. My roommate, Dave Benson, was the Senior Class President. So naturally the job was mine and we got it done without any problems. His girlfriend, Ginny Curl (later his wife), also went and we all had a great time skipping our classes that day. That was the first time Ann and I had been to Catalina Island which became later in our lives our R & R destination.

Dave Benson, Virginia Curl, and Ann Edwards waiting for the boat. See my 1947 Plymouth behind them.

Taken on Junior Ditch Day in Avalon Catalina Island. Count the ribs! I weighed 120-125 pounds at this time.

In December 1954 during the Christmas Break, I had a life altering experience when I decided to live my life for Jesus Christ and turn my life over to Him for guidance. No bells went off - whistles didn’t blow -- I didn’t hear anyone speaking in a “God like voice”. Just a decision that actually changed me from living for myself to living for Him. I had been in a Christian atmosphere most of my life having lived with my grandparents who were ministers and an uncle who was very involved in music ministry. But living around Christianity is much different than living as a Christian. This was a decision that I have never regretted.

In February of 1955, I asked Ann for her hand in marriage. So that you don’t have to wait much longer, she said yes. Then I asked her father, Robert Edwards, for permission to marry his youngest daughter and he didn’t hesitate in saying yes to my request. Our wedding date was set for July 22, 1955. This was during the summer between my junior and senior year at Pasadena Nazarene College.

Ann left school for Kansas City, Missouri, and to prepare for the wedding. I stayed in Pasadena in our rented duplex and continued my work at the book store.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Small College Advantages - Part B 1953-1954

This is a series of five postings. If you haven’t read the previous two postings, please do so now before reading this current posting.

B. Sophomore Year 1953-1954

I spent the summer before my second year in college working in Sears Mail Order in Kansas City, Missouri. This was the last summer I spent in Kansas City. I didn’t have a car as my brother returned from overseas in the Navy and picked up his car at the college. So my transportation was by street car and bus to get around.

I returned to Pasadena, California by Greyhound bus which is a two day continuous trip sitting up. Not the best way but the cheapest way. I remember sitting next to a girl my age who lived in Las Vegas, New Mexico and when we reached there, we had an hour layover. She wanted to show me her town and we walked for a number of blocks to see it. Don’t remember the town or the girl - just the fact that we got off the bus and walked around.

When I returned to Pasadena Nazarene College, my roommate Dave Benson and I decided to move off campus one block to a room in the back of a house. The people there rented out two bedrooms that were separated by a bathroom which we shared with two other college students. For that year this was our home base. Walked up to the college everyday in time for our breakfast with the gang.

Pasadena Nazarene College Main Building

Dick at entrance of our off campus room.

Dick on a Sunday outing. Was I really that young then?

During this year, Dave got a 1937 Plymouth coupe which he let me use to take my laundry over to Aunt Doris’. Something I didn’t mention in Part A is that my aunt did my laundry for three years -- I just brought it to her and waited until it was done. Never learned to use the facilities on campus. She spoiled me! The Wright’s lived about 15 miles from the campus so the trip wasn’t far to drive.

I returned to the Headliner Coffee Shop resuming my usual hours. One of the perks was I got free food. Since I started at 5 p.m., dinner was provided. During the shift I was allowed to drink as much coffee as I wanted but no soft drinks. At the time I started there, I didn’t drink coffee. But it was free and why not. So I learned to accept the taste of coffee. I don’t drink much of it now but did acquire a taste for the beverage. This entire school year, I worked at the coffee shop. Again, I was able to put myself through a private college and supporting myself on these meager wages. Something you couldn’t do today.

Ann Edwards came to the school this year and since we were friends we would find ourselves out on many weekends seeing the sights or just enjoying miniature golf. She was involved with an Endowment Trio that traveled many weekends to raise money for the school. If she would do this for the entire school year, the second semester would be paid - room, board, and tuition. If she did it during the summer, the first semester of the coming school year would be paid. This is how she helped pay her college expenses. She also worked in the Dean’s Office several hours a week.

