Terry Mosher 3




I had started reading when I was about five. A couple of my older brothers must have developed a taste for James Fenimore Cooper and I grabbed them and started to read, skipping over the larger words I could not punctuate or understand, figuring out what they meant as I went on reading.

It was fascinating to read Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales – The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans and the Pathfinder. It drew me in to the point I felt like I was there in the woods experiencing first hand all the adventures of Natty Bumppo. All these years latter, I still get goosebumps when thinking about the Leatherstocking Tales.

I remember being sprawled on the living room rug with my parents in their chairs reading along in the quiet of the evening. That is a heavenly memory. I was safe and secure and caught up in the exciting experiences that stared at me from the pages. What I wouldn’t give to go back in time, back to those moments.

As crazy as this sounds, a memory from my youth is Red’s and Trudy’s, which still exists to this day. It is a legendary place, and has the best hamburgers in the world. Every time I get back there, I have to go to Red’s and Trudy’s, at lest once if now multiple times.

Red's and Trudy's


It was the fourth grade that I became interested in other worldly things. I give thanks to my teacher – Mrs. Deaton‑ for that.  She was only about 5-foot tall, but for some reason we clicked. I became not only her pet student but one of the top students in that class.

I remember some crazy things happening. One time I had the lid to my desk open and was scrounging around in it looking for something and Mrs. Deaton yelled for me to get my head out of it and straighten up. When I refused, she came over and sat on the lid, trapping my head. That got a big laugh from the class.

Another time I must have been screwing around when Mrs. Deaton said, “Terry, if you don’t like this class you can leave.”

So I did.

I don’t remember how that ended, but I do remember walking in front of her on my way out the door. It takes guts to do that, but I had a good relationship with her and I thought it would be funny, so I walked out. She probably hustled me back in, although I don’t know for sure. That was 66 years ago.

Me and couple of girls used to clear out the desks in the back of the room in Mrs. Deaton’s classroom and play Jacks during lunch break. The three of us – Martha Jean and Joan – were pretty good at the game and the three of us would get lost in our own little world, playing hard to beat each other. Several years ago I emailed Martha Jean, who went on to get her doctorate and work at the University of Buffalo, that we should break out the jacks and see if we still had it.

A few years earlier when I was in the second grade I went with my three older brothers tobogganing on this old skid road up the Lillybridge in our small town of Portville, N.Y. You could come pouring out or the skid road and hit the Lillybridge road, and if you weren’t careful would continue across the road into the yard of old Jake Morgan’s place.

We made several toboggan runs when I decided I had enough. I was freezing from sub-zero temperatures and wailed to my brothers that I wanted to go home. They told me to go ahead, they were staying.

So like the walk-out on Mrs. Deaton, I walked-out on my brothers. Our house was a good mile away and I decided to cut that distance by going over the railroad and into some fields on a straight line to our house.

Snow was crusted and every few steps I would crash through the crust and sink mid-calf deep in the snow. It grew tiring to lift my feet out of the snow every so often. The snow filled up my rubber boots so I was being attacked from the cold in all directions.

I made it home, though. It took about an hour. My mother saw me as I entered the back door and quickly grew concerned about me. She made me go to bed and applied mustard plaster to my chest.

There are two good memories associated with this. One is my mother’s loving care for her baby (I was the youngest of five children) and two, my mother made sure to give my brothers a good chewing out when they got home for allowing me to walk all the way hone.

The bad memory is that my brothers did not forget the tongue lashing they got, and eventually got back at me.

In our very cold New York winters we used to toboggan, sled and ski on Carl Linn’s hill. And it just wasn’t the Moshers. Most of the surrounding neighbors also would be there. The hill was part of the foothills of the Alleghenies that range through there. They now call them the EnchantedMountains, although they are not tall enough to be called Mountains.

At the bottom of the hill was a barbed-wire fence. It wouldn’t be pretty if you ran into that, so we bent the wire back to create a hole big enough to toboggan or sled through. But you had to make sure you aimed right, and then you had to duck your head at the appropriate moment to avoid being be-headed.

Nobody thought that was particularly dangerous. Looking back, though, I now think we all must have been nuts. But that’s the way it rolls when you are young and believe you are indestructible.

I almost didn’t make it to 10 We used to swim in the Butment in our little town. A big piece of concrete used to support a bridge had collapsed in

to Dodge Creek creating a perfect jump off (or dive off) point into a deep 10-foot pool of water. For years, it became the center for summer swimming in the town.

One day I was swimming around the Butment and accidently go into the deep end. I tried to touch down, but couldn’t, and all of a sudden I was going down, fighting my way back up, and was about to go down for what might have been the final time when Mr. Grossman, swimming nearby, saw that I was in distress and swam over and pulled me out.

I never said anything about it to anybody, and either did Mr. Grossman. But he clearly saved my life.

Life back then was pretty simple for us kids. There were no worries, and the outside world was, well, outside. We lived in a small area that most people didn’t’ know existed. It was paradise. There were clearly four seasons, and each season has its own charm, its own beauty.

Nothing of much importance happened there. But those of us who grew up there, wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Next I’ll explore the pre-teen years and the death of somebody I still miss.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.