Hidden treasures discovered while digging through Frank Moore's huge archives.

Category: Miscellaneous (page 1 of 6)

Frank Moore – Out of Isolation, INTERDREAM

A piece written by Veronica Vera that was published in High Performance magazine, #53, Spring 1991.

Frank Moore communicates his world to his audience. It is a slow world built on trust. Because for a “crip” (Moore’s word to describe his cerebral palsy), time is elongated and things happen through cooperation. Frank Moore cannot move a distance of five feet on his own, but he can lead an audience by giant leaps through innerspace.

Out Of Isolation, Moore’s simple two-character video at The Kitchen, described the initial meeting and subsequent week of physical therapy between a spastic (Moore) and his nurse (Linda Sibeo). At first the patient was unresponsive to the nurse’s well-meaning but torturous, by-the-book approach: pulling at his limbs, massaging him with ice cubes and bristly paint brushes, petting and swatting him as she would a dog. Occasionally, she revealed a personal side, using the patient as her confidant. She decided to return on the weekend to pay him a non-professional visit, and by the end of the visit, they lay naked together, cuddling, sharing. Not only has the patient come out of isolation, but so has the nurse.

This is the pivotal message of every Frank Moore performance: that physical interaction—the sharing of energy, the sensual “eroplay”—is essential to life, and the more we strip it down to its basic level, the more we benefit from the force of the interaction.

That same weekend, Frank Moore and Chero company presented INTERDREAM as part of New York University’s “New Pathways For Performance” conference. Body painting, massage, primal music, chanted poetry—INTERDREAM contained all of Moore’s favorite methods of communication, including the shaman’s tent where he lay naked ready to receive audience members, collaborators, who chose to go deeper into the cave. Among the audience were members of “Disabled in Action” and “Artists With Disabilities. Inc.” They greeted his performance with enthusiasm, and contributed to bridging the gap between artist and audience.

Because I had performed with Frank Moore twice, I thought that if I entered the cave as merely one of the audience members, I might feel a let down. Blindfolded, I was led to a clear space on the shaman’s mat. I reached out and felt bodies, some clothed, some bare-skinned beneath my fingers. My clothes were a barrier, so I removed my blouse and bra. I felt Frank, his thick tongue and glasses, then I felt a woman’s breasts, legs and arms, and I couldn’t tell where one person ended and another one began. I lay with the god Shiva, half-man, half-woman, cradled by warm human flesh, so vulnerable, yet so safe. And then I began to cry. I cried my way out of isolation.

—Veronica Vera

Out of Isolation was presented at The Kitchen in New York City, October 6, 1990. INTERDREAM was presented at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, as part of “New Pathways In Performance,” October 7, 1990.

Veronica Vera is a literary artist. She is creator of The Theory of Sexual Evolution.

The article as published in High Performance. Photo by Eric Kroll.
Poster by LaBash.
The cover of the issue of High Performance that the article was published in.


New York City, circa 1974

From How To Handle an Anthropologist, Session 13, February 27, 1998, Nonfilms

Russell: So you were selling newspapers?

Frank: Yes. Really people just gave me money.

Russell: You mean they didn’t buy newspapers?

Frank: (makes “yes” sound) Or tip me.

Russell: So the money was just … what was the money for?

Frank: It was just for me.

Russell: They were just being kind or generous?

Frank: It varied. Like some people did not even look at me.

Russell: Most people didn’t give a damn, right?

Frank: The poor give because they like me.

Russell: You mean poor people?

Frank: They are who give the most.

Russell: So did you feel weird about people giving you money or did you not? Just accept it?

Frank: Yes. Because on one level it serves a function for people to be able to give, and on another level I was never there mainly for the money. I was people watching and people fishing.

Russell: On another level you also needed money.

Frank: But if that is your main reason then they feel that.

Russell: You weren’t there for money because you didn’t want them to feel it?

Frank: No. The reverse. (laughs)

Russell: Even if you had not needed money you would have been there?

Frank: Yes. Which has been the case most of the time.

Russell: Was this the first time?

Frank: Yes.

Russell: Is that what led you into the possibilities of that, of being there?

Frank: Yes. Like I have always people watched. This was more interactive.

Russell: And you were OK with the interactions?

Frank: Yes.

Russell: I am only saying that because of many people, disabled people among them, who have been in that situation. You understand my point?

Frank: Why?

Russell: I have no judgment on it myself but I think there might be many disabled people who might feel that you were perhaps leaning on past images or perceptions of disability, and not being on the forefront of new roles and images for people with disabilities. Now, like I said, it’s all a construction to me, but many people load it valuably.

Frank: (laughs) Well at that time I was wearing a jean skirt. (laughs)

Russell: So? What does that mean? What are you saying?

Frank: Not the old image.

Russell: But clothing sometimes detracts from images, as you’re well aware of.

Frank: Seriously, what you put out affects the image.

Russell: Yeah, but intent and role in clothing, I don’t see where it could affect it. We’re going too far off here, this philosophical …

Frank: I was joking.

Russell: (laughs) OK. But you still need to give me something in terms of your reasoning and intent around that issue.

Frank: What issue?

Russell: The issue of your difference from the way many people would view that situation.

Frank: If I thought it was demeaning I would not do it.

Russell: I have no doubt, but at some point, maybe in a more general discussion not connected to any particular incident or period, I want to bring up this idea again. For one, because I think you have something important to contribute on the subject, I think you have a lot to contribute on that subject. You could provide insight. So, it’s not just my obstinance.

Frank: Like the real old image is crips should be at home or in some out of sight place, or when they are on the street they are in a desperate situation. I was not in either of those. I was living a life in the outside world.

Russell: My image was the image of the disabled beggar. People in medieval times would even disable themselves so that they could beg for food. That’s the image that I’m talking about, that a lot of people try to distance themselves from. What is the difference in your thinking?

Frank: But why? Like if the crip did it to survive, that is a strong person.

Russell: You’re getting into dynamics of the person existing and doing what it takes. They may be changing or trying to change that image to fit the sociopolitical situation today.

Frank: They should celebrate those people.

Russell: I’m not sure about celebrating. I think they accept them but again want to get away from that kind of image in the sociopolitical environment today. I have the unusual ability to be able to see everybody’s point of view about everything. (laughs)

It causes me a lot of problems sometimes but ultimately I think it’s good for the kind of work that I’m doing.

Frank: And in the hippy culture in the 1970s panhandling was an acceptable way of making money. Like hitchhiking was normal.

Russell: I also understand it was different times. I also wanted to see what you felt about that point of mine, what I brought up, because I think it’s important to get at the gist of what different people are about in terms of their orientations and what acts they feel comfortable and uncomfortable doing. Again, different times and sometimes the pressures of accepting all the principles of some doctrine can be pretty authoritarian.

Frank: Like a lot of people said crips should not be on a stage.

Russell: So you didn’t listen to them. (laughs)

Frank: Who was crips? (laughs)

Russell: Right. Where were we? (laughs) We got off on a good tangent there. I like those tangents. (laughs)

Frank: When someone stopped to talk it got deep.

Russell: So you got into a lot of discussions.

Frank: And that is how a rich woman asked me if I would paint her.

Russell: You said during the discussion that you painted, and she asked you to paint her.

Frank: (makes “yes” sound) She came to our house to see my paintings, but wanted me to paint her at her house.

Russell: So what happened?

Frank: We took my stuff to her big house. (laughs) She took her clothes off. A light went on in my head.

Russell: So you weren’t expecting her to take her clothes off?

Frank: No. It was the first time I painted a live person.

Russell: So when you say a light went off you mean that this was something to get into, expand on?

Frank: Yes. That art gives people an excuse or a context to do what they would not normally do. I did see that in class. But the class context may have been operating but this was just a start. So I started doing nonfilms.



photos by Mary Sullivan

Personal Theater

EST was very popular in the Bay Area around the time that Frank did the Personal Theater:
It was in this context that Frank did the Personal Theater.


“Personal Theater dares you to take the ultimate trip. Everything you want within 48 hours or your money back. DARE YOU! IF YOU’VE TRIED EST, TM, PRIMAL, ERICA, SILVA MIND CONTROL, GESTALT, SCIENTOLOGY, SEX, DRUGS, POLITICS, ALCOHOL, MONEY AND YOU HAVEN’T GOT EVERYTHING YOU WANT, WELL …”

COREY: Did you get calls from these?


COREY: When was this?

FRANK: Mid-70s to late.

“Personal theater: Are you willing to get everything you want?”

“To get a way to be a rock star
To quit smoking
To stop feeling inferior
To stop trying to prove myself
To feel good consistently
To be open and close with people …”

(That was a list of someone who did a process.)

“To feel satisfied with regard to sex
To not let anger get in my way
To make a decision about having a baby
To stop drinking
To stop overeating
To be happy
To not be alone
To get a way to be a rock star
To not be scared
To stop being bitchy and defensive.”

COREY: How many people did the 48 hour processes?

FRANK: We did a couple of group processes, but besides them, maybe eight.

“PERSONAL THEATER: “What do you really want? What is everything you want, really want? The personal theater is about getting everything you want…

“The first step in getting what you want is knowing what you want and knowing what your priorities are …”

FRANK: In fact, it is eighty percent.

(So when Frank had the person make a list and he went through it with them before the process to define their goals, that was like most of it, eighty percent, just seeing what they really wanted …)

“Most people go around with vague feelings of dissatisfaction. They can always tell you in very concrete terms what they do not want, but they can not pin down exactly what would make them satisfied.”

FRANK: Whereas I always know what I want.

“You cannot focus on getting something that you are at best just vaguely aware of. Beyond not knowing what their real personal wants and needs are, the next common block to getting everything is either not knowing what their priorities are or not acting according to their priorities. Most people settle. Most people flow on the path of what looks like least resistance. Most people give themselves space to not really do what they want to do. Not really be what they want to be, not have what they really want. So they settle for being a bitch. It takes less work than being happy. They settle for buying a house rather than making their relationships work. Everyone knows how to buy a house, it just takes years of work to get the money, and then maybe the house will be the right setting for their relationship. It never works. After years of work chances are they are still working to pay the mortgage and still are not satisfied. The irony is that if they had focused on their highest priority, their relationship, the house would have been much easier to get.”

“This is why Personal Theater offers a special six-hour seminar that enables you to define concretely what your goals are, what your order of priorities is and what your basic life theme is. All you need for this seminar is the willingness to be honest with yourself. After this seminar, if you act consistently according to your priorities, you will have a better chance of getting everything you want. The goal seminar is led by Frank Moore and costs 20 dollars. The goal seminar is designed for everyone, but the Personal Theater also offers a 48 hour process as a very intense way for you to focus on getting everything you want. Mr. Moore and his staff create a fantastic and at times surreal 48 hour experience suited to each individual’s personality in which you are led to realize what you need to do to achieve your goals and then are pushed to do it.”

“Let’s back up and see what this really means. In the Personal Theater, unlike most growth or therapy situations there is no pre-fabricated structure or process. The experience is totally built around you and your goals. This is especially true in the single process in which you are the sole focus of attention. But it is also true in the group process which contains no more than five people and has the added dimension of inter-relationships. No getting lost, or hiding in a crowd of hundreds of people. For the 48 hour Mr. Moore and his staff will be intimately involved with you. Unlike EST, there is no vague “it” to get. You come into the process to work on getting the concrete goals on your list. You will know when and if you have gotten a certain goal because you will have made it concrete and therefore testable before starting the process. The process is not therapy. It is not focused on what is wrong with you. You will be focusing on getting what you want and being what you want to be. If this means dealing with and resolving certain problems, that may be a part of the process. Although Mr. Moore sometimes leads the person back into his past, the process does not lay emphasis on why you do not have what you want, but rather on getting and keeping what you want. The Personal Theater has an amazing track record. Everyone who has gone through the process has felt they have gotten at least a large number of their goals by the end of the 48 hours. Moreover, most people who have gone through the process have said they realized all of the goals on their list by the end of the 48 hours. Some have realized all of their listed goals in as quickly as 30 hours, leaving 18 hours to work on new goals. There is no limit to how many goals you can have on your list. One woman had 22 goals. She realized all of these within 32 hours. One man achieved the only goal on his list: to have fun. Some of the other goals which people have achieved during the process are:”

(This is where the list is {above})

“The process is a 48 hour intense push, a giant kick in your life to get you out of your ruts. Mr. Moore will include things in your process that expand you beyond the limits that are keeping you from what you want. This pressure at times will not be comfortable. Are you willing to be pushed to get what you want? The entire success of your process will depend on your willingness to be pushed beyond your limits. The process may include things you might rather not look at, rather not do. But everything in the process is designed to get you your goals. Everything is designed around you. But it is like a roller coaster. Every time Mr. Moore pushes you beyond your limits, your first impulse might be to resist out of fear. But if you remember that it is possible for you to do everything in your process, you can enjoy the dips and the loop-the-loops on this 48 hour ride. Although you can stop this ride at any time to resist, there is only one track to the end, down the deep dips and around the loop-the-loops.”

“You have to reach the end of the ride to get everything you want. Mr. Moore will work with you when you stop by resisting to get you started again and will speed up the remainder of the ride so you can get to the end in time. But if you use your 48 hours in resisting, you will get only what you have gotten to. Mr. Moore takes responsibility for designing the 48 hour experience and guiding you through this experience. This is what you will be paying for. But if you do not take the responsibility to let Mr. Moore guide you through the entire process, you will not get everything you pay for. It is that simple.”

“Your 48 hour experience may include activities ranging from magic, impromptu plays and dances to reliving your childhood or relationship counseling. People within your life may be called into your process. Your process may take you to different places, such as cafes and discos. It may even include extremely mundane, non-glamorous tasks such as scrubbing the floor, or taking one step every three seconds.”

“In short, it may include anything and everything that will get you what you want. It will include things that you may not understand until after your process. It will not include sex or violence.”

“There are three ways to do the process. The single process may be the most intense way, because Mr. Moore and his staff focus entirely on you. A single process costs 700 dollars. There is the relationship process in which two people who have a relationship together, be it a marriage or a friendship or a business relationship, work on their personal goals, but also on their goals within and for the relationship. This costs 400 dollars per person. Mr. Moore and his staff do a group process in which up to five people are in their individual processes at the same time. These individual processes are played off one another. The cost to do a group process is 300 dollars per person. Basically the Personal Theater seeks to draw each individual into a slow and peaceful world in which he can experience freedom and closeness with others. The Personal Theater is a part of Inter-Relations Incorporated, a non-profit organization which also offers individual and relationship counseling and workshops in personal closeness.”

FRANK: Amazing how much we have done.

COREY: Were there any kind of records kept of the processes?

FRANK: Slides and tapes.

Postcard-size handout
The Personal Theater handout
The contract the person signed before the process.

Frank’s letter to the IRS

In 1995 and 1996, as part of his apprenticeship with Frank, Corey Nicholl recorded a box full of cassette tapes titled, “The Frank Moore History Tapes”. Because Corey had studied history in college, Frank set Corey to the task of writing Frank’s biography. These tapes were recorded as the source material for that biography. Needless to say it was never written. About 75% of the tapes were transcribed around the time they were recorded and we are now in the process of transcribing the remainder. We are also digitizing all of the tapes to eventually be uploaded to Frank’s collection on The Internet Archive. We are going to publish the raw transcripts as a multi-volume set of very small run hardcover books.

As we go through them, there are many gems …. Here is one from FRANK MOORE HISTORY TAPES – VOLUME 1, pg.  27.

Frank’s letter to Jean Gessey (sp.) showing that that Inter-Relations qualifies as a Church …

I, as the Church representative, am frankly confused by your letter denying the Church of Inter-Relations Church classification. You stated that our doctrines are not religious because there is no “parallel to that filled by god in traditional religion.” I do not know by what standards you are basing this statement. I can only state as clearly as I can the beliefs that I and the other 30 church members live by. If the following does not satisfy you that the Church of Inter-Relations more than meets the threshold requirement for classification as a Church, then I for the Church protest such a ruling and request a conference in your San Francisco office.