Ann Edwards at Mount Wilson on a Sunday in 1954.

One of the things Ann enjoyed doing was bringing a male student friend to the coffee shop while I was working to get my reaction to her being out with someone else. Do girls really do that? Boy - did I have a lot to learn! I only dated one girl once my freshman year so I didn’t have much experience in dealing with the female human being.

There was a place we could get a Pepsi and a taco for 50 cents which comes to $1.00 for a date! We did that a lot of times just to sit and talk. We would also find ourselves sitting under a tree on campus by the hour just talking. Other students would remark about that since they saw us earlier at the same place.

The current university in San Diego puts out a quarterly publication which include notes from alumni. A recent issue had me listed as writing a BLOG which includes stories about my time at Pasadena Nazarene College. One of the former students looked my BLOG up and left a note in the comment section of the latest posting. She signed it “Pat Miller Forney”. My first thought was “Gooch”. That was her nickname that everyone knew her by. We haven’t had any contact since college days when she and Bud Johnston used to double date with Ann and myself. We got in touch with Pat and found out she married Ken Forney who was in my freshman class. I didn’t remember him but looking through my first year book, he signed and left a note for me. So I did know him then. Gooch wrote a note in my second year book as she was one year behind me.

During the second semester a fellow who lived across the hall from me in the dorm the first year offered his car for sale. It was a 1947 Plymouth two door Special Deluxe Navy Blue with 50,000 miles on the car but with a rebuilt engine. John Stinnette wanted $500 for it. SOLD! I gave him $500 cash and he gave me back $5 because it needed an oil change. That car was in my care for the next 10 years. Now Ann and I had wheels!
Dick's 1947 Plymouth with sister Faye in front.

One of the things we enjoyed doing was to attend radio and TV shows in Hollywood. We attended the Bob Hope radio show, Peter Potter’s Platter Parade TV show, The Life of Riley TV show, Our Miss Brook’s radio show, and a few others. We were just part of the audience but saw some stars that made Hollywood what it was then.

Ann and I were pretty much going steady by the summer of 1954.
At the end of the school year I was hired by Ed Speakes at the Nazarene Book Store one block from the college campus. Ed was Ann’s uncle. Of course he became my uncle in 1955. Ann’s mother and Ed were brother and sister. My job was to run the shipping and receiving section of the store and stock the shelves with new books and school supplies. I would take the mail to the post office at the end of the work day. Then when the store closed, I was the janitor mopping and buffing the floors. I worked 40 hours a week during the summer and that continued through the next two school years adjusting my work schedule around my school schedule. Still carried 16 units of school work.
Nazarene Book Store where I worked my last two years of college.

Ann joined five others and traveled all summer covering the school district for the college raising endowments. This included California, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. A hard job but paid the first semester of the coming year. They were involved in church camps as counselors as well. More about her summer in the next posting.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Small College Advantage - Part A 1952-1953

If you haven’t read the previous posting that started this series off, please do so now before reading this new posting.

A. Freshman Year 1952-1953

I had my brother Ben’s car (1939 Pontiac) for my first year on campus. He was in the Navy overseas. I drove it from Kansas City, Missouri by myself when I was 18. As related in a previous story (click here), I had to keep the speed under 55 miles per hour and covered all 1,700 miles at that top speed. Gives you a chance to see some scenery as you go along.

I stayed a few days with my Aunt Doris and Uncle Orval Wright in Los Angeles before leaving for college. The only freeway in Southern California at that time was the currently named Pasadena Freeway. It was about 10 miles long ending in Pasadena. I pulled up to the campus and was met by a student named Ramon Cortines who was called “Peanuts”. Ramon disappeared for two years and returned my senior year because of time with the U.S. Army. Ramon is still in demand today as Interim Superintendent of Schools in Los Angeles. I see him occasionally on TV news. He had quite a career in education before retiring and has been called back into service a couple of times in LA to be Interim Superintendent.

