Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Small College Advantages - Part D 1955-1956

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

D. Senior Year 1955-1956

The summer of 1955 up to July 22nd was spent working full time (wasn’t I already doing that?) at the book store. I took my earned vacation and drove back to Kansas City to be married. I left on a Friday night after work and drove continuously until I could no longer see straight. Stopped in Kansas for a three hour nap and continued on to Kansas City. It’s a wonder I got there at all. But we do crazy things sometimes and this I can chalk up to one of those.

Dick & Ann Moore - Married July 22, 1955 in Kansas City, Missouri

After the wedding, we spent our honeymoon driving back to California by way of Colorado. When we arrived back home in Pasadena, we began our life in a duplex at the corner of Carmelo and White. This was owned by one of the teachers at the college and Ann’s traveling sponsor/speaker the previous summer. The duplex was furnished and water paid. It had a kitchen (small), living room, bedroom, and bath. No garage. But it was home to us and we loved it. Paid $45 a month which was a lot considering I made $200 gross a month.

Dick Moore standing at the door of our duplex on Carmelo in Pasadena, CA.

Ann Moore at our front door of the duplex 1956

Ann had a job lined up to work for an insurance company office to help support as I continued to work at the book store. Well, she actually worked for one half a day! Came home very sick and was unable to return to work. Seems that she was pregnant with Ricky and for the next 3 months was too sick to do much of anything. So our married life is off and running at a much slower pace than we had planned. We thought I would be making $200 a month at the book store and she would be making $200 a month at the insurance agency. Now that is cut in half and an addition to the family was going to make an appearance within a few months.

I was in my senior year of college and taking 16 units to complete my studies for graduation. With a very sick wife and a baby coming, my thought went to supporting my family instead of finishing college. Ann’s parents, Robert and Mildred Edwards, came to our aid and told me they would pay the last year’s tuition if I would work and support the family. So that is how I was able to make it financially through my last year of college. We will be forever grateful to them for helping us get through this difficult year.

To me, college was my passport to the future and I needed to complete that if I was ever going to accomplish anything in this life. With taking a full load of studies and working full time as well, this left little time to be a part of the college community. I was not in sports or any clubs. I was living off campus and had little time to socialize outside of our home.

Dave Cole had a part time job of music minister at Central Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena. He got three other guys and a piano player forming a church quartet that sang every Sunday evening. I was the bass and Dave was the first tenor. Each of the guys (except Dave) were paid $5 a week for that one song. Dave got more since he was in charge of the entire music program. The $5 came in very handy and we enjoyed singing together.

My yearbook that year had no signatures or comments written by other school attendees. Apparently I didn’t have time to stick around after I got the book. Since I lived off campus and was married with a child here at the time the book was available, I had things to do that didn’t include finding people to sign my book. I regret that I didn’t get any but that’s life.

My sister, Faye, was a freshman this year at PNC. She appeared in three pictures in the yearbook other than her class picture for activities she was in. She was at the school only one year, my senior year. She attended Whittier College but didn’t graduate. Ann appeared in one of the pictures of the crowd at a basketball game. I was sitting next to her but wasn’t in the picture. Ann was wearing maternity clothes. I just had my senior class picture in the book. At this point I was ready to move on.

Richard Robert Moore born in Pasadena, California. Picture taken in hospital.

On April 10, 1956, our family grew by one with the addition of Richard Robert Moore. This was two months before my graduation. I attended the Senior Retreat in Big Bear as my last social contact with the college students before graduation.
Graduation Day picture of Dick Moore June 1956

Attending and graduating from Pasadena Nazarene College was a highpoint of my life. I met many friends that have become life long friends. Being in the Nazarene church for many years and singing in the Watchmen Gospel Quartet in Nazarene churches, brought me in contact with many of the people I knew at college. Last year I wrote an article about what my freshman year was compared to my granddaughter Emily’s 55 years later. You can read that article here.

Through the years we have attended a number of class reunions held at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. The first one was our 25th. Other reunions were the 30th, 35th, 45th, and the big one - 50th. In November 2006, Dave and Marlene Cole and Dick and Ann Moore attended together the Golden Anniversary of Dick & Dave’s graduation. There were 27 of the 111 in the graduating class of 1956 that attended. It was great to see them again and remember “The Good Old Days” of college. Many of these people had changed so much they didn’t even recognize me!
Here are some pictures from the 50th College Graduation Anniversary held in 2006.
Old Friends - Dick Moore and Dave Cole. Spent four years in college together and a lifetime keeping in touch with each other's families.

Dick Moore, Ross Irwin and Lyle Pritchard. Ross was very active with the college alumni.

Dave Cole, Keith & Sheila Holly. Sheila was still working for the university then.

Dave & Mert Jones. Dave was a member of the Shoremen Quartet from Long Beach for many years. Mert was my first date in my freshman year and a regular at our morning breakfast.

Years ago the alumni sold bricks for the "Alumni Walk" with your name and year of graduation. Here's mine.

Thanks for coming along with me on this memory tour of my college days. Hope you enjoyed reading these postings.

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