Human melting/personal closeness is the ultimate motivation in my and the church members lives, therefore human melting/personal closeness is the ultimate force in our lives. That manifests itself in our lives as the center theme, the highest priority, the deepest need. This is proved by the enclosed statements by many church members. In traditional religions there is the statement, “God is love.” We have the same concept, but we have pulled it down into the concrete plane. We believe the supreme force is the ever deepening closeness. We devote our lives to that closeness. We put that before anything else, before jobs, before personal ambitions, before petty wants. We have committed ourselves to fulfill one another’s needs and to get close to anyone who is willing to get close. Hence we are directed, not by our own personal judgments, but by that unromantic willingness and devotion to closeness …

The Frank Moore History Tapes

Looking For Moore

Performance artist, guru, shaman and activist Frank Moore opens the door to life’s possibilities.

By Cathleen Loud

Burnt Ramen
Burnt Ramen, Richmond, California, 2006.

You approach the entrance of the Burnt Ramen, an old warehouse-turned-performance- venue near the railroad tracks at 111 Espee Avenue in Richmond, Calif. There is a nervous, excited energy rumbling in your stomach. This is your first Frank Moore performance. You’re intimidated. You’ve heard about this guy and his performances with the Cherotic All-Star Band and you’ve seen the fliers posted around San Francisco, flapping in the wind. You’ve heard about the nudity, the exploration, the lack of political correctness, the delight, the tackiness but you’re still not quite sure what to expect once you cross the threshold into the unknown world. Challenged by curiosity, you grab the handle of the door, about ready to charge in when you notice the following sign is posted: “Warning! Enter at your own risk! This piece may be threatening to your everyday reality. This piece may cause questioning of the common reality. These symptoms may appear days after the piece, without warning… Even during the piece, you may feel as if nothing is happening…or you may even enjoy it. But, the above symptoms may still appear, leading to restlessness and even radical change.”

You take a deep breath, lower your head and walk in. The door slams closed behind you as you enter Moore’s Web of All Possibilities.

Born with cerebral palsy and unable to walk or talk, Moore believes he was born a lucky guy. Until the age of 17, he lived shut out from the rest of the world because he couldn’t communicate and because his negative attitudes and low self-image alienated him. So, at age 17, he invented a head pointer and a board with words and phrases on it. He learned to speak by pointing to the words and phrases on the board. (He still communicates this way today.) It took patience on his part and the part of the listener to have a conversation but, at last, he could communicate!

His next battle was to overcome his low self-image. He was allowing the society’s expectation of what a “crippled” person should be, to shape his reality. Society’s expectation was winning. But not for long.

Around age 28, Moore’s life turned. Something happened that made him look at the way he viewed himself. He couldn’t get laid! Women viewed him as “the nice guy,” the guy who would listen and give advice, but never the guy who they wanted to have sex with. He accepted this because he thought it wasn’t right to burden a girl with his ugly body. Eventually, after one more failed relationship, Moore had had enough. He had identified himself for too long with a reality that thought of him as ugly, unfortunate or “crippled.” He wasn’t happy. He decided he could either accept the “reality” of his ugly body and an asexual role he played or he could change the way he thought about himself. He wanted to be happy and beautiful, and not feel like a burden to anyone. So, he started to believe he was a beautiful human being. He didn’t think of his “crippled” body as a burden; he viewed it as a tool. He viewed it as the mark of a shaman. Historically, the gods marked shamans by their deformities or abnormalities, to set them apart from the rest of the tribe. They would bring back messages for the greater good or to heal those in need.

Physically, Moore could do things with his body that most people can’t. He could bend, move, twist and contort himself. Socially, he could break the norm. The possibilities before him were endless as he was without the fear of living up to any expectations. “I was never under any pressure to be good at anything, to make money, to make it in ‘the real world’, [or] to be polished. I could focus on having fun, on going into taboo areas where magical change can be evoked,” Moore says on his web site, the Web of All Possibilities (www.eroplay.com).

To subvert reality, Moore began creating art in 1965. His first experience was playing with oil paints. Since he was in the business of breaking taboos and pushing limits, nothing was too extreme for him. He’d meet strangers on the street and ask them if he could paint nude pictures of them. Many people agreed and he saw how art allows people to do things that are generally forbidden. There is willingness, he says, to push beyond comfort and safety in art and this openness brings about change.

As he performed the magic of art, more possibilities opened up for him. He began experimenting with different types of theater, performance, and workshops and with shamanism. Shamanistic art includes public and private rituals, audience participation and apprenticeship. It allows people’s dreams to become realities because there are no limits with regards to time or space, no moral guidelines and no rules. With the ideas of normalcy suspended, anything, even magic, can happen. “Frank’s art inspired me and showed me how far it was possible to go in the direction of art as an engulfing experience, and of doing genuine, no-bullshit magic in the modern world,” says Fred Hatt, a visual and performance artist and photographer who has attended many of Moore’s performances and who is also a featured artist on Moore’s web site.

In the mid-1970s, after an unsuccessful all-nude play at California State University, relocating to Santa Fe and New York, and then finally settling in Berkeley, Moore met Linda Mac. Frank rolled into Don Travel, the agency in Calif. where Mac worked. He came right up to her. “The moment I had eye contact with Frank, I ‘saw’ him,” she recalls. He invited her to come to his house because he was casting a play. He wanted her to audition (later, she found out there really was no play). She went to the house, read some of Moore’s writings and she was hooked. “I knew immediately that this is what I had been waiting for,” Mac says. The two have been together, working and playing, for over 25 years.

Moore’s performance experimentation eventually led to the creation of a joyful community based on freedom and closeness. The community was an alternative to the way society isolates people. With an entourage of 30 people- friends, performers and students, Moore and Mac began doing workshops and private performances “just for fun.” These experiences created intimate relationships and altered states among everyone involved. Silliness, hidden fantasy, child’s playfulness and creativity became a part of their normal lives. Public performance pieces evolved from the workshops and private performances. One of the first public performances was a costume parade through the streets of Berkeley. The performers were dressed in elaborate costumes of brightly colored skin paintings and risqué outfits made from net and lace.

In the late ’70s, Moore and his gang, which had now been together for four years, started doing longer ritualistic performances. He created a rock-and-roll cabaret-style show, called the Outrageous Beauty Revue, which ran every Saturday night for 3 years at the Mabuhay Garden Nightclub and various colleges and clubs in San Francisco. Moore describes the O.B.R. as “an unpolished show that flaunted nudity, eroticism and gore in a silly, child-like playfulness — an ever-changing show with pregnant sex symbols, nude girls, crippled rock stars, men as women and women as men without any sexual meaning.” It was outrageous, shocking, and different. On the surface, the performances appeared to be entertainment laced with a kind of shock value. But Moore describes the shows as having a much deeper meaning than just shocking entertainment. They were, in fact, another way in which Moore fought against the societal “norms” of the time.

The community that performed with Moore eventually broke up. He realized, after they tried to incorporate sex into their lives that it was not the answer to the physical connectedness they were searching for. Moore continued to focus on the energy that resulted from the intense, playful, physical involvement he had with them and from this, an important physical aspect to Moore’s work began to evolve. He coined this element “eroplay”. Moore describes eroplay as “intense physical touch and play among adults that is not sexual but has no limits.”

Today, Moore incorporates eroplay in many of his performances. In creating this alternative reality, Moore tries to expand and break down the way sex is viewed in our culture. Says Mac: “Eroplay is a way of having a depth of interaction with someone that is fun. The whole social structure is set up to keep people feeling like they are not free. With eroplay, one has a direct visceral experience of that not being true.” She says eroplay is not about sex, but about people connecting with one another on a very deep level and that it gives people hope. “It feels wonderful to be a part of!” says Teresa Cochran, a performer in the Cherotic All-Star Band and a student of The University of Possibilities, Moore’s shamanistic performance school.

Cochran, who first met Moore at a block party five years ago, remembers the magic she felt the first time that she met him. She told Moore and Mac that she wanted to play music. Of course, they invited her to a jam session! The jam was very improvisational and free form and, while playing, Cochran realized the dynamics between the audience and the performers. There was no distinction between the two. Playing with them and feeling the freedom of expression liberated her. “My stage fright totally disappeared when I saw Frank doing exactly what he wanted to do,” she says. “If he can do whatever he wants to do, I can do whatever I want to do.”

“I saw Frank right away and said ‘This guy knows how to live’,” says Michael Labash who met Moore in 1988. At the time they met, Labash says he was a yuppie, well-dressed, freshly combed hair and not one you’d expect to be open to Moore’s reality. He played in a band called Mr.Dog (which later became the Counting Crows). At one particular performance he met a woman named Leigh Gates who happened to be one of Moore’s apprentices. After talking with Gates for some time after the show, she invited him to read some of Moore’s writings. He said when he read them “the floor fell out from under my world.” A few weeks later, Labash attended a small gig of Moore’s at Rather Ripped Records in Berkeley. “I sat there with my mouth open the whole time. I had never seen anything like it. Nude bodies, Frank singing, saran wrap. It was wild,” he says. Not much later after the record store gig he attended a 12-hour performance and also got to meet with Moore. After a few meetings, Labash decided to quit Mr.Dog. He realized that it wasn’t fulfilling to him. Soon after, Moore asked him to be an apprentice at the University of Possibilities. Now, 13 years later, Moore, Mac and LaBash live together as partners in San Francisco.

Moore averages about two public performances (rituals, music gigs, poetry readings, etc.) a month. The shows are mostly free form and when the Cherotic All-Stars have a performance, they don’t even rehearse. They just show up and play! When Moore performs, anything goes. Sometimes there are nude men and women, sometimes they sing and dance, sometimes rock and touch, sometimes all of it happens and sometimes none of it happens.

The performances allow you to step outside of what is generally accepted in order to explore, question, test and evolve by pushing you to the limit, by making you uncomfortable and by showing you a reality that is usually very different from what you are used to. You as the audience and performers, who are one and the same once the door closes and the performance begins, are exposed to a show that can become whatever your dreams will allow. Audience members watch, some deliciously, hanging onto every movement, every noise, delighted and turned on. Others turn away, not wanting to watch, sickened to their stomachs, ready to leave. Some people feel vulnerable, some challenged; others are bored and even angered.

“People have very intense responses and reactions. A lot of times people cry”, says Alexi Malenky, another performer and apprentice of Moore’s. “I’ve never noticed anyone not be affected at all by it,” he adds. He explains that sometimes people get up and leave in the middle of a show. He says that it’s easy to think they are leaving because they don’t like what they see. But Moore says that when people leave a show early, it’s because they’ve gotten as much as they want from that performance or they’ve reached a personal threshold they don’t want to go past.

While Moore’s performances change some people’s lives and challenge them to seek authenticity, others are unmoved and disinterested. William Mandel, an activist and author of Saying No to Power (Creative Arts, Berkeley, 1999), has known Moore for about 2 years. “I haven’t attended Frank’s performances because his videos don’t turn me on to them. I don’t think the people are particularly talented. I’m not impressed by the music,” he says.

Since no two performances are ever the same, you never know what the night has in store. Sometimes the performers will take part in all night ritual performances and sacred ceremonies, sometimes music jams, or sometimes more traditional, “scripted” plays. In each instance, it is a different experience because Moore allows the shows to evolve in their own. The magic is different each time depending on who is there, who participates, how the audience feels and how the performers interact with each other.

In 1994, Moore directed and produced a scripted play called No Tongue Will Live To Speak, No Ears Will Yearn To Hear, written by Native American chief, Distant Eagle. Dorothy Jesse Beagle, a poet and artist who saw the show recalls what it felt like to see the piece. “Much of the play was played nude but was never erotic nor seemed anything but totally natural, spiritual with great lines and acting. No one would think, let alone say, ‘hey guys I’m watching nudes.’ It wasn’t about nudity but about a primitive tribe and we all felt we were part of the play.”

Moore’s ritualistic approach to his performances gives them a sort of secrecy. Mac explains a secret cave ritual that is sometimes performed. She leads you, blindfolded, to the door of a cave that has been constructed out of painted backdrops. There, she gives you a drink called somala. The drink looks and tastes like water but what it really is, is up to you to decide. Mac tells you that the drink is a drug of dreams and dying. It does not have any side effects and won’t make you do anything you don’t want to do. It does, however, make it easier for you to do whatever you do want to do. From there, Mac leads you into the cave. Mac won’t give details about what goes on in the cave and she says you have to come to a performance and find out for yourself.

Hatt attended a five-hour show of Moore’s called “Journey to Lila” in New York City in 1989. He agrees with Mac about the secrecy of the performances. “You need to experience one of these full ritual performances yourself, and the experience will be fuller if you don’t know what to expect,” he says.

Moore does not separate his art from his private life or his public life. It is all the same to him. This is why he spends so much time building relationships, adding dimensions, subverting reality and breaking the norms and taboos of society. Malenky says that in blending all parts of his life, Moore is “creating a life in which people live fully and joyfully in closeness with each other and the world around them.”

Corey Nicholl found this lack of separation hard to become used to when he first met Moore ten years ago. Nicholl who is an apprentice of Moore’s says it wasn’t easy to remain open to the reality that Moore presents. “If you want to keep such a control over things and have this part of reality over here and this part over there, you’re going to work really hard to do that. Everything is struggling against you,” he says. But, he explains, if you surrender and give up trying to control things, you’ll see how life bleeds and melts together, that there are no boxes. You form those boxes yourself.

Moore’s work doesn’t rub everyone the right way. In 1991, Senator Jesse Helms labeled Moore’s art, and a group of other artists’ art, as “obscene.” Because many of these artists had received funding from the National Endowment of Arts, the General Accounting Office investigated and several of them lost their NEA funding. Moore was not one of them that lost funding but he was more or less blacklisted by Helms. He was forbidden to perform at places that received money from the NEA. If he did perform, the venues were at risk of losing their funding.

In a letter that Moore sent to Helms, he asks, “Why are you closing channels of expression and of funding to me without due process of law?” He continues, “It is a political and cultural blacklist under the cover of obscenity. Extortion and blacklists are against the American ideals and spirit.” Moore says because of Helms’ threats, his work became even hotter. It got him more opportunities for gigs. And more gigs meant more magic.

Regardless of who does or doesn’t like his work, Moore continues. His newest call to freedom is a web-cast Internet radio station called Love Underground Vision Radio or LUVeR for short (www.luver.com). LUVeR brings almost all of his art, his philosophy of life and his reality together. Launched on Valentine’s Day of 1999, LUVeR has become a forum for all different types of art and various people. “LUVeR is probably the most eclectic of radio stations, Internet or otherwise,” says Beagle who has her own show on LUVeR called Jesse’s Full Pantry. Weekly, there are alternative news shows and current events shows on politics, oppression and survival. There is erotica, philosophy, lecture programming and satirical and political humor. Original music from experimental musicians, punk rock, folk, bluegrass, and classical musicians are broadcast. There are daily newscasts by a news team, weekly interviews that cover artists and other interesting people and video coverage of live events and news conferences. LUVeR is a playground of totally uncensored, nonprofit, noncommercial expression. Hatt says that Moore is “proudly underground” and has never made any concession to try to be commercial, to fit into any respectable art scene or to be acceptable to any institution.

Moore’s work may not be considered art by some. His performances might scare you and even want to make you run the other way. The bottom line is that his work is an inspiration to people. For those people that it touches, their lives are forever changed. They look at things a little differently and probably a little more clearly. Moore’s work changed me. Call me what you will- naïve, weird or strange. I now believe in the possibilities of life. I now have a fuller understanding of a life without limitations and expectations. I am filled with a deep sense of joy just by knowing Moore. I was looking for Moore and I found exactly what I had hoped.

The Last Temptation of Christ Opening

In August 1988, Frank took his two sons, Koala and Ki-lin, and a few of his students, Leigh, Rourke and Mikee, to see Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ” when it opened at the Northpoint Theater in San Francisco. Leigh, Rourke and Mikee “dressed” for the occasion. Photos by Linda Mac.

From left to right: Rourke, Leigh, Koala, Ki-lin
From left to right: Leigh, Rourke, Mikee


Written by Connie Moore, Frank’s mom.


Frank and Connie, Christmas, circa early 1950s


The summer after Frank was 2 (1948), Dad and Grace went out to Santa Monica to visit Harriet who was working then at the VA Hospital.  She had bought a duplex with another woman and Aunt Harriet had gone out to live with her.  Aunt Harriet was working at I Magnins in Westwood.  Jim, Frank and I left Ohio a week or two later and met Grace and Dad at Salt Lake.  Grace and Dad took Frank back to Mansfield with them and Jim and I went on to Santa Monica for our first real vacation together.  The Harriets were wonderful hostesses and really showed us around Los Angeles area.  We saw most of the sights as Knotts Berry Farm and La Brae Tar Pits.  Disneyland was not there yet.  We took the ship Santa Maria to Santa Catalina and had lunch at the Casino at Avalon Bay after Aunt Harriet had a short talk with the Maître D and persuaded him to let us in with slacks on.  It was against their dress code.  Her argument was that they had advertised on the way over on the boat but hadn’t mentioned that we wouldn’t be served in slacks.  They gave us an out of the way table but we were served.