Students were assigned the task to help freshmen get settled in campus life when they arrived. So Ramon helped me move the personal items from the car into my assigned dorm room. He noticed that I had a small TV and told me that it was not allowed on campus. Pasadena Nazarene College (PNC) had a rule that no TVs would be allowed. I didn’t know that when I left Missouri. So I put it in the closet and watched it there when time was available. A related story about this is found on the BLOG here under the title of “Forbidden Entertainment”.

My roommate was Dave Benson who was from Kansas City and a friend for the past three years. Dave and I attended the same high school and church. He asked me to be his roommate for his second year at the college. We ended up spending three years together.

I needed a job to pay for college expenses and applied at the local Sears store. I worked for Sears Mail Order in Kansas City which helped me get the job. My duties were to price and stock items. I wasn’t there long and got a job close to the college at the Headliner Coffee Shop as dish washer/busboy. My hours were 5 p.m to 1 a.m. Monday through Thursday and 12 noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The college had a curfew and bed check but I was exempted because of my hours. They didn’t know when I worked so they didn’t check on me at all. I spent two years working for the Headliner. Paid all my expenses including college costs. Couldn’t do that today.

I bought a breakfast pass from the college and had breakfast with about 8 people every day. You get to know them that way. Two of them (Sharon Lamkin and Sheila Lawlor) ended up spending their careers with the college retiring recently from Point Loma Nazarene University. PNC moved to San Diego in 1973. Both of these ladies married students from my graduating class year - Ross Irwin and Keith Holly.

Looking through the 1953 La Sierra yearbook is an interesting adventure. You see many people that signed your book that you have forgotten. Also many that have been life long friends. On page 121 you will find a full page picture of me driving a 1913 Model T Ford for a school rally. That story is also in a previous post on this BLOG here.

This was the year of “The Fire House Five” basketball team that were state champs in N.A.I.A. small college basketball. They played in Kansas City representing California. John Davis, Ralph Leech, Ted Cummins, Doyle Cozzens, and Bob Hopkins were coached by Ken Keoppel who happened to be the Business professor that taught many classes of mine.

Two of our next door neighbors were Clyde Rose and Ken Robinette. When I went down to change my driver’s license from Missouri to California, the observer wouldn’t get into the Pontiac because it had a cracked windshield. So I borrowed Clyde’s 1946 Ford to take the driving test. Ken and I did a lot of things together over the weekends including driving up to Mount Wilson, attending car races in Compton, etc. Guy things.

A requirement at this church college is to attend chapel services. We had assigned seats and attendance was taken. This is another place that you get to know people around you. This provided many laughs and close friendships.

Classes were small and you got to know the other students. The teacher got to know you. This is a big advantage over the larger universities where you become a number. In order to place you in some classes, tests were given at the beginning of the year. I must have aced the English exam as they put me in the top class that only wrote themes. This was taught by a man who attended Olivet Nazarene College and sang in a quartet with two of my uncles. So naturally I thought I would ace this class too. NOT! He worked our tails off writing and re-writing themes. I can recall working hours and hours on stories and getting a very low grade on them. I can also recall writing a story on the day it was due and getting an “A” on it. I guess he was preparing me to write this BLOG.

Christmas vacation was only two weeks long and several of us from the Midwest wanted to go home. So five of us and luggage got into the 1939 Pontiac and drove straight through changing drivers. The road in Kansas was slick with ice and snow and we went into the ditch. Almost immediately a farmer came along with his tractor and hooked up a chain pulling us out of the ditch. Nothing said and he didn’t charge anything. We were on our way again. About 7 miles from home the transmission gave out. During the time home, it was repaired for $125 and we made our way back to the college in time for classes. Toward the end of the school year, my brother came back from overseas duty for his car.

The summer between my Freshman and Sophomore years I returned home to Kansas City (Dave’s dad drove us in his new 1953 Dodge) and worked at the Sears Mail Order warehouse. That was the last time I spent the summer in Kansas City.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Small College Advantages

First of all, let me tell you that I am not a student -- wasn’t interested in school and unfortunately only did what I needed to do to get through. Southeast High School in Kansas City, Missouri wasn’t very interesting to me. I had moved there in 1949 leaving my small town of Celina, Ohio behind. I wasn’t involved in any activities or sports. Most of the time I had a job and that fulfilled my life. So I wasn’t known on campus by many kids.

