Terry Mosher 3




I graduated from WesternWashington  University on April 3, 1965 with a degree in political science and minors in economics and history and the next day I was in Seattle taking my Army draft physical. I had been deferred from the draft as