On the way back home, we went through Death Valley to the lowest spot in the United States and then we started climbing to an elevation over 6,000.  Our poor car just wouldn’t make that kind of climb in one try and we had to stop along the way to give it a rest.  Sometimes I couldn’t lift my head off the back of the seat we were climbing so fast.  One place we parked along the road and walked around the lonely spot for a while and then we got back in the car and made love.

We left Frank with Dad and Grace often and had a week or two to just be lovers.  After Jerry was born, Frank didn’t want to stay there while we took Jerry home with us.  One day we wanted him to take a nap before we started home.  He was afraid we would leave him.  I promised him that we wouldn’t and he went to sleep.  Then Jim, Grace and Dad wanted me to leave him.  I didn’t want to break my promise to him and I wouldn’t do it.  I really didn’t understand why they should want me to.  So our time for being alone was over for many years. 


Pearl was my oldest sister from Dad’s first marriage.  She was married to George Ellis when I was 4 and they moved between Salt Lake and Nebraska with the Utah Wollen Mills where George worked.  I didn’t see much of them and didn’t know them very well.  They would visit now and then after we moved to Wentworth Ave. in Salt Lake.  Pearl would give us some of her clothes.  Mostly I remember that she always had silk stockings.  She would give us the ones that had runs in and I would spend many hours mending them so I could wear them.  We never got new silk stockings then. 

One day, when I was a teenager, Mother got a letter from Pearl.  It wasn’t a nice letter.  It was after Mother’s Day and Mother must have written her something about not hearing from her.  One of her remarks in the letter was that Mother was not her mother and she needn’t expect any honors from her on Mother’s Day.  She berated Mother’s housekeeping, Dad’s attitude towards his daughters, Reta’s care of her children.  It was a very vituperative letter.  I think Dad destroyed the letter but the visits from Pearl stopped as well as the letters.  I took that letter to mean that she didn’t want any part of my family.  They were still friendly with Gordon and Leah but for the rest of us for many years Pearl and George were not a part of our lives.  I always sent Christmas cards and they did us.  Pearl had never met Jim or seen my boys.

When we came back from Germany, I decided to write to Pearl in my Christmas card and tell her we would be passing through Nebraska on our way to Salt Lake.  She answered my letter and invited us to stop and visit.  We planned our route through Bridgeport and stopped overnight with them.

I had known Pearl had left the Mormon Church for the Presbyterian Church and we had a lot to talk about of our experiences as apostates and with other churches.  Pearl died of cancer shortly after Jim left in 1971, but before she did she wrote me many letters of comfort and encouragement while our marriage was going asunder.  I remember her telling me how Jim would spend many wakeful nights regretting his decision and loss of family.  I also remember commenting in my answer that I didn’t know about Jim (I really doubted that Jim was awake nights), but she was describing me. 

During our years of correspondence after our visit with Pearl and George, I wrote to her about Frank after he had gone to New Mexico to live.  I had told her about him writing for an “underground newspaper”.  Her remark about that was “What has he got against his country?”  I was so taken aback with that, I spent one Saturday morning composing a response (copy enclosed).  A mother going to the defense of her son, yes.  But it also shows where my head was at that time.

Pearl is gone now, bless her heart, but I still have some of her letters and reread them now and then to give me balance and remind me what it is like in middle America.

December 23, 1970

Dear Pearl,

Thank you for your lovely Christmas card.  But the accompanying letter left me a little shaken and wondering what I said to provoke such a reaction.  I have done a lot of thinking about it and find myself answering you in my mind so I am going to put it down on paper.

I have debated with myself whether to answer you or ignore it.  But I strongly feel that part of the problem with the world today is the lack of communication and understanding of other peoples ideas.  So I will write and express some of the feelings your comments provoked.  This is going to be rambling, but bear with me and I hope you will consider a dialogue with me.  Writing is so cold.  I wish we could talk about this in person and without excess emotion.

I have the beautiful message of your card before me and I especially like the passage “…and a love which thinks no evil, is not easily provoked and seeks not its own.”  Let me take it from there.  I don’t know who Bishop Remington is a romantic.  I hope not too romantic for our time of existentialism, the philosophy of today.

Now to your letter.  Let me quote again what you have written so we know to what I refer.  “I regret that your Frank has elected to write for underground publications.  What is his case against our country?  I have worked too long and too hard to inspire faith in it, that I cannot find charity for the subversive ones.”  WOW!!

I am not going to try and defend Frank’s philosophy of life.  I don’t need to and I am not sure I know what it is exactly.  He is radical and provocative.  But I guess you and I are, too, as we seemed to have provoked some emotional heat.

What seems to upset you is the use of the term “underground” as used with publications of any sort.  I don’t know what the term means to you, or for me for that matter.  I used it myself because that is what they are identified as.  But what are they?  Frank has written for them off and on since high school.  They always evoke controversy.  But what is wrong with that.  Anything can provoke controversy in certain circles, even the flag.  But I don’t honestly see any difference between them and the so called “straight publications”.  In high school it was a little sheet written and distributed by students with the cooperation of a church.  It wasn’t published, so maybe it was underground.  It was similar to one we put out at the skating rink when I was young.  Ours was a stupid silly affair that could not compare with the depth of conscience the young people show today.  The ones he wrote for in college, and is writing for now, were published and sold.  I equate them with the publications we receive in our home that are categorized as special interests as “The Air Force Times”, “Postal Record” and the “American Legion Magazine” which I find rather provocative at times and very biased.

The magazine that he writes for now is no worse than what you or I can read in our daily newspaper or many magazines on the market.  No worse, surely, than “Playboy” which probably has the highest circulation of any magazine and would probably rate with “Reader’s Digest” on the other side of the political spectrum.  Both of which we have in our home.  But the thing that disturbs me is that you have concluded for that word “underground” that Frank is subversive and has “a case against our government”, (If I am wrong, please correct me as I may have written something else that offended you.) without ever reading what he has to say.  That sounds like you are condemning him as guilty before he is proven innocent when justice American style subscribes to a person being innocent until he is proven guilty.  What in the world did I say to make you think that?

I am not sure what you mean by “inspiring faith” in, I suppose you mean, our country.  I am wondering why the country itself doesn’t inspire that faith, and why you are so frightened by what seems to be subversive.  George Washington was condemned, in his time, as being a traitor to his country by some of his contemporaries.  If we had lost the Revolutionary War, our early patriots would probably have been hung as traitors. 

Frank may or may not be a revolutionary.  I don’t know anymore, but I think he has lost his political fever and turned to other interests.  I am not close enough to know just what they are.  I regret that, but realize that he has to make his own life.  I am very happy that he is able to do that rather than living with his frustrations in his father’s house.

Our neighbor, who has a PhD in physics and is working very much within the establishment in college and church, thinks Frank is not revolutionary enough.  So, I guess it is just where you stand how you view him or others.  In the eye of the beholder, so to speak.  I think we have to examine our own motives and prejudices.

I do know that Frank is a very sensitive person and alert to what goes on around him.  Maybe more than we who can walk and talk and get bogged down in every day trivia.  He is concerned with the lot of the grape pickers of Delano, the plight of the blacks of Watts, the excesses of police in a legal demonstration and many other injustices that maybe are more obvious to us in California where there is so much coverage and it isn’t very far away, than a little town more or less insulated, like a baby in the womb, in the heartland of America.  But America is much more than its heartland.  It has its ghettos, its labor vs. management with strikes, its mafia, its good and bad police and politicians, the student unrest, the war in Vietnam that extended into Cambodia, shooting of students on our American campuses.  President’s Kerner Report and others reports that we indeed have a racist society.  I have to ask why.  I don’t think we can wrap ourselves in the beauty of romanticism any longer or have blind faith that our country is the panacea we’d like to think it was.  There are too many who do not share in the affluence or justice that America stands for…and I am afraid we are heading for another revolution or civil war unless we can somehow face the issues and problems we have with some degree of success.  Can we?  Is our government too big and bureaucratic to be able to respond to its needs?  I don’t know.  I hope it can, but I look to the young people to make the necessary changes.  If they don’t or can’t, I don’t think we need worry much about revolution.  We will die in our own exhaust and pollution.  That is very real out here and may not be so pressing in Bridgeport.

These are the things that bother Frank and his peers.  It is significant, I think, that Frank was born on the day they tested the Atomic Bomb at Ewol Atol and his generation has grown up under that threat.  Their world is not our world.  It can never be.  They have to live in what they can make of it and I wish them luck because I am not very optimistic about it.  They don’t want your charity.  They really could care less what you or I think.  But I am glad they have the courage of their convictions.

For a Christmas letter when one should be full of love and good will, I found your one paragraph about what our family had done during the year concentrated in one aspect of Frank’s doings rather narrow.  I think you could appreciate the extreme courage it took for a man with his handicaps to break away from home and family and go so far to prove to himself that he could.  It must have been frightening.  But the love and friendship he found there helps me to have faith in human nature.  The people he likes may have beards and long hair and not dress to our tastes, but they are all heart and I love them.

Well, I hope I haven’t bored you or that you haven’t marked me down as a subversive.  If you have, I’ve failed.  But, I got up early this morning to get this off my chest.  I wasn’t sleeping; I was mentally arguing the points with you.  Now I’d better get to work.  It is 9 o’clock.

I am hoping we can get Mother down here somehow for the holidays.  The last I heard from Thelma and Earl was that she did not want to stay there with them because they treat Ponto like a dog.  It seems everything would be easier if they would let Ponto be with Mother as she is used to rather than insist she can’t have him.  Mother feels a strong attachment and love for him that is very understandable as he returns it.  They make things so hard for her.  She is willing to ride in the back of the truck to get down here where she can have her dog with her.  If Jim wasn’t working so hard, we would drive up and get her.  I wish she would fly down.  It would be easier all around and we could take her home later.  I know everyone is up to here with her and her dog by now – Christmas love – Bah, Humbug.  I really wonder what the man who’s birthday we are celebrating would think of us.


Soon after we moved into our new home in Redlands, Harriet and her family took a vacation to the East Coast and they stopped on the way back to visit Grace and Dad.  While they were there Dad had what must have been a stroke or possible overdose as he had sent Grace off with Harriet and Dick and it happened while they were gone as if it may have been planned and his medication was gone.  He was in a coma when they came back and was immediately hospitalized.  Harriet called Jim and he got a flight out of Los Angeles International Airport.  Being new in town, we did not know how to get to the airport without driving the freeway.  Jim did not have much faith in my ability to drive the freeway system to take him in and drive back alone so he took a bus and rode most of the day to get to Inglewood.  He got his flight to Wooster and arrived while his dad was still alive but never regained consciousness.  He died a few days later in August, 1963.

As usual, I was home with the kids and Jim stayed for the funeral.  They buried him in Monongahela with Aunt Harriet and the rest of the family.  Jim stayed on with Grace to help her get things in order and then he brought Moke, Dad’s wired hair terrier he had gotten for Christmas while we were there a few months before, to live with us.

From left to right: Connie, Frank, Jim, Frank C, Grace


Moke was something else.  I had often thought I would never have a dog like that.  He was very hyper and wanted out to run any chance he got.  When we visited, Dad sat with a heavy chain and a leather leash tied to his leg or chair so Moke wouldn’t get away when someone opened the door.  Grace and Dad were living on a pheasant farm and when he got away he killed the birds and wallowed in the marshes.  His predecessor, Mike, was just like Moke and lived with them in Mansfield.  When he got loose we all had to chase him and try to outsmart him so we could chain him down again.  Mike met his end on his last spree and was killed on the road.

Frank Sr with Moke.

So we inherited the fun of keeping Moke in.  Of course we couldn’t do it.  We had a nice large fenced in backyard and a screened in patio that should have been ideal for a dog.  But Moke soon learned he could cut through the screen with his claws and easily climb our basket weave redwood fence and he was gone.  The first time or two the humane officer brought him home and threatened us with a $50 fine if we didn’t take care of our dog.  Most of the time, though, we had our telephone number on the license and the new found family would call us and we would go retrieve a dirty tired Moke.  He would just run for a day or two in any direction and get as dirty as he could, then adopt a family wherever he happened to wear out.

The last time he got away, I had just had a new couch delivered and they had to take it through the back and the sliding glass doors.  I opened the side gate for them and locked Moke up in the house.  When they left, I let Moke out but forgot to go shut the gate.  Moke was always alert for those lapses of control and he was gone.  We saw him a couple of times in the neighborhood but couldn’t find him when we tried to catch him.  The dog catcher was evaded as well but a few days later he had to fish him out of someone’s swimming pool, drowned.  He had been able to scale the fence and got into the pool but there was no way out.

By that time, however, Moke had sired 2 female puppies for the local kennel.  They gave us our choice and we took Mitzie.  She was somewhat easier to handle.  She didn’t run and she was too fat to climb fences.  We kept her about 14 years until she was deaf and blind.  One day she wandered away and hasn’t been seen since.

We also had a cat, Puttycat, that we got as a kitten in Victorville before we moved to Redlands.  She lived through all the dogs and presented us with a few litters of kittens before we had her spayed.  When Moke arrived, Puttycat had to take to the outside as Moke was pretty rough with her.  He just played, and her kittens were a source of fascination for him.  He would lie and watch them for hours.  He never bothered mommie when she had kittens.  He even delivered the first one she had while she was trying to get out of his way.  It quite surprised him and then he showed a healthy awe for the process of reproduction.

Puttycat got back into the house again, after the dogs were gone, to keep me company.  The two little old ladies alone.  But it was her turn on Easter this year.  I had been to church and had Angie with me in her pink organdy dress.  We pulled into the drive and Puttycat was sunning herself on the drive.  I slowed down so she could stay out of my way.  Angie got out first and said “What is wrong with Puttycat?”  I had run over her and she was in death agony which we both watched with horror.  In a few minutes, after I had gotten over the shock, I wrapped her up and Angie and I buried her in the back yard under the flowering plum tree.


After the war ended and we were settled in an apartment in Wilmington, Ohio, it was time I learned to drive.  The Board of Education must have had husbands in mind when they decided to make driving ed a part of the public school curriculum.  I just wish they had thought of it earlier.  My husband had to teach me.  He was sure I could never drive and he almost convinced me that I couldn’t.  But he was brave and took me out to practice.  One day I drove between a parked car and an oncoming truck on a two-way street.  Jim didn’t think I could do it and started to scream at me.  I was sure I was going to be creamed by the truck but I made it through OK.  I really didn’t know why such a fuss.  Two cars should be able to go through a two-way street OK.  But once I got through that without taking any paint off, I was ready to quit for the day.  I was too shaky to drive anymore.  I am surprised I ever wanted to drive again.  But I did manage to get my license and only then did I gain confidence.  However, Jim was not as easily convinced as the DMV.  It was only after I drove home from Mansfield alone with baby Frank with me that I proved to him I could drive his car.  He seemed to feel that I had taken some of his manhood away by learning to drive.  Maybe it was because I was a little less dependent on him.  He would still drive cross country doing 8 to 10 hour stretches without ever letting me relieve him at the wheel.  If he did, I was always aware that I was not driving as well as he did.


In June, 1958, the family drove to Florida to visit Grace and Dad who were now living in Tampa.  This was our first trip south and east of Texas.  Now we were seeing the deep South, the lush plant life and the moss hanging from the trees.  We drove hard and long the last night out and got there about 10pm.  Nobody was home.  We were all so tired, we had to get a motel, anyway, and start our visit in the morning.

Florida would not be my choice of places to live.  There is just too much water.  It stands on the yards as it rains almost every day.  Frank’s braces and wheelchair were not built for that weather and they began to rust.  The grass was so heavy it was very hard to cut.  Granted, we were not there in the best season.  The winters must be better.  But I really couldn’t see why so many easterners wanted to go to Florida to live, but they did.  Grace and Dad didn’t stay very long.  Ohio was home to them now and Dad went back there to die.  Grace has remarried and gone back to Florida.