To add to that, I wasn’t interested in going to college either. However, Uncle Sam was involved in a conflict in Korea and was drafting guys when they turned 18 years of age. That definitely didn’t interest me. The government would exempt anyone who went to college and maintained a “C” average. I can do that! So I applied to a church related school called Pasadena Nazarene College located in Pasadena, California. I thought going that far away from “home” would make me work harder on my studies. I applied for the draft exemption and left for college in late summer of 1952.

Pasadena Nazarene College probably had 1,200 students in the entire college. We had 200 pictured in our Freshman Class of 1952-1953. Living on campus in the East Dorm helped me get acquainted with guys living there and attending some of the same classes I did. Colleges this size are still available but most of you who attended college did so with a large State University ranging from 8,000 to 20,000 students. Hard to get acquainted with other students and especially with the faculty.

I am going to relate my experiences through the four years in four additional postings writing about what happened in each of the years of college to my graduation in 1956. Of course, this is for my family and college friends. But you can come along on the journey if you like. Might bring back some memories of your college days.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Day I Made My Daughter Cry

My daughter, Brenda Ann Moore, was born April 24, 1959. She was our second child having joined her brother, Richard Robert Moore, three years after his birth. Yes, she was a daddy’s girl! Very special to this dad right away. We seemed to have a mutual admiration society going on.

Throughout her life there were the usual pictures taken on events and non-events. Posed shots and unaware shots. Back in 1959 and the early 60’s, the film we used was black and white with flash bulbs to light up the darkness of night and indoor pictures. Quite different from today.

As she grew and understood what we were saying, she would question discipline or my actions concerning her. I would always respond “it’s in the Daddy’s Handbook”. She would disagree with that and always came back with “there is no Daddy’s Handbook!”. I would always reassure her that there was and I consulted it often to find the best path to choose in raising a daughter. After all, it was the first time I had a daughter and I wasn’t sure exactly how to be the best dad in forming her life. This went on for a number of years with our disagreement on whether or not there was a “Daddy’s Handbook”.

In 1980 Brenda was preparing for her wedding to Scott Douglas Ostrander. I began to think back over the years about her life and organized the pictures of her into the various years of her life. Then it hit me! Time to show that there really was a “Daddy’s Handbook”.

I found a beautifully bound book with blank pages engraved in gold marked “private pages”. I would imagine it was intended to be a journal. I had this book engraved in the middle of the cover with the words “DADDY’S HANDBOOK”. At the bottom was engraved “Brenda 4-24-59”.

My wife, Ann, Brenda’s mother, scrolled on the first page “The Daddy’s Handbook”. The next page she scrolled “For the raising of a daughter Brenda Ann Moore Born 4-24-’59”.

On the third page I typed on a card to be fastened to the page the following:

The Daddy’s Handbook contains the wisdom and guidance that a daddy needs in raising his only daughter. It is to be consulted often, sometimes into the early hours of the morning. It takes a daddy with that special sparkle in his eye to be able to read, understand, and use the valuable information contained on these pages. Although some pages appear to be blank to the casual eye, each page can be read very well by that special daddy.

The fourth page starts the pictures with captions giving sage information to help a daughter on her way to a wonderful life. For example, the first one is a picture of her laying in her brother’s arms and is dated May 59. The caption is “A daddy is to provide a loving big brother for a daughter to look up to”.

Page after page shows her development through life with captions to match what the picture may be telling us. Here are a couple to illustrate:

Picture: Big brother and little sister on a couch all dressed up for church. They are looking at each other. Brenda is wearing a bonnet.

Caption: A daddy is allowed to pass pearls of wisdom on to his eldest son so that he may share them with his adoring sister.

Picture: Six kids at a wading pool with Brenda as the only girl. She has only bathing suit bottoms on.