We did enjoy swimming in the ocean at Tampa Bay.  But the fishing was for someone else.  We spent one whole day fishing on a preserve owned by the Mormon Church.

On our way back, we stopped in Oklahoma to visit the Coxes who had lived in our basement apartment in Ogden.  Then we went through Dodge City to let the kids see where “Gun Smoke” was coming from.  And back to Roy where we had to turn our heat up to keep warm in June.

The house in Roy, Utah. Frank is 13.


One of the most memorable Thanksgiving Days I have ever spent was about 4 years ago, or 1976.  I had had an invitation from Lois to join her family and others here from people who didn’t want me to be alone.  Before I accepted any, I wanted to make sure Jerry had a place to go.  This year he didn’t so I turned down the invitations and Jerry and I, the vestige of our family, had dinner here alone.  Jerry was living on Palm Street with friends and he came over early.  We ate early and for the rest of the day we talked.  With Jerry I can be very frank and intimate.  He is the same with me.  This day we had all to ourselves.  We didn’t turn on the TV.  We just talked and shared our feelings like two school girls.  It was fun and very rewarding.  His friends came for him in the evening and they went away.  I was alone again but feeling very good.


Jerry has become quite an accomplished musician on the drums and guitar.  The long years of practice in my living room has paid off.  He is currently playing with a band in Yucaipa called The “Azurites” who have been in many musical festivals and engagements.  With another group called “Van Norman and Stevens” they tried out for the Gong Show for daytime and were on the air in September, 1977 when they won 2nd place.  They went back to tape a night time show in December.  Carolyn and I went down to watch that taping.  It was all so much fun with Jaime Fox and Pearl Bailey on the panel.  This time they tied with a group called “The Midas Touch” but they got the glory and everybody was high.  We have been able to catch that show a couple of times on the air and it is quite a thrill to watch your own son on the tube.

The “Azurites” got their act together and spent many hours in Los Angeles cutting a record that finally came out last year in time for me to get several off to family for Christmas.  It sounds pretty good and now they have something professional to show to prospective clients.  We are all waiting for them to make it big.

Front and back cover of the Azurite LP.


Written by Connie Moore, Frank’s mom.

PART VI : 1970 / 1980

The ‘70’s have been the hardest decade I have yet had to go through.  Our marriage came to an end in a dissolution and our family split in two.  I have lived through hell but I have had some good times.  It certainly has not been all bad.

Frank started his last year at Cal State and Jerry was going to Valley and they lived together.  Frank dropped out of school after President Nixon ordered Cambodia bombing.  Some of Frank’s friends had gone to Santa Fe and he went down to join them to see if he could make it on his own.  That took a lot of courage but he had a lot of friends.  He went to a crash pad run by a Catholic priest.  Jim and I went down to take his things but he was out in the country visiting at a commune with friends.  We drove out to see him and he was doing what he had wanted to do for a long time…be a hippie.  He was happy and that satisfied me but Jim was thoroughly disgusted with it all.  He was getting further and further from us.  Frank moved in with a friend and her family on a ranch later and he was in.  I was the one who had to face Welfare to keep his grant coming until he was established.  They wanted to cut it off as soon as he left.  That worked itself out and Frank was on his own, leaving us behind.  Jerry, Jim and I cleaned up and closed the apartment and Jerry came back home to live.  He later dropped out of school and went to work in a carpenter shop and moved in with friends.

Mother came to stay with us the day after Christmas, 1970.  Reta and Emory brought her as far as St. George, Utah where we met them.  Mother was getting pretty old, she had turned 89 in November.  Reta and Emory were living with her in her house in Salt Lake with their adopted daughter, Bernice.  They had a trailer and wanted to do some camping and scouting for old things in old towns.  We picked Mother up in our ’68, air conditioned Chev wagon and brought her across the desert and to our home to spend some time with us.  She had her little dog, Ponto, with her.  She liked to come to our house because we treated Ponto like a person with our dogs.  We had two then and Ponto liked us.

On January 15, I took Mother down to Newport Beach to visit Lois.  Jim had gone fishing overnight with friends the night before and was not home yet.  I had taken Mother to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant Saturday night.  Mother was only to stay a couple of weeks and come back to us.  We were planning to take her home in March.  She was never to come back and this was her last visit with us.

Mother had only had a weekend visit with Lois and her family and Monday, January 18, she complained of a pain in her shoulder and arm.  Lois took her to a doctor who diagnosed a heart attack and put her in intensive care at Hoag Memorial Hospital at Newport Beach.  She was there 9 days while they punctured her arms and wired her to machines to monitor her vital signs.  She was black and blue up and down her arms and probably felt worse than she had that Monday morning.  She stayed in the hospital another 10 days or so and then was transferred to a convalescent hospital across the street where she was on February, 14, when Jim left me.

I was going down to see Mother as often as I felt I could and take care of my home and family too.  Jerry was back home by that time.  I was able to relieve Lois as she was riding her bicycle back and forth from the hospital and spending part of every day there.  There was a lot of strain on us both, especially Lois.  We were hoping that she would get well enough for me to take her home and we would figure out a way to get her back home to Salt Lake where she wanted to be.  That was not to be.  They sent her home to Lois’s house to die.  It took her 10 more days of suffering before her body finally gave up and she died the morning of March 8, 1971.

This was a very stressful period in my life and it is very difficult to write about.  I certainly am not very objective, but what I am about to write is my experience and reality.  It is not nice.  For me, very little was nice in that period.  It was hell.

Things had not been well with Jim and me for some time.  He was hard to live with and we all walked softly.  Things had happened that should have alerted me.  And they did, really, but I either was not willing to face the reality of the situation or be the bitchy wife.  So I kept my peace when he went out to get some liquor so Ruth and Herbert Van from across the street could come over and have a drink with us on Christmas Eve.  He didn’t come back.  They finally left and I was very embarrassed.  Jim hadn’t bothered to explain where he was and I didn’t press.  He did apologize to the Vans, but I was not worth an apology or an explanation.  That hurt as did the night he didn’t come home till after 2 and I got Jerry up to go out with me to find him.  We found his car at the tavern but no one knew where he was or they didn’t want to tell us.  As we were leaving, one of our friends drove through the parking lot and let him out.  There was no explanation why he was with her.  And the times when I couldn’t depend on him to be where I needed him while Frank was in the hospital; when he wouldn’t go to Santa Fe with me to take Frank’s typewriter and tape recorder the state of California had given Frank.  He wanted Jerry to be where he was supposed to be.  I should have been prepared when Jim came home on Sunday, February 14, 1971 (Valentine’s Day), and told me he was leaving me, but I wasn’t.

With Mother in the hospital dying and Jerry and Frank breaking away, this was a very bad time for Jim to break up our 30 year marriage.  Yes, the signs were there, but Jim had always been a good family man.  Our marriage had been good.  It hadn’t been very long ago that he had sent me 2 dozen long stem roses representing his love for each of the 24 years we had been married.  His friends from the bar had brought us an old geranium plant with 25 silver dollars pasted to it on our 25th anniversary.  I knew Jim was going through a bad time with his family, but I really thought we had a good basis for working it out.  When I was finally told what was happening, it was too late to work things out.  I felt very cheated that he didn’t want to try.  By then, as he told me the day he left, he had had 2 years of seeing Barbara and he was in love with her and not me.  He wanted her.  He didn’t want to live with us anymore.  He didn’t want his family.  He packed his things late Sunday afternoon and left me alone in the house.  Jerry had gone to visit his girlfriend, Lynn, in Long Beach. 

I couldn’t watch Jim pack and leave, so I left and went to visit a friend, Dorothy Timms, who was dying of cancer and who had been a regular visitor at the bar and knew what was going on.  She told me what she had seen going on and we talked for a while.  Then I came home to the empty house.  My world had fallen apart.  Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night.  The next day was a holiday for Washington or Lincoln’s birthday and Jim didn’t have to go to work.  That was my first holiday I had to spend alone.  I got up early and went down to Newport Beach to be with Mother and Lois.  Mother never knew what happened as she was beyond caring about the world out there.  I met Lois at the hospital and we walked outside while I told her.  I stayed down there that night but I didn’t sleep.  I was really in a state of shock.  I hadn’t really been able to take the impact of the situation in and my body was numb.

I called Jerry at Lynn’s house Tuesday and arranged to pick him up and we came home together.  I told him the news at Lynn’s house.  It really hurt him.  I drove home as I was afraid he would take his anger and frustration out on the road.  When we got home, I knew Jim had been there.  He didn’t know where I was and I think it worried him.  Wednesday night, he came by to tell me he may come back.  I know it was very hard for him to do what he had done.  He must not have been very good company for Barbara as he told me she told him to come back to me.  I told him he had to make the decision but it was what I wanted.  He and Jerry talked a little about why he had left but they were antagonizing each other.  Jerry was coming on a little like the man of the family…a role he had just assumed.  Jim resented that and there began a power struggle which was destructive to both of them.  Thursday, he came by to tell me he was coming home Friday.  He was having difficulty handling the fact that they were breaking up two marriages of long standing.  I was very happy and thought I had won that one.  I hadn’t won anything, only prolonged the misery.

One of the reasons Jim came back, I think, was because I was expecting Martha and Eldon to arrive Friday.  Jim was very fond of them and we had done a lot of things with them like camping and fishing.  They came down to see Mother and I had to tell Martha when she called.  They didn’t expect Jim to be there when they came.  I had gone shopping and done some for Dorothy and wasn’t home when either Jim or Martha and Eldon arrived.  So Jim’s homecoming was crowded and hectic.  It all seemed so good to all be together again and I was willing to let it go at that.  Martha and Eldon had brought Russell with them and Jerry was home.  Martha, Eldon, Jim and I planned a fishing trip for a few days and left Russell home with Jerry.  We were enjoying the trip and things were good, I thought, between Jim and me.  We called home to see how things were there and Russell answered and said Jerry had gone someplace.  Jim was livid.  I don’t think I have ever seen him so angry, really out of proportion to the event.  It really worried me.

Martha and Eldon stayed a couple of weeks.  We went down to see Mother who was now at Lois’s and we went out to dinner a couple of times.  It was very enjoyable.  But before they left, I was getting little messages that it was not so good.  I voiced my concern to Martha.  I was beginning to think Jim had come back to be with them and that he would leave at a better time.  I think she was feeling it too.  She told me to do what I had to do and let the chips fall.  I can’t think why I was down helping Lois and they were up here, but Martha had a little time to talk to Jim and she asked him how it was going.  He didn’t know but he said I was hovering.  I had precious little time for that, but as the saying goes: I was damned if I did or damned if I didn’t.  I couldn’t do anything right.  Things got worse.  I became aware that Jim was seeing Barbara and then he got blatant.  He didn’t care how he hurt me anymore.  Probably, he was trying to make me call it quits this time but I wouldn’t help him a bit.  I bit the bullet and hung in.

On March 8, 1971, Jim and I went down to Lois’s to see what we could do for her and Mother.  Lois had an appointment with Welfare to see about getting Mother on Medi-Cal.  Utah officials were bulking about paying bills for her while she was in California.  She had been here too long.  Jim took her over and I sat beside Mother writing a letter and reading Sherri’s book, “Love Story”.  Mother dozed off and I turned the oxygen down while she was breathing normally.  I saw her jerk and then it seemed to be all over.  I called the doctor and he came out and confirmed death.  My remark was, “Thank God!”  Her last words were, “I wish I could go”.  Jim came back while the doctor was there and I told him.  He said he was sorry and seemed to reach out to me but when I responded, I really needed his support, he held me off.  That hurt terribly.  Others were getting his support, but he could show me no mercy.  How did he ever get so far away?  He was helpful, though, and went back to get Lois.  I called Reta and she gave me instructions as to where to call to have her prepared to ship her body home.  Jim and I drove out to the mortuary to make the necessary arrangements and then we started home.  We stopped for dinner at March Air Force Base NCO Club.  There were a lot of black people there which upset him.  But all he wanted to talk about was Jerry not going to school or leaving home.  I never really understood his antipathy toward Jerry.  He seemed to be the scapegoat for everything Jim couldn’t cope with.

When Jim first left, I called Frank to tell him.  He was visiting his friend in Washington DC again and he answered the phone.  I told him what to tell Frank.  He said, “That old Fart!”, which of course, didn’t help the situation.  Later I wrote to Frank telling him Jim had come back and I had a second chance, and that Mother had died.  The response I got to that letter addressed to all of us gave me quite a shock.  To quote some of his comments when he got to the “grittygritty”, “Dad, good for you!  You finally brought it out into the open…I’m only surprised that all of mock shock on Mom’s part…that is all bullshit.  Dad splits, groovy.  Dad gets tired Barbara, groovy.   Dad come back, groovy IF YOU BOTH REALLY WANT IT THAT WAY.  But if you-Dad-came back just because felt guilty, then it is fucked because Mom will beat you over your head with your guilt until you split again.”  That letter tore my heart out.  I wanted to hide it and not let Jim see it.  I was really walking on eggs by that time.  But I knew Jim saw the mail at the Post Office and I didn’t dare.  One day I missed the letter and the next day it was in place.  I found out why later when Jim produced the copy he had made in Conciliation Court to prove that I was a bitch that couldn’t be lived with.  Our family had split down the middle.

Late in May, we met Martha and Eldon at Lake Powell for our last trip together.  I was going to prove to him I could fish too, if that is what he wanted in a woman.  I did.  It was a beautiful trip but it was obvious to me that he wanted to be with Martha and Eldon but not with me.  He wouldn’t touch me, though we slept together.  He told Martha then that I was clinging and wouldn’t let him breathe.  Barbara wanted him and obviously he wanted her and meant to have her.  It was just a question of time. 

Shortly after that trip, on June 5, 1971, Jim left for good and filed divorce papers in July.  The papers were served to me by a deputy sheriff on July 11.  I was alone and cried all afternoon.  I got a phone call from a friend which cut it off.  I just wanted to tear up the papers and throw them away.  That wouldn’t have helped, as Jim told me the next time he came by, there was a no-cause law now and the divorce would go through without my signature.  I think that is a good law, but then it seemed so unfair to me.  I didn’t have any recourse but to let him go.  He was the one doing the things that were cause for divorce.  I had tried very hard to be a good wife and mother, which was all I wanted to be.  But everything that I had thought was good and right, turned out to be bad and wrong.  I felt so helpless.  There wasn’t anything I could do to stop this nightmare.  Someone suggested Conciliation Court and I was willing to try anything.  But that was too much like marriage counseling to Jim and he became very hostile, with his copy of Frank’s letter.  Jim really let the counselor have it with how bad I was; he couldn’t eat a meal with me without me picking a fight; I was tearing down his country that he had fought for.  It was a disaster.  After, he went his way to Barbara and I went home alone to cry.  I went down to Lois’s for moral support.  Jerry was home and supportive but would rather be someplace else.  I was hard to take.

It was a long hot summer and I went down to Lois’s as often as I could to get away.  I spent a lot of afternoons in Ruth Van’s kitchen drinking coffee or ice tea.  But I fought the dependency I was creating.  I sensed healing would be done by me and I had to get on with the job.  I really needed Jim to lean on but he was gone and I had to stand on my own two feet ALONE if I was going to make it.  I wasn’t even sure I wanted to make it.  I had seen the doctor when I knew Jim was spending his days off with Barbara and he had given me sleeping pills that I had intended to use all at once.  I couldn’t do that, though, because it would hurt Jerry.   I was aware that it was Jim I wanted to hurt, not Jerry.  I tried to contrive ways to do it so Jim would find me.  I couldn’t figure out how to do it without being too destructive to Jerry.  I didn’t think Frank would care much.  I would have done my thing and that was OK.  So I went on living and had to figure out how to make a living for myself, though it seemed so pointless.  There just wasn’t any good reason that I could think of for me to go on living.  Jerry would probably be better off if I was gone.  Maybe that would bring Jerry and Jim together.  That was the “Crazies” I had to go through and I found out that it wasn’t all that different from separation by death.  With death, the survivor does have family support and friends are sympathetic at least for a while.  But, with a divorce, friends don’t want to get involved and you find yourself pretty much alone when you need so much help.  I found myself comparing myself to a flower that had been pulled up by the roots and left to die; a boat cut off from the main ship and left to drift.