Caption: A daddy is not to encourage topless bathing in mixed company.

This goes on through 65 pictures. At that point I had to put in a card to tell her that from 1965 on was not included in pictures since her daddy was taking slides then and would review the slides to complete the book for her wedding.

The book was then wrapped nicely and a letter was included from me to inform her that “Yes, Brenda, there really is a Daddy’s Handbook”. This was one of her gifts at her bridal shower. You can imagine what happened when she opened that gift. Tears flowed and this has been a cherished possession of hers.

There were 43 more pictures added to the handbook. The last one is of her “husband” and the new bride at their wedding reception. That caption reads “A daddy should provide the best example he can for a daughter to follow and be sure she selects the right person to spend the rest of her life with”. Her mother and I have been married for 53 years now and Brenda and Scott will soon celebrate 29 years together.

On the last page I typed a card which reads:

Dear Brenda,

This chapter of your life is now complete. You will have many exciting and interesting events ahead of you which will make memories that will be remembered for a lifetime.

You have given me great memories which I share with you in this book. There are many that are not included in this handbook. You have given me many occasions to be proud to be your dad. I thank you for being such a wonderful part of my life.

Yes, Brenda, there really is a “DADDY’S HANDBOOK”! How else could I have done such a great job?

Have a great life.

Daddy (signed)

I did a great job, didn't I?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Married My College Roommate's Fiance

I know what you are thinking -- you dog you! But it isn’t quite the way you may have thought.

Dave Benson, Ann Edwards, and myself were a part of the teen group in Kansas City, Missouri that attended First Church of the Nazarene. All three of us happened to attend Southeast High School also. As I stated before, I wasn’t into girls at that time and only dated two during my three years in Kansas City which didn't include Ann. She told her mother on the day we met that “he is the man I’m going to marry”! She was 14 years old and I was 15 at the time.

Since I wasn’t interested in girls during high school, Ann had to go another direction. She and Dave started dating and were boyfriend/girlfriend before Dave left for Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena, California in 1951. At this time Ann was a junior in high school. Most of the kids from our church attended Bethany Peniel Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University) in Bethany, Oklahoma as this college served our district in the Nazarene denomination.

I graduated in 1952 and decided to go to Pasadena Nazarene College. Dave asked me to be his roommate. He and Ann became engaged and off to college the guys went leaving Ann to her senior year of high school. My first year of college I had my brother’s 1939 Pontiac to use as he was overseas in the Navy. I had one date to a party held at a local church. That was it on dating for me.
David Benson - my roommate for three years in college

Dave had two pictures of Ann and we each had a dresser to put them on. So I got used to seeing her picture daily! At the end of the school year 1953, Dave and Ann broke their engagement. This was awkward for Ann as she had applied and been accepted at Pasadena Nazarene College. She decided to attend there anyway instead of the school in Bethany, Oklahoma.

Dave and I rented a room a block off campus my second year. Ann was living in the girls dorm on campus. That year Dave had a car and I didn’t. So I got to borrow his car when needed. Not to date - but just errands that I needed to do. Dave and I were roommates for three years.

Since Ann and I were friends from the same city, high school, neighborhood (she lived one and a half blocks from me) and church, I told her that if she didn’t have a date on Friday nights, maybe we would do something as friends. Funny, how she didn’t have many dates on Friday nights. So we would do things together over the weekend like miniature golf, visiting sights around Southern California, going up to the mountains for a couple of hours, etc. I bought a 1947 Plymouth before my junior year so we had wheels when we needed to go somewhere.
Dick Moore & Ann Edwards on a mountain trip on a Sunday 1954

Dick Moore, Ann Edwards, and college friend, Dave Cole - Mt .Baldy 1954

As you can imagine, this blossomed into going steady and then engagement for our wedding between my junior and senior year of college.

My favorite picture of Ann - going steady 2-21-54

No - I didn’t steal my college roommate’s fiancĂ©. He had moved on leaving me to step in to find my life’s companion. 53 years and counting now! Thanks, Dave!