Jim wanted to get through the divorce with as little expense and trauma as possible and didn’t want lawyers involved.  That would have been the best way if I could have handled it, which I couldn’t.  I went to the Legal Referral Service and they referred me to Mr. Lunsford whose office was just across Brookside from me.  He had also been our neighbor, which I didn’t know, and remembered Frank riding the school bus.  I retained him and Jim had to pay for it.  He couldn’t handle that so he got himself a lawyer to deal with my lawyer.  The break up was bad, but having to go to court for the property settlement added to the trauma.  I know it was hard on Jim as well as me, but he had someone out there to go to and I was alone and the rejected one.  Jerry was here and Ruth Van’s niece who spent a lot of time with Jerry.  Diane was very sympathetic which made Jerry more concerned.  He was going through his own trauma breaking up with Lynn.

Now I had a lawyer to think about the divorce, I put my mind on other things.  During the summer, I took a four day a week course in Medical Secretary and machines.  I didn’t really think anyone was going to hire me at 51 +, but the work helped fill my mind during waking hours and gave me some place to go.  It was the night time when I couldn’t sleep that the horrors poured back over me.  In the fall, I decided to go back to Valley and take up nursing or something.  I really didn’t have any real goals in mind, but I had to do something to move.  I just pretended I knew where I was going but I couldn’t quite see a job at the end of it.  I felt so old and worthless.  It was late to get into classes at Valley, but my good friend Roger Woods came to the rescue and pulled the class cards for me and I started school again.

If I was going in for nursing, I had to start with sciences.  They were a lot harder for me than psychology, political science etc. that I had really enjoyed before.  My real love was philosophy which mystified Jim and I majored in psychology which frightened him.  He would have been much happier with the sciences I was now taking and I could have used his help.  I began with chemistry and spent hours learning symbols.  That helped fill the evenings.  Physiology and anatomy was harder with lab reports to make.  But physics went right over my head.  I didn’t fathom it at all and it was the first class I ever withdrew from.  By this time, I had a job and really couldn’t handle it all, especially with 2 labs.

In December of ’71, Eleanor Yoeman from Dr. Carlisle’s office called me.  Dr. Carlisle had been our doctor as he was close and I could get forms signed for Frank with the minimum hassle.  He had died in October.  Dr. Williamson had bought the practice along with the files of another dead doctor.  I had talked quite a lot with Eleanor in the office and had taken a class with her in art.  She knew that I was taking the Medical Secretary classes and she needed someone to fill in for the front office receptionist for Christmas week.  I was so pleased as I was on Christmas break from school and I really needed the money.  I had one day to get instructions and prescriptions, etc. in a very busy office.  They were booked to the hilt.  I was painfully aware of my hearing loss as sometimes I had trouble hearing calls.  I was wearing a hearing aid again but that didn’t help on the phone.  One call, I didn’t understand and I asked her to spell her name.  She said w-i-f-e.  It was the doctor’s wife and I knew I had blown it.  It really shook me up and I knew they would not want me back.  But I finished the week of 52 hours at minimum wage of $2 an hour and was happy to get my $104.  Nobody was worrying about overtime.  It was Christmas and I had just earned my first money.  Then I went back to school thinking that was that.

But Eleanor called me again in January and asked me to work part time to straighten up the files of Dr. Browns.  She had the idea of teaching me to do the insurance.  The doctor didn’t think they needed anyone else but they did and the files just got me in the door.  I sorted files and sat in the corner and learned how to bill insurance claims.  I even came in early and cleaned the office as the doctor did agree they needed that done.  The part time job usually was more than 40 hours a week and I was happy to work around my classes.  Some months, I grossed more than the $600 he was paying his nurse and office manager.  I got proficient with the insurance and moved around the office doing other jobs as receptionist, billing and simple blood tests.  I could even give shots when I needed to.  I took a couple of insurance classes and found I knew more than the teacher.  I continued my school for a while until I felt I was really a regular employee and then I dropped it.

The divorce was proceeding pretty much without my attention.  It was supposed to be final in 6 months but it took a little over a year.  The court hearing was traumatic and stirred up the pain again.  The first was the show cause hearing where Jim was supposed to show good reason why he didn’t give me enough money to live on.  He had made the decision as to what it would cost me to live.  That is pay the house payment, utilities and food.  If I needed more, which I surely did, I would have to earn it.  My lawyer was asking for support for Jerry until he was 21 and more money for me to cover car insurance and health insurance both of which I lost on the final date.  I was to meet the lawyer at the court house at 8:15 and the hearing was 8:30.  I was the only one there.  That, I found, was par for the course with lawyers.  Jim was waiting for his lawyer in his office.  He had slept late and wasn’t in yet.  I would rather have been in an office.  I felt very alone.  There was a break about 10:30 and then everyone arrived and we went on with the hearing.

Another court hearing was an attempt to settle the case out of court.  My lawyer was there, Jim’s wasn’t but he did have a representative.  Jim and I sat together in the spectator seats while our lawyers went before the judge to work things out.  I couldn’t hear a thing but I knew Jim was agitated.  I later learned it was because his man could not make decisions regarding the points they wanted to settle.  So that day was wasted and we went our way to live our lives. 

The last hearing was the final interlocutory judgment as far as I was concerned.  We were the only ones there for Moore vs. Moore (that sounds like 2 prize fighters squaring off).  Jim was going for a default “to bring the matter to an early termination”.  I am quoting a letter from his lawyer to mine dated May 25, 1972.  I can only assume that Barbara’s divorce was progressing to the climax and Jim was ready to come to terms.  Much later, I was able to obtain my legal file from my lawyer’s office when he gave up his practice.  In this hearing I signed my life away and began the painful process of a rebirth into a new life.  I went to my car and cried and came home and cried with Diane and Jerry hovering and concerned.  But it was good to have it over.  I had had enough of courts for a life time.  I think Jim felt the same way.  The Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage was entered in Judgment Book No 253 page 342 on July 11, 1972, and my life of 31 years came to an end.  I came face to face with what it was like to be single, or the life of the formerly married, especially a divorced single.

Suddenly, I didn’t fit in the world I had known for so long.  I no longer had base privileges: medical, commissary or Base Exchange.  I had to learn to shop again.  Since Jim was to remarry very soon, he had to pick up my base pass and scratch off the sticker on the car.  I felt as if my chevrons had been ripped off and I had been given a dishonorable discharge and cast aside so that a new wife could take my place.  I had no claim to his retirement pay from the Air Force or what he would get from the Post Office.  My lawyer told me there was no way that could be attached.  So, after 30 years of faithful service, all I had to live on was what Jim would give me out of the goodness of his heart.  We all know how many men do not pay child support, let alone spousal support.  I was scared.  There were many ways Jim could avoid paying if he wanted to and I certainly did not have any faith in my earning ability at this late date and no recent experience.  I was painfully aware that the poorest segment of society was older women alone, divorced, widowed or whatever.  I knew some personally.  My friend Dorothy died of cancer alone on Welfare and bitter.  I could see myself ending up like that.  I found out I could get my part of Jim’s Social Security because I had been married over 20 years but not until I was 62.  What happens to those married 19 ½ years?  That time has been shortened to 10 years since.  In retrospect, I didn’t need to worry about Jim.  The gentleman he is, he has been very faithful with the support checks, mostly on time.  There were times they were a day or two late and I panicked until I got it.

Faced with the realities of my security and finding a job, I learned, contrary to the home, mother and apple pie mentality, the work women are doing in the home is not valued in society.  Your Social Security is in his name and you get half to live on with the same household expenses when he is gone.  His retirement plan is his and goes with him when he goes.  He “gives” you what he wants to give you because it is his, not yours.  And that usually works out to about one fourth of the income you had together, usually to pay the same payments for house and utilities.  His health and life insurance is no longer yours.  Tough if you get sick.  Get Medi-Cal. 

To add insult to injury, The Automobile Club called me to tell me I could not get car insurance because I was a divorced woman.  Jim could even though he was a divorced man for a short time.  The agent’s suggestion was that I ask Jim for the insurance we had and he could get another policy.  I didn’t want to call Jim about that or anything anymore.  The agent called him and I got the policy in my name.  Talk about discrimination.  But that was the way it was and some people accepted.  I was going to learn that not all people, as the women’s movement had begun and some things have gotten changed.  Anyway, I had the insurance but I had to pay for it somehow.

I lived in dread of meeting Jim and Barbara together.  So far, thank God, I have not had that experience.  I have run into Jim now and then but it tears me up and I avoid it if possible.  I think about what I will do at family events like marriages or deaths.  Maybe time has taken care of my anxieties, I don’t know.  But, so far, we have taken care of situations neatly.

When I went out into the labor force, I learned that a “displaced homemaker” had no credentials.  It didn’t cut any ice with getting jobs.  I, fortunately, got my first job without going out with a resume in hand.  I didn’t have anything to put on one.  Nobody cared that I had made a home and helped a handicapped child through his school years.  My voluntary work may have been helpful but even that was too far away.  My school helped but I had not prepared myself for a vocation.  I got it on the strength of my little summer class and the fact that another woman had known my plight and wanted to help.

By the time the divorce was final, I did have a part time job but I knew that my hearing was a handicap there and it irritated the doctor.  I was told that by 2 different people.  My counselor for the nursing program said it would hinder me in nursing and I should try to get a job as a ward clerk.  I changed my goal to inhalation therapist that required the same basic subjects.  I felt everything was against me.  The poor uprooted flower was going to die slowly.

I have learned that a divorced person goes through pretty much the same trauma that a widowed one does.  The advice is not to make any major decisions for at least a year.  Time will heal the pain and that was projected to a year.  I was glad I didn’t have to decide to sell the house and I had been so long getting one I could really call home.  I really needed the roots it provided for the flower if it was going to survive.  I am glad I made that decision as it has proved to be the right one so far.  Maybe I was a baby, but, instead of one year, it took me a good five.  And I don’t think that is unusual.  The real difference between the loss by death and divorce is the attitude of people and the division of property.  In that respect, the divorced person has the harder road.  If you have any friends left, they really don’t want to get involved and you find yourself accepting the blame and guilt of your part of the breakup.  You have to get out and make new friends in organizations that will accept you.

I started going to groups designed to help you live with yourself and others.  The first one was a transactional and analysis group at a Congregational Church run by its minister, Harry Suttner.  It was a good group where we learned to analyze human transactions based on the book “Games People Play”.  I met Buffy Smith who experienced divorce just a year before and she was very helpful to me guiding me through the maze.  We became very good friends and do a lot of cultural things together.  We both sew and have many other things in common.

I joined a group called We Care which was organized for people like me, recently out of marriage.  I went with a friend I had met at the little church I had started to attend.  Her name was Billie Baysinger and we have become very good friends mainly in relation to church.  I met a lot of good friends at We Care.  It really was a caring place.  We did weekend groups to build our personality potential.  It was all very helpful in building my self-esteem that had dropped to nil.

I heard about Carl Roger’s weekend groups going on in La Jolla.  I went there first with Harlan Maase, a man I met at church, and we took Jerry and Diane with us.  I wanted that as Harlan was and is married and I really didn’t want to get into any entanglement that way.  That was a very good experience at lot like We Care’s weekend groups in another setting of lovely La Jolla on the ocean near San Diego.  I went many times after that with many other friends.  I met some very interesting people there as well.

The groups served their purpose and I have stopped going.  I attend workshops on subjects as one coming up soon about wills, probate, etc.

I went away whenever I could and had as many new experiences that I could.  One of the first was Frank’s wedding.  He was living in a commune by now in Warwick, Mass near Northfield.  I had read about the commune and him and his bride to be in a recent Mademoiselle magazine.  I went on this trip the week our divorce was final and Jim’s approaching marriage was imminent.  The Nashes had invited me to come to Austin to visit them which I did en route.  I enjoyed the visit with them but missed Jim terribly.  It took me back to the war days when I could put it all in a letter.  Now that was denied to me.

The Brotherhood of the Spirit commune in Warwick, Mass.
Frank and Debbie, 1971

I spent almost a week in the commune with Frank and Debbie.  On July 29, 1972, a bunch of us piled into a van and went to get the set of rings for a double ring ceremony.  I bought the rings as a wedding present.  Then we went to the Justice of Peace for the ceremony.  He would only let the couple, the best man and me in for the event.  Everyone else had to wait outside.  He seemed to be afraid of all those hippies from the commune in his house.  I described the bride in a letter to Jerry that day as wearing a lovely velvet jacket with a peek-a-boo plunging neckline over faded jeans and barefoot sandals.  The groom wore faded jeans and old tennis shoes, a sleeveless shirt set off with a bright red pointer on his head.  The mother of the groom, not to be outdone, wore dirty (by that time) white pants with a blue printed shell with pink barefoot sandals.  It was a motley crew but we got the job done, much against Debbie’s mother’s wishes.  She had been frantically calling everyone at the commune and Jerry here at home to stop it.  I talked to her once and thought she was crazy.  My opinion has been reinforced a few times since then.  But I had to agree that she had a beautiful (6 foot tall) daughter who was very talented.  She was the artist.

I took the newlyweds to dinner at a local restaurant where I had lobster while they ate things like sandwiches.  We toasted them with a bottle of wine.  That evening, we went to a concert with the band, who was the focal point of the commune, and then back home on the floor of the van.

Spirit in Flesh, the commune band.
Frank, Connie and Debbie, 1972
The van crew
Frank and Debbie

I found the commune very interesting and was impressed with their attitude about the American Dream i.e. having more and more things.  They were not concerned with big homes, cars, nice furniture or expensive clothes.  That was refreshing.  They pooled their resources and talents to build the houses and gardens.  There were always people around to support anyone who needed it and the children had lots of attention and love.  I felt Frank had found his place and I was happy for him.  I was probably lucky that I could go and experience without Jim’s intimidating presence.  It was a good experience all around except when I read Frank’s story of his life where he blamed me for consorting with the doctor, when he had the trans-urethral section, to make him sterile.  I had no idea he felt that way.

I flew back to Salt Lake and finished my two week vacation visiting with my family.

I was really turned off by the idea that formerly married people were not satisfied until they were married again.  I didn’t think it had to be that way.  I did feel very unlovable being rejected by Jim, and I really needed to know that I was attractive to men.  In a way, I was very pleased to have my first date again after so many years not thinking about things like that.  He took me to the Roller Derby.  I hated the sport and was so self-conscious about wearing my rings that I didn’t want to take off until the final date.  His family was there and I didn’t want them to think I was married and going out with him.  I also knew that his motive was to get me to bed.  He was very open about it.  All this was too much for me, I hadn’t been desensitized yet.  It was a disaster.  But, under all the pain and indecision there was a little voice saying, “Hey, you can still attract a man!”  I was on my way up.  I had a few more dates with other men.  Two mentioned marriage and I am sure one was serious.  But, as I told Jim as he was leaving, he was hard to follow.  I found myself doing anything not to be home for the man who was wanting to be with me.  I just didn’t want them hanging around.  I haven’t met anyone who has changed that idea.  I find I would rather be in the company of other women; I am more relaxed; we don’t play games, and I don’t have to fight them out of my bed.  I have decided that is the way it is going to be.  I live alone, when Jerry gets it together, and I like it that way.  I have learned to like myself again and I think I am good company.  I don’t mind staying home and puttering around the house and yard and sew if I can find the time. 

During the hot summer Sundays after Jim left, I knew I would have to start going to church to get out of the house and meet people.  That is against my principles for church attending, but I had to do something and that is all I knew about on Sunday.  One Sunday, I got dressed and went out looking for a little church on the north side of town (the barrio) that I had heard about where the minister and the people were brave enough to stand up for what they believed.  I knew a girl who went to high school with Frank was going there.  I was driving around over on the north side looking for it and ran into Jerry and his friend Marie.  We stopped to talk and they wanted to know what I was doing.  I started to cry and told them what I was doing.  I went on to find the church as they were having coffee after church.  I talked a few minutes to the minister, Hal Hudspeth, and felt better but determined to go back the next Sunday.  I have never joined Impact, which is a liberal arm of the local Presbyterian Church, because I have formulated my philosophy to exclude organized religions.  I was there for fellowship and love which I got in abundance.  They accepted this Mormon renegade with her weird ideas and they didn’t care.  In fact, they often shared them with me. 

I asked Hal for some counseling.  I didn’t know where else to go even though I had trained for the crisis line while I was in college before Jim left.  He came twice to talk to me.  He really didn’t give me all that much advice except to get out of hot Redlands as much as I could.  But he listened while I got a lot of it out.  He has been a very good friend though I haven’t needed his counseling anymore. He is the nicest man I have ever met and the most courageous.

My religious philosophy had evolved by now to some pretty concrete ideas.  The last time I tried to teach Vacation Bible School in Germany, I told the superintendent about my Mormon background.  She didn’t want any part of me teaching those precious children and had to pray for guidance.  I was doing a little praying of my own.  It was really alright with me if I didn’t teach, but I objected to helping someone who had had a lot less experience.  I was ready to tell the super that I could better spend my time at home when someone had to drop out and she had to let me take her place.  It would seem that our prayers had been answered.  Later she told me I did fine, but she has no idea what she did to me at that point.  I had to examine my motive for wanting to teach.  I was there mainly because I wanted Frank to go and it was easier if I participated.  But it was getting harder and harder for me to teach the material.  I decided, after that experience, not to volunteer again and then began to study what my real attitude about religion was.

I found there was a middle ground between theism or monotheism, the belief in God, and atheism.  That was agnosticism which says, “I don’t know, there is no way of knowing”.  I go further: Nobody really does.  You can believe but you can’t know.  A good definition of God I found was Paul Tilloch’s ground of being.  It takes care of God neatly, and I don’t have to deal with Him.  That suits me, God just is.  At Impact, this is accepted so I can enjoy the fellowship and social life with the worship.  But I draw the line when it comes to joining and serving on the Session as it gets into too much of the doctrines of the larger Church.  It was here that I met Harlan and Gladys Maase and became good friends.  Harlan and I spent quite a few group sessions together getting to know each other rather intimately.  It was a good experience to be able to open myself up so fully to a man.  I had not been able to do that with Jim.  He was too judgmental.  I can with Jerry and could with Frank but I can’t any longer.

Frank and Debbie left the commune shortly after I was there, and went back to Santa Fe.  But in December ’72, they were living with a brother and sister in Albuquerque and Jerry and I went to have Christmas with them.  Jerry met his sister for the first time.  Jim gave me his last Christmas present of $10 for the trip and I bought a beautiful Indian necklace made of glass beads.

Frank went back to school in Albuquerque and got his BA degree.  He and Debbie met JoAnn who moved in with them and they went to Santa Fe where they met Ray Reece.  Ray and JoAnn got married in a civil ceremony and later all four got married in their own ceremony with a lot of friends and me in attendance.  True to form, the four of them are spearheading group marriages.  What an interesting idea.  Instead of polygamy that the Mormons practiced with one man and two or more wives, they are doing it with two equal partners.  It seems to have worked very well and for Frank it is a very good situation with more than one person to take care of him and his needs.  JoAnn was from Australia and they are all fascinating people.  They all went to New York to live for a while and both Debbie and JoAnn had baby boys.  Koala was born to Debbie on January 29, 1975 and Kilynn was born to JoAnn February 2.  They had planned the births on the same day and were to have a midwife and have natural childbirth.  That worked for Debbie, but for JoAnn it didn’t.  She was having trouble and 3 days later delivered in the hospital.  When the boys were about 3 months old, they all came back to California to live and took their friend’s house in Muscoy.  They didn’t like it there and only stayed one month and went to Berkeley where they are now.

Jerry has moved in and out of the house and used the living room to practice until about 1975 when they built a music room in one of the fellow’s garage and that is where they stayed.  Jerry met Carolyn Bond in 1976 and fell in love with her.  She was married at the time but got a divorce and they have decided to live together for the present.  Both were disillusioned with marriage.  They have been together longer than some marriages I’ve seen.  They lived with me over a year and Carolyn helped me take care of the house and the situation.  Carolyn had a daughter Lisa and two grandchildren, Michael and Angelina.  They were at the house a lot and I fell in love with the children, especially the pretty little blond girl who I could make clothes for.  They both love me and are like grandchildren for me.  Carolyn and Jerry moved out to live with Carolyn’s mother when her father died.  Now they have a house of their own in Yucaipa.

Connie, on the right, 1976

My job with Dr. Williamson had progressed to where I had my own office and several increases in pay.  He was finally telling me I was doing a good job and seemed interested in giving me a good place to work.  My last raise he had given me in May, 1977 and told me it was long overdue.  At that time he let his office manager go and we all did a lot of overtime work to keep his office running.  He hired several people and let them go in a couple of weeks.  It was sheer chaos.  He hired my medical secretary teacher to organize the place and ignored what she suggested.  That added to chaos and she quit coming.  One day he hired a front office helper who said she could do insurance.  The next day, September 6, 1977, after I had worked a full hard day and 15 minutes overtime, he came into my office and closed the door.  He told me he had to let me go because I was not cooperating with the other employees.  That was news to me but I knew about the power play that was going on and it was my turn.  Then he said it was so peaceful when I wasn’t there.  I had just come back from one week vacation.  That was ridiculous.  That office was never peaceful except when he was gone and we could catch up with our work.  What I heard him say was he was tired of me being around.  I had been there longer than anyone else and he was paying into a retirement plan.  So it was time for me to go.

It hurt a lot, it was a blow to my ego.  But I really couldn’t expect anything else from the man.  He didn’t keep help long and it was usually a nasty separation and it just had been with his office manager.  I had seen him at work and experienced his dishonesty and lying when he tried to say I said something I hadn’t said.  I told him so and he probably didn’t like my not keeping my mouth shut.  But I really didn’t expect the vindictiveness he was about to display when I applied for unemployment compensation.  The worker called him while I was in his office and he told him what he had told me so they wrote him a letter saying they had decided I was eligible for the payments.  That did it.  He was angry now and he was going to show them and me that he was perfectly within his rights to fire me. 

His appeal listed several things that I had never heard before: I didn’t send Medi-Cal in on time per instructions.  I adjusted ledgers and gave refunds. Patients couldn’t understand me on the phone.  Insurance forms mailed too late to collect.  Refused his orders in billing history and physicals for hospital patients.  I wore dirty clothes with dog hair on them.  I knew where all of that came from.  The power play had won her a seat next to God.  But not for long.  Her husband made her quit and she was gone in a few weeks but not before she accompanied Dr. Williamson to the appeal to testify against me, both of them lying, but with his witness, he looked more credible and he was leading the hearing.  I could only respond to what he brought up.  Then he walked out before I had a chance to say very much.  I thought that would throw the hearing my way and was pretty confident.  But it didn’t.  The judge thought he was more credible and that was that.  I wanted to appeal that but it was close to Christmas and I was learning a new job with the County and I didn’t have the time or energy.  So I let it drop.  I didn’t need his money by that time, but I wanted to clear my name.  As it was, I had to start again with that kind of thing over my head.  And my day in court was another disaster. 

I got a temporary job with Central Services in San Bernardino County doing the health insurance.  I had thought, if I lost my job, I would go right to a hiring agency and pay to get another one.  But first, I wanted to take Civil Services tests and see where that would lead.  My friend, Helen Campbell, took me over to the County Personnel to get my name on the testing list for the following Friday.  I passed the test and got my name on the list and began interviewing.  I took the temporary job because they were promising it would go regular.  My supervisor was a bitch and gave me a really hard time about hearing and inability to work faster while I was learning the complicated procedures and answer the phones which were pretty busy.  I hung in as I was too afraid to walk out and it did go regular in 7 months.  I have been there almost 3 years now and on much better terms with the supervisor and the other employees.  Contrary to Dr. Williamson’s parting remarks that I couldn’t work with other women (I had in his office for almost 6 years), I get along fine with my coworkers.  And after the first evaluation which wasn’t good, they have all been good and I know I am doing a good job.  The doctor really did me a favor but he needn’t have been so harsh.  I have benefits now that I didn’t have with him and have a much better job.

It began before, but in the last decade I have become an avid feminist and joined the National Organization for Women.  The women’s movement has said a lot to me as I learned to make it on my own.  It gave me encouragement and reinforced my self-worth.  I haven’t been as active as I would like to working full time with house and yard not to mention the car.  I have met a lot of interesting people there and drawn a lot of strength from them.  I served one year as their treasurer. 

I have found my own circle of friends who never knew Jim.  I enjoy them and they me.  It is not a bad life.  Once I really believed it was alright to be single, I was OK.  The world out there is treating us better all the time and laws are changing in our favor all the time.  Jerry and I are close but Frank has moved away from me.  There is no communication.  I have accepted that and wish him well.  I know he is happy and that is the main thing.

Jim has made a new life for himself with Barbara and none of his former family see him except by accident.  I would never have believed he could turn his back on all of us.

The sixth decade is ending good.  I have a promotion at work and I enjoy my job.  We keep moving around from one building to another and I have made more new friends there.  I am about as secure as I can hope for at this late date.  I am old to start putting into retirement when others my age are retiring.  If my hearing and health holds out, I may be good for another 10 years, and then can collect retirement.  I enjoy my home and yard though it is a lot of work keeping it up which I don’t do all that great.  At first, I needed the discipline the upkeep demanded.  Now, I enjoy the room it affords me with the patio, the yard and the fireplace that I wouldn’t have in an apartment or trailer.  What I enjoy doing the most is taking a good book out under the tree on my lawn chaise and read all day in the quiet solitude.  It is good and I guard my privacy jealously.

Next month on November 20, 1980, subtract 20 and, yes, I will be 60 and I will begin a new decade.  It looks promising.  Jim was right that it was better this way.  I didn’t believe him and it took me a long time to come to it, but, yes, I am probably better off.  We can never go back to the good times we had and as unhappy as he was, it would not have been good for us.  I can say goodbye now.  The pain is gone.

                                                                                                Connie Moore                                                                                                 October 5, 1980


Written by Connie Moore, Frank’s mom.

PART V : 1960 / 1970

At the beginning of the 60s, I was selling the first house we had ever owned. Jim had already gone and I was left behind to close the doors. I wanted to sell it myself and not put it in the hands of realtors in order to keep the price down. I resisted the realtors but a neighbor came by one day and said if I would add $100 to the price and give it to him, he would bring me a buyer. I did and he did and the lady bought the house. We met at the escrow office on January 22, and I tried to figure out what was going on. This was a new experience for me. We spent all afternoon in the escrow office and I was beat when I was through. But I had in my hot little hand a check for $1,000 for our equity. I had never had so much money all at once in my life.

The house was sold and we had to have a place to live until we went to Germany. So Mother and Dad moved over for us again and we moved in. We had our furniture stored at the base. The kids were in school at that time of the year and I didn’t want to change them for the short time we would be there. So I arranged to take them up to Ogden three times a week and worked with them in the interim. This worked well as I could just carry on the work while we went overseas. We lived with Mother and Dad two months.

While we were in Salt Lake, one night the boys and I had gone out to Martha and Eldon’s. On the way home in the evening, we came to the rail road crossings where the lights were flashing. I pulled the car up a little to see if I could see the train coming and the guard rail came down on the car. I was scared and so were the boys. But I backed up and the guard rail came off the car and into place as the speeding train went past. The car radio was playing “Teen Angel”.

Jim came home for us in March and we drove to New Jersey to McGuire Field again where we got a commercial flight and were treated like 1st class citizens for a change. Our flight went into Frankfurt where Jim had left his car that he had bought over there and we drove home to a little town way out in the country. It was a windy road twisting around and through mountains and beautiful country. Jim had rented the bottom part of an old farm house with 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and living room. If we thought Morocco was cold, it had nothing on Germany winter, spring or summer. It was nearly always cold. We were celebrating the Fourth of July in our winter coats. We had heaters in the living room and kitchen but the bedrooms were only for sleeping well covered. We lived there a month and then got an apartment in Bitburg close to town and the base. I started to take Frank to therapy but the school would not consider letting him go. They would let me take books and gave us a curriculum and I set up a school at home for him. He went to church and made friends there and with our friend’s children mainly Elon and Bobbie Nash’s boys Butch and David. But he missed the experience of school. He probably got a better academic experience and so did I. I worked with the idea that, since we were in Germany, we would learn as much as we could about the country. It had some fascinating history with old Roman sites to visit close by. Our first house had bullet holes from World War II. There had been heavy fighting through that area as Hitler was defeated. Bodies and old money were being dug up all the time. We didn’t do a lot of travelling as it was difficult with Frank but we did some sight seeing around West Germany, Belgium, France, Luxemburg and Austria. One vacation we went through Switzerland, across Southern Germany and a tiny corner of Austria mostly to see the country.

The house in Germany
Frank’s father, Jim.
Clock tower in Germany
Street in Germany

This way Frank worked through his junior high years and was ready for high school when we came home. This experience opened up doors for me as well. I really was learning to love to learn. I couldn’t get enough. We used the library a lot and I started my upper level education then.

We had a cleaning woman in Bitburgh who was a good clean person but I discovered that she was taking some things. I saw some in her purse one day, so I knew she was doing it. It wasn’t much but it was disturbing. After we moved into base housing, she was not as dependable. Then we found she had stolen some money from an officer’s wife and she was barred from working on base again. I didn’t get another one.

Our unit on base was situated near the hospital and Frank was able to go to therapy every day. I could walk him over after we had got down the 7 steps to the ground level from our first level apartment. One day I tried to hurry things up and took him down in the wheelchair. I couldn’t hold him and sat down on the top step and bumped down each step as I held the wheel chair upright. I didn’t try that again. I took his wheelchair down and used the rolling chair we used in the house to take him to the top. Then I walked him down each step and up again when we came back. One day, as I was going down those steps, I slipped on the top landing and fell on my back all the way down. It really scared Frank but, fortunately, all I did was strain my back and it was stiff and sore for a few days.

The apartment in Germany

I began to notice that I was having trouble hearing soon after Jerry was born. The most obvious times were at PTA meetings in Dayton where I couldn’t hear a word the principle said when she was talking in the meetings. I was alright in a one to one conversation. The person losing their hearing is not aware of it for sometime so it took me several years to decide I needed a hearing aid. I bought a Zenith pocket model, but since I didn’t usually have a pocket in a convenient spot, I attached it to my bra and the cord went up my neck to the ear piece. I always tried to wear beads to hold the cord in place. But it was a nuisance. I had a control put on my telephone while I was working for the Easter Seal Society (Crippled Children). It didn’t help very much. So while I was in Germany, I decided to have surgery as there was a doctor in Wiesbaden AFB Hospital who specialized in the surgery. He thought he could help me with a surgery called stapes, or filling the bone away from the little bones in my inner ear as they had grown immobile with calcium. A condition called otosclerosis. He operated on the left ear first without too much success. Then he did the right with enough success that I didn’t have to wear a hearing aid for many years. Frank took it for a while until they could get his eustation tubs equalized with little tubes in his ears. I also had a D&C (dilation and curettage) while I was in Germany. I never really did know why they did that. It may have been something they thought they saw during a pelvic exam or they just wanted to practice the surgery. Who knows. I remember when Jerry was born, the nurse examined me and thought she saw a finger coming which turned out to be a small tag probably from another delivery. She called the doctor out of bed and he wasn’t very happy about that.

Frank had surgery to bring an undescended testicle down and while he was out, they siphoned the liquid from his eustation tubes. They did that to Jerry once while he was sitting in the examination chair. He fainted. Jerry was having some hearing problems when he was in the second grade in Utah and the doctor cleared that up with a tonsil-adenoidectomy. While Frank was in the hospital, I had to be on hand to feed him and stay with him at night. It was nice that I was close and could run home now and then. Jerry tells me he fell on some ice in Germany and hurt his elbow. He said he told me but I didn’t pay any attention. I guess I didn’t because I don’t remember it. It proved to be a serous injury as he grew up and got to the point that he couldn’t rotate his left arm. It swells on occasions and he has to have it tapped. How could I have missed such an occasion.

Jerry had had a hernia operation while we were in Morocco, too. Jim got to be on hand for him while I stayed with Frank. Jerry went in the night before the surgery and they wouldn’t let him eat. But they brought Jim a plate and Jerry unhappily accused Jim of eating his dinner.

Jim was a Chief Master Sgt. by this time. He had been one of the first in the Air Force to make Senior Master Sgt. and was soon promoted to Chief. In Bitburg, that gave him the job of being the building supervisor in our housing unit. That meant they were to come to him with their problems. This was not very much fun as it always involved us in marital fights. One nice couple above us fought a lot. She was pregnant and one night he kicked her in the stomach. The baby was later born dead. Another couple in the middle stairwell whose name was Moore too, Andy and Margaret, were our friends and he worked with Jim. He was playing around with their German maid and caused a lot of trouble with her. Margaret and Andy had 4 small children very close together, one set of twins. She would call Jim to go out to find him in the middle of the night. Jim would go hoping he wouldn’t find him. I would go over and stay with the kids while they were out. One night Andy came home while I was there and it was rather embarrassing. We had them both at our house another time when he had come home from Tripoli without letting Margaret know and went to see the maid. Margaret got wind of it and went to pieces. She came to our place and collapsed. Her parents were visiting and were home with the babies. We even had the base commander there. Someone finally found Andy and he came home. Then everybody went home but we were all upset.

Jim at his desk

Germany was strange in a different way than Morocco. We had the tensions of the Berlin Wall separating East and West Germany. The base was supposed to be war ready. They were sending men to Tripoli to practice bombing runs. Jim spent 6 weeks at a time down there every couple of months. Then we would have alerts with sirens going off in the middle of the nights. If Jim was at home, he would have to jump up and go. If he was not, I would wonder if it was the real thing or not. During the days, the families in housing went into the basements with the mice and broken windows to wait for the all clear. We were instructed to have supplies ready to go in case we had to evacuate the area. Jim, of course, would not be able to go with us and we were supposed to know the evacuation route to a place in France. We took the route on Sunday afternoon so it got us over into France for some interesting sight seeing. But, as close as we were, we didn’t ever get to Paris, regrettably.

On January 28, 1962, I got a telephone call from home telling me that Dad had died. They would hold the funeral services for me to get there if I could go. I couldn’t see spending that money and flying that far when he was already dead. So I said I would not come. I felt sad but I was never very close to Dad. He always seemed so old and far removed from my world. He had been hospitalized since he had broken his hip and life wasn’t all that good for him. It was time for him to go. It was alright.

With all the tension in Germany, it was no surprise that my nerves began to go. In retrospect, it was the beginning of menopause and could be something to expect. But I wasn’t that well informed about menopause and it was rather soon. The doctor wasn’t much help either. Maybe he didn’t know. But he passed out the tranquilizers. I found that wine helped too. I would wake up out of a sound sleep shaking all over for no reason. I had to get up and move around and make sure I was alive. A case of anxiety, I later found out. It was scary, though, and I was glad to leave Germany and back to my home ground.

We came home in December, 1962. A friend took us to Frankfurt to board our plane. We left our room there about 8am and were to board the plane that morning. The base was fogged in and the flight was canceled. Sometime during the day we were put on busses and taken to Kaiserslautern to take off. We got there in the evening and had dinner and waited. Finally our flight was ready and we boarded late in the evening for the flight to McGuire. All of this time Frank had not been able to go to the bathroom. We flew all night and landed at McGuire in the morning. By the time we got a room, Frank was so uptight he couldn’t urinate. I laid him down and gave him a tranquilizer and left him. He finally relaxed enough to relieve himself. No wonder he was later to have kidney problems.

But we were home! At that point we didn’t have a home at all. While we rested, Jim picked up our car and we began traveling the snow covered Pennsylvania Turnpike to Wooster, Ohio where Dad and Grace were living on a pheasant farm. We had Christmas with them and crossed the country to have New Years with my family in Utah. Then, in January, 1963, we joined many friends from Germany at George Air Force Base at Victorville, California. I had always wanted to live in California since the days Pearl and George would come back from a trip there and bring us the most beautiful navel oranges. It seemed like such a grand golden state to live in no doubt because the movies were made here and a lot of our television shows originated here. It had a mystique for me. And, finally, here I was. Victorville, in the desert, was not exactly what I had dreamed of. It was more like Texas to me or at least West Texas.

This time, after a day or two with the Nashes, we stayed in a guest house on base until we could get quarters. Getting housing was getting easier now that we were getting close to retirement, and we were 42 years old. Still, housing was not really all that great. We got a unit in a fourplex with two bedrooms all right on ground level. It was here I got better acquainted with Jane, who lived across the open space from us. I had met her in Germany, but didn’t realize what an interesting person she was. She had been going to school all along and was going in Victorville. We had some wonderful intellectual conversations in the short time we were there. She opened more doors for me and picked my interest in continuing my education. And, at this point, I am very frustrated that I cannot remember her last name. She later moved back east and I have lost track of her because she did not write letters. Her name was Jane Pettigrew.

Jerry went to school to finish his 6th grade but there was no school for Frank in Victor Valley. So we started looking around for one for him down the hill at Riverside and San Barnardino. With Jim’s rating, they only needed one at a base and it was difficult. He did get in at March AFB at Riverside in the reserves and we bought a house in Redlands. Number 12 Ash Street, Redlands became our last home. I have counted 28 houses I have lived in to this point. Jerry was ready for junior high and Frank for high school and they were able to graduate from high school without another move. Frank was accepted at the handicapped school at Crafton located way outside the city of Redlands. He could take a bus but I had to go out and feed him lunch. With only one car to work with, I took a taxi out and back for a while until we got our second car.

Before we moved to Redlands, Jerry was the focus of the family as a lead in Jack and the Beanstalk. Not really lead, he was the giant, and a good one. I had to dress him for the part and it was a problem getting shoes for the part. I found a pattern and made them out of felt. He was a hit. Then, on Easter while we were visiting Lois and her family, he was playing on their trampoline when Graig threw a ball under him. He came down on the ball rather than the trampoline and twisted his knee tearing a cartilage. After an attempt to mobilize it with a cast, they operated to correct it. We took his report card to him in the hospital and he had an A in math. His remark was that someone had goofed.

When Frank started at Crafton, it was pretty hot at the beginning of the year and the school had no air conditioning. Frank wilted by noon and they thought he could not work a full day and sent him home at noon for me to work with him. On November 22, 1963, just before they brought him home on the bus, President Kennedy was shot. We spent the rest of the weekend glued to the TV watching history unfold through his funeral services on Sunday. What a weekend that was. We were all drained as if it was one of the family.

Frank went on to high school in Redlands where they had just opened an occupationally handicapped class. I still had to go and feed him all through his high school years. My friend and neighbor, Ruth Van, was working on the lunch program and I would ride over with her, feed him and walk home reading a book as I walked. I often stopped at the fabric store and went through the remnants. I made more blouses that year. Finally, Jim agreed that we were indeed a two car family after all and we bought a ’59 Chev station wagon.

Besides feeding him at school, I was at his elbow while he typed on an electric typewriter to turn pages and replace paper. I finally devised a roll made from newspaper roll ends which didn’t have to be replaced so often. But I couldn’t go to bed until he was satisfied that he had done his work for the day. Sometimes it was late into the night before I could get him into bed. He typed with a peg on his head which was very slow. But he was persistent and smart. He was getting A’s in everything but typing where he got a C. How stupid can you be. I was also getting a good high school review that would help me.

In 1965, his junior year, Frank made the honor roll and was an usher at the graduation exercises for the seniors which was quite an honor. Then in ’66, he graduated with exceptional academic honors, joined the Scholarship Club where he was given a life time membership with a gold pin and a gold seal on his diploma. I was so wrapped up in the activities then I hadn’t noticed that my driver’s license had expired the past November. I was stopped because the car was smoking and had to go to court in the middle of all the activities.

Frank graduation photo

Jim retired from the Air Force in 1966 and while Frank was at the Easter Seal Camp, we took a whole week off to drive up to Reba and Kirk’s place in Medford, Oregon. Reba, Billy and Becky had visited us once in Ogden but we hadn’t seen them since. We took Lois’s boy, Terry and he stayed a while. Jim had gotten a call from the Post Office to go to work right away so we had to come back. We drove down the coast to San Francisco but all I got to see of that city was the skyline from across the bay from Oakland. I have yet to see San Francisco.

Frank at camp

Frank’s rehabilitation counselor had arranged for him to go to San Barnardino Valley College in the fall. I was going to have to take him so I took my entrance exam that summer. I surprised myself by getting a 98% in English which enabled me to take the college English along with Frank whose major was English and Journalism. He had written for the Hobachi, the high school paper, and with the help of our neighbor, Roger Woods, who was a physics professor there, he had a byline on the War Hoop. I was able to go to most of the classes with him while we were trying our wings.

I had always thought of myself as a very average student but my first experience at college proved me wrong. I didn’t take very many units at first until I could see how it would go with Frank. But the year I took 12, enough for a full course, I made the Dean’s list, along with Frank, and we were honored in an assembly.

It wasn’t easy to get Frank started at Valley as it hadn’t been all along the way. Some of the teachers looked at him and said, “But he can’t go to school, he drools.” He certainly did, but that hadn’t stopped him before and it didn’t stop him now. Our good friend, Roger Woods, went to bat for him here too. He talked to our counselor who was the Dean of Women, Miss McCarthy, and assured her and everyone else that Frank could do the job and from then on the only trouble we had were the steps and toilet facilities. Vocational Rehab would go to any lengths for Frank and hired people to help him up and down steps and take notes in class. But they weren’t always where they were supposed to be and we had to wait for someone to help us. One day on the second floor of the Ad Building, no one would help us and we just had to wait. Finally, the head of the Psy Dept gave us a hand.

Frank took a class in Psychology of the Personality. They had a late class and Frank was exerting his independence from me. He was tired of me being his shadow all the time. He told me to leave. The class seemed to think I got my kicks by being his mother (super mom) who needed to be needed. So I left. There wasn’t anyplace to go as I had to be there when he was through. So I went into the Student Union to study. I went back when the class was over. They were bringing him down the steps. Mr. Thrasher, his professor, was looking for me and seemed relieved to see me. I don’t think he was quite sure I would be there and then what would he do.

The Vietnam War was a hot issue while Frank was in high school and he wrote about it in the paper. His ideas were not too popular with the staff then. It was still hot while we were at Valley and Frank and I both got involved. I did stand in some quiet demonstrations there, but mainly I took Frank if he wanted to go and he usually did. He was involved in some in Redlands but I didn’t want to put my body where my ideas were because Jim was not very happy about any interference with the military’s stand over there. I really kept a low profile, but I did have my opinions. Once in a while I ventured to voice them. The boys and I were in accord and Jim stood alone in his thinking. When they started drafting the boys, Jerry didn’t have to go because of his knee and his arm that he had hurt in Germany. He was #12 on the list. Jim and I were both happy that he didn’t have to go. I was against the draft because the war had not been declared…a little detail that should not be overlooked.

Jerry graduated in ’69 and he went on to Valley to study Telecommunications. Frank and I had gone 2 years and Frank was ready to transfer to a 4 year college. With the help of Rehab again, he got a house in Muscoy with a male nurse (that term is used loosely), who took care of him and took him to school where students took over. And Frank went on to California State College at San Bernardino. He wanted to go farther away but we could not arrange it.

Jerry at graduation, 1969

Jerry had taken up the guitar in high school and with a couple of neighbors, played a few engagements like rest homes for $25 an hour. Then we got him a set of drums and they got a rock group together. They practiced in the garages and living rooms. That was the beginning of many practice sessions in our living room which the neighbors bore in relative silence. They changed names and musicians and went on practicing in the living room.

I went on with my studies at Valley after Frank left and had enough units for an Associated Arts degree but did not apply for the degree as I really didn’t think it was very important and Jim seemed to feel threatened by it all. I was playing the low profile game which seemed to be becoming a habit. I could go on adding units to units at Valley, but I decided that I was not going on mostly because of the money involved and stopped going to stay home and be the good housewife.

Frank and his nurse were living in Muscoy but I was given the responsibility of handling the money that Frank was granted to maintain his household. I paid the nurse’s wages and turned in his Social Security, paid the bills and bought groceries. But things weren’t going too well with them. Frank complained that the nurse was threatening him with a gun and was drinking. One weekend, Frank called on his telephone that the telephone company had put in for him. It had an automatic dialer. The nurse told us then that he was not going to kiss Frank’s butt to keep the job so we went over and brought Frank home. The nurse came over and said he didn’t say that and wanted to stay with it. Frank went back but didn’t stay long. He came home one weekend sick with the flu and said he thought he was having a nervous breakdown. He didn’t want to go back again. So we gave up the house. Jerry and I went over and cleaned it up. They had obviously had a fire while cooking and I replaced the kitchen curtains and washed down the walls. Then Frank moved in with friends from the college and was much happier. I still bought groceries from the commissary for him but that was all.

When the other students gave up that house, Frank and Jerry moved in together in an apartment in Highland. They had looked without success so I went with Jerry to look at this place. The manager was so impressed that the brothers were going to college and Jerry was taking care of Frank and she let them have it. However, I assured her that I would see that it was kept clean and I did. We gave them our oldest station wagon as we had 3 now. And finally Jim and I were alone to do our thing.

Frank went into the hospital at the Loma Linda Medical Center, while he was still with the students, and had surgery to correct bladder problems. One of the friends he was living with called me to see if it would be alright to take Frank to a doctor there and I said yes. Frank was over 21 now and trying to be on his own. The doctor scheduled surgery to do a trans-urethral section. I had a full schedule at Valley at that time, but was still expected to feed him and see that he was ok. I had one night class and would go by after class to see if he needed anything before he went to sleep. Then he came home to recuperate.

While Frank and Jerry were living together, Frank made plans and a reservation to fly out of Los Angeles to Washington, DC to visit a friend. Jerry took him to the airport but when they saw Frank planning to travel alone they said no! Another airline took him if they could find someone else going who would sit with him. Jerry looked around and found another long hair and made arrangements and Frank was on his way. I had visions of trouble and Frank without his talking board and couldn’t communicate with anyone. But everything went well. When he came back, Jerry went down to pick him up and they came back to our house. Jerry was pretty uptight because Frank was telling him that he had invited a girl to come and live with them. She was to come in a month. This girl, as Frank explained to us, was withdrawn and wouldn’t talk to anyone. He had gotten her to talk to him on his talking board and he felt so good about opening her up, he wanted to bring her home and take care of her. This situation was between Frank and Jerry, but they only had a one bedroom apartment with a contract for 2 people. I didn’t see how it would work out or how Frank was going to take care of her. Somehow in this discussion, Frank heard that I said nobody could love him. He told me later that he had decided then and there that I was no longer his mother and he felt no duty or love for me any longer. The girl, incidentally, never came.

As this decade ended, relationships in our family were becoming strained. Jim was alienating his relationship with the boys and it was getting harder for me to live with him. Nothing I could do was right. Our last Christmas together as a family, we were invited to Frank and Jerry’s place on Christmas Eve. They had a tree in the middle of the small living room. Lynn, Jerry’s girl friend, had made pastries and they wanted us to open our presents there. There was no liquor or beer served and Jim was getting restless. We didn’t stay very long. Jim wanted to go to the bar. Jerry and Frank went their ways on Christmas Day. We had our New Years alone together but the 60s went out on a very low note.

Frank testing some phone equipment …


Written by Connie Moore, Frank’s mom.

PART IV : 1950 / 1960

Jim’s group was moved to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio and we moved into our first base housing.  It was a real come-down from our little house with 2 bedrooms in Highland.  They were barrack-types, really thrown together.  We were assigned a tiny 1 bedroom apartment at first.  There wasn’t much room for the equipment we were using for Frank.  So, when one was available, they gave us a two bedroom at 330 Hillside Avenue.  At least it was bigger.  One Sunday we decided to go for a drive back to visit friends in Wilmington.  I never got back home that day.  About half way down we went through an intersection and met a black man backing up our lane and Jim was unable to avoid him.  Neither of us was going very fast but the impact threw Frank and me into the dashboard.  Frank had a tooth knocked out and I came out of it with a broken jaw and minus 6 front teeth.  Jim took us on to the hospital at Wilmington emergency and they sent us back to the base hospital at WPAFB.  They treated Frank and sent him home with Jim.  I went into oral surgery on a Sunday evening when they couldn’t get the drugs they needed.  But they got the surgeon and he went to work cleaning out my gums and setting my jaw without anesthetic.  They gave me something like laughing gas as I remember everything was funny until they started to work.  I tried to let them know I wasn’t out but they obviously knew that and kept right on.  I remember groaning but it seemed to come from someone else and it really didn’t matter anymore.

After the surgery was over, they gave me a shot to put me to sleep but it had no effect on me by then.  I had no teeth to wire together, so they tied a splint in my mouth and bandaged my head to keep the jaw in place.  I spent the next 6 weeks in the hospital eating fluids and anything that would slide through the small opening.  I drank a lot of soup and milk shakes but lost about a pound a week.  We had a club going in our ward and we could go into the kitchen any time we wanted to fix something.  My gums had to heal before they could put a bridge in so I had to go all summer without front teeth.  I planned to stay home a lot, but there were too many activities that the family would enjoy so I went along and tried not to smile.  I was never able to get a good bridge fitted because my molars were too short but 3 dentists tried including one in Germany.  Many years went by before I got a good permanent bridge anchored with gold crowns on the molars and gold backing the bridge.  At the cost of gold now, my mouth is worth more than the rest of me.

After the hospital visit, I got pregnant again.  Jim was going away a lot on TDY (temporary duty).  When I was about 5 months pregnant, he went to Germany for a couple of weeks.  The day Jim left, I got Frank ready to take to therapy and we went out to the parking area but couldn’t find the car.  One neighbor helped me get the insurance agent and another took us to therapy.  The insurance company tracked it down in Kentucky where it had been abandoned by the teenagers who had stolen it with a key they found in another car.  They had really worked it over and it had to be towed back and repaired before we got it back.  So, for a few weeks, I experienced what it was like not to have a car in this day of high mobility.

Frank was getting therapy regularly.  He enjoyed working with the therapists and they liked him.  So, when Jerry was due, we left Frank in the convalescent hospital as an in patient till I was able to take care of him again.  They told us Frank felt we had given him up for the new baby.  But the therapists took him to therapy every day and talked to him and he felt better.  Jim went to see him often and I kept in touch.  Then he got chicken pox from someone in the hospital and couldn’t come home until he was over that.

Frank with leg braces

We gave Frank a brother, Jerry Neal, on March 14, 1951, born at the WPAFB Hospital.  I went in early with false labor and due to a heart problem they detected, I had to stay.  I recalled that they would find something wrong with my heart one year at school and wouldn’t let me take gym.  Then the next year they would let me.  One point, they warned me not to run upstairs or I might fall over dead.  The doctor put me on digitalis until delivery.  I had a normal delivery when he finally decided to come, and Jerry was a healthy, normal boy.  I was on a strict diet and came out of the hospital nice and thin.  We brought Frank home and then they told me that Aunt Harriet was dying in the Mansfield hospital.  They had not told me about it before because I was about to be a mother.  She had leukemia and had been sick for some time.  When she died, I had a new baby and Frank to care for and couldn’t go with Jim.  He joined Harriet, Grace and Dad for the funeral services in Mansfield and they took her body back to Monongahela, Pennsylvania to bury with the Moore family.

With Jerry, we could find our own name since Frank had the father’s names.  We liked Gary but there was a Gary Moore on TV so we settled for Jerry.  The middle name is for my mother, Cornelia, which was always shortened to Neely or Neel.  We made it Neal and gave it to Jerry.

Jim with Frank and Jerry

The Air Force life was very interesting but, as any life, it had its drawbacks.  In some ways, all the moving was broadening and other ways it was a pain.  I always lived in dread of Jim being sent overseas where we couldn’t go or into a hazard area.  We had been together since Christmas of ’42, except for a few days TDY, which was bad enough.  When he left, my life seemed to stop and wait for him to come home to continue.  I did a lot of waiting.  We were about to get a taste of the frustrations of family life in the military.

Jim’s first orders about November, 1952, sent him to San Antonio, Texas for a brief period before an overseas assignment.  The housing rules were that after the sponsor left a base, the dependents could not live in housing.  So we found a place to live until we could join Jim again.  We moved into a nice 2 bedroom apartment at 27 Smithville Rd., in Dayton.  One of the nicest places we had lived so far.  Jim left us there and went on to San Antonio to school.  From day to day, his letters reported frustration as he waited to be “picked” for interviews and then starting school without knowing how long it was going to be or where he would be going.  He came home and spent Christmas but we had to send him back to wait.  By June, it didn’t seem as though much was happening and he began processing orders for us to join him.  Frank was in kindergarten at Gorman School for the physically handicapped in Dayton.  They picked up our household goods the day he finished school.  I got everything packed and ready for the movers and let them have at it.  Jerry and I attended a party at Frank’s school and then started for San Antonio.  Frank was tired and lay in the back seat.  Jerry, age 2, sat on a suit case and drove his little steering wheel.  We stopped and picnicked along the way.  We stopped that night at a motel.  It was so hot and with the air conditioning was too noisy for me to sleep so about 3am, I packed the kids in the car asleep and started driving.  Late that afternoon we were in Austin and I called Jim to tell him where I was.  He met me on the outskirts of San Antonio and drove us to our new home.  It was never really home as we were only to stay there 2 weeks.  We didn’t really get unpacked and we were on our way again.  We knew some people from the Clinton County base and we had fun renewing our relationship, saw a little of San Antonio including the Alamo which was closed the day we went.  Then we were off to Salt Lake.

In June, 1953, Jim had his orders to go to Neusser, French Morocco which included a leave time for him to take us to Salt Lake to find a place before he reported to his embarkation point.  We found an apartment on 6th East and 13th South and settled in and Jim left us for 8 months before we could join him.  It was so lonely without him.  Having the family around helped.  I was close to Vera and Ben whose son Roger was the same age as Jerry, and Martha and Eldon whose son Russell was close to Frank.  The boys enjoyed getting acquainted with their cousins.  Martha had always been my special friend and confidant from the time Eldon brought her home as his new bride before I was married.  But most of the time I was tied at home with the kids as it was difficult to get around a lot with Frank in a wheelchair.  I spent a lot of time with Mother and Dad on Sunday afternoons.  Frank started school at the University of Utah Medical Center at Fort Douglas where they had special classes.  It was obvious by this time that he was not mentally retarded.  He was learning to read and doing very well.

Winter drew near and my landlord grew anxious about when we were going to move.  I couldn’t tell him and it upset me so much that I finally moved in with Mother and Dad to get him off my back.  We spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with them.  Gordon gave me a job in the Christmas Tree business he had every year.  This year he was located on the corner of Wentworth Avenue and State Street so I could work and check on the kids at home with Mother and Dad.  That helped my income as we planned to go overseas.  I also sold Christmas cards to make some money for the trip.  It was interesting contacting old friends.  One was Sylvia Gigi that I grew up with.  Frank rode a bus to school which helped a lot.

Frank and Jerry (on the right)
Frank, Jerry and friend
Frank (in chair), Jerry (right) and friend.

Jim came home to assist us travelling to Morocco.  He arrived in February after they had picked up our household goods and we were ready to drive across the States to Brooklyn, New York.  That was a long cold drive.  We visited friends in Ohio and New Jersey.  We left the car in port and we boarded the Navy General H.F. Hodges and began our, the boys and my, first ocean trip.  It was quite an experience.  It took a little doing, as Jim was not assigned to our cabin on the water line, to get Jim assigned with us.  There was a woman in our cabin who was more than willing to relinquish her bed to Jim probably because of the kids.  Frank had to be fed in the cabin but the rest of us had to go to the dining room.  Jerry loved that.  He could order anything he wanted whether or not he wanted to eat it.  What power.  When we went up on deck, Jim had to carry Frank up the swaying stairs.  There were days during a storm when we had to stay on deck to keep from getting sick, and the nights it was a struggle to stay in the bunks.  The water on the tables sloshed over on the table cloths.  We were on the water 14 days.  On February 16, 1954, we got a little newspaper called the “Sea Foam”.  It told us we were 2,852 miles from New York and 315 miles from Casablanca.  We had travelled 420 miles that day.  The world news reported heavy fighting by the French Union Forces from Saigon and Laos, names that would much later become house hold words to us all.  Generalissimo Chaing-Kai-Shek was trying to retire in Formosa.  Tokyo reported 250 men were in Indo China to instruct the French in the use of our planes and not fighting.  Senator Watkins of Utah criticized the situation.  We landed in Casablanca on February 17, 1954.

Morocco was a strange land for my first overseas experience.  We had a nice house, by Morocco standards, in a place called Oasis, outside of Casablanca.  Our neighbor and Jim’s co-worker, Larry Blackwell, picked us up from the dock and took us to our new home and then took Jim out to the base to sign in.  We did have breakfast with Larry and his family then his wife left for the afternoon.  Larry had stocked our cupboard with a few groceries but I had to borrow a can opener and pan to fix our lunch.  Jerry was ready to explore the place and he was gone.  I was frantic as I didn’t know who and where the Americans were yet.  An Arabic woman named Zora, who was later to be our cleaning woman, could see my plight and told me where Jerry was.  So I met my new neighbors behind the house next door who had a boy Jerry’s age and I retrieved Jerry.

Zora the maid in Casablanca

Our house was white stucco with a patio porch all ground level.  Beautiful black wrought iron protected the windows from entry and we also had roll down shutter type blinds that protected from the inside and also kept out the hot African sun.  It was like jail to keep anyone, meaning Arabs, of course, from breaking in and stealing us blind.  Some of them probably would as someone did break into our garage and took our tools.  But Zora proved to be a very dependable and honest person.  She cleaned our house every day while I took Frank to school and worked with him at home.  She washed our clothes in the bathtub as that was the only place we had hot water.  She was very good with the boys and stayed with them when we went out.  We did have sinks and toilets but the drains emptied in troughs under the house.  Thanks to the base, we were supplied with refrigerators that would run on their cycle.  Our TV’s were no good and we learned to live without them.  We heated each room with a kerosene space heater and we only could afford one.  Frank wore long leg pelvic braces at that time but we didn’t do much with therapy then but we did try to get him into school.  We means me as I was usually the one to take him and work out our problems with the school.  The school was sympathetic but did not take him because he didn’t fit in at that point.  So we worked at home with books I had brought from Salt Lake and got him through 2nd grade and ready for 3rd.  Then I just registered him and took him in the first day of school.  His poor teacher didn’t know what to do about that.  She was frantic as she had never had any experience with teaching the handicapped and I thought I was going to have to back down.  There were other teachers there who had had some experience and they wouldn’t let Frank’s teacher quit.  They promised to help and I did and Frank stayed.

I took Frank to school every day 10 miles away because he couldn’t ride the bus.  I stayed on base, with Jerry in tow, while he was in class.  Frank did well by bringing his books home and we did the written work there.  He made a hit with the kids and one little girl would have willingly done his work for him.

I spent a lot of time sitting in the car and did a lot of reading.  When Jerry was 4, they let him go to kindergarten as we were on base anyway.  I would sit in the car until the Base Exchange opened and Jerry knew I was there.  So, if he got tired of school, he would just find me.  We finally got that stopped and he was OK.

Now it was time for me to think about religion for the kids.  It was easy then as all we had was the base chapel which was nondenominational.  We attended that and the kids started Sunday School and Vacation Bible School which I usually helped out with.  Part of the time it was on base and then they rented a large villa outside of Casablanca and made a chapel out of the barn where we went to church.  The house was used for classes.  There was a nice swimming pool we used on occasion.  Frank was 8 at this time and we talked about baptizing him.  He had been blessed in an LDS Church in Columbus and Jerry in one in Dayton.  Frank wanted to be baptized by submersion so the chaplain did the ceremony in the base swimming pool.  He was very elated and really felt good about that.

We spent 18 months in Morocco.  At the end of our stay in the summer of 1955, Morocco was experiencing a civil war and it became dangerous to live in town.  They were moving everyone into trailers on base.  We were waiting our orders to come home so we had to give up our house and move into a hotel in Casablanca with Air Force families.  That was difficult with Frank so for a week or 2 we moved with friends in their trailer and left Frank in the nursery where he had made friends with the people who ran it from church and school days.  They took care of him at night and I fed him during the day.  Our final weekend we were assigned to a little Quonset hut to stay until we boarded the plane to go home.

On our flight home, we landed first in the Azores for lunch.  I didn’t think much of the landing but the take off again was over water and was a little scary.  We knew when we took off that there was a hurricane en route and we were flying around it.  For a while we thought we would land in Bermuda, but 16 hours later we put down at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey about 3 am.  We got a room there where Frank was able to go to the bathroom for the first time since we left the Azores.  We had sent the car home early and it was in port.  No, we bought our 1955 “Green Giant”, our first station wagon, and it was waiting in port.  We drove through Pennsylvania to visit Jim’s family and on to Salt Lake.  Jim was to be assigned to Hill Air Force Base at Clearfield.  We rented a large house on Healy Street in Ogden.  Jerry started kindergarten again here as he was not old enough to go to first grade.

This was a 1½ story brick with a full basement which housed a small apartment the owners rented.  There was a large yard with all kinds of fruit and berries and grapes.  The strawberry patch overwhelmed us after I got the weeds cleared out of them.  We planted a garden in about half the space available but didn’t fertilize it.  We didn’t get much from it.  Frank was able to go to a handicapped class in a school on 12th Street and was picked up by bus.  The parents were expected to volunteer often and I spent a lot of time there working with all of the children.  I was active in PTA and was vice president one year.  I got quite influential with the schools and the Crippled Children’s Society for which I worked as part time executive secretary with Feola Barton for $50 a month.  Feola had a new baby and I took the whole job for $100 a month.  It was a fun job I did mostly at home with help from the family.  I distributed Easter Seal campaign mailing to be stuffed and got them into the mails.  I picked up the donations at the bank and deposited it.  I kept files of big donators and enlarged on the mailing list.  I went alone or with the state Executive Secretary to visit other parent groups.  The last one I went to alone was just before Jim left for Germany.  It was the night before he left so he went with me.  He wouldn’t go so far as to go to the meeting with me, he found a beer joint to fill his time.  We were closely involved in fun raisers with people like Roy Rogers and Dale Evans and TV fund raisers.  I hated to leave that behind but the Air Force had first priority in our lives and it was our livelihood.

Being back in Utah, I was forced to think seriously about my religious preference.  I decided to try the Mormon Church since it surely was predominant.  I took the kids (Jim would not go) and we went to Sunday School and Primary.  Our landlord was a bishop in Salt Lake and he had friends in the Ogden ward as they had lived in our house before they rented it.  I told them to leave Jim alone but things are not done that way in the Mormon Church.  We soon had the home missionaries at our door.  We gave them permission to come for the series.  Jim had his questions about the authenticity of the Book of Mormon, etc.  But I already knew that I did not believe in what they were presenting as the “truth” and I had to tell them so.  At that pint, I decided that if God was saying anything to me, He was saying “This is not for you.”  That didn’t make sense in the Mormon context that God was telling Joseph Smith the “TRUTH”.  Of course the church representatives have their answers to that but they didn’t satisfy me.  So, at that point, I knew I could not go back to the Mormon Church anymore and, as a family we started attending the Presbyterian Church in Ogden and later to the Lutheran Church in Roy.

Frank with their dog, King, 1958

This was not easy as Mother wanted me to be a Mormon and raise my boys as Mormons if I didn’t get my husband to join.  She had to know what I was doing and it hurt her very much.  I had to make her look at the fact that she hadn’t raised me to be a Mormon, through no lack of effort on her part.  She didn’t want to take the responsibility for that but she wanted me to take the responsibility for my boys.  She finally came around a little and accepted that maybe it wasn’t so bad if I saw that they went to some church.  She even came to a dinner we had at church once and attended Jerry’s baptism.  Jerry chose to be sprinkled and that ceremony was done at the Lutheran Church in Roy.  Neither of the boys have ever joined a church as Jim never did.  That was and is fine with me.  I joined one not with my free will and I have become an apostate to that faith and never accepted another.  I was later more able to define what my religious philosophy was.

During the 50’s, I fulfilled my need to be a do-gooder as a Den Mother for the Cub Scouts.  I started in Morocco in order to let Frank have the experience to his greatest potential.  He went on into Scouts with the help of his father.  I carried on with Jerry in Ogden, Roy and Germany.  It was a fun experience for me.  Our house we bought in Roy in January, 1958 was a new ranch style white frame in a tract at 2275 West 6000 South right on the south west corner.  We put in our first yard, and only one.  Frank was still being picked up to go to school in Ogden and Jerry was in 2nd grade in the Roy Elementary School close by.  As the decade came to a close, Jim was once again taken from us and sent to Germany before the end of ’59.  The boys and I spent that Christmas alone in our new house.  We opened our gifts at home and then spent the day with Martha and Eldon in Murray with their family.  On New Year’s Eve, I went to the NCO Club at Hill Field with a friend whose husband was working until midnight.  We saw that decade out and celebrated the new and I went home alone to wait for Jim to get housing for us in Bitburg, Germany and send for us.

Connie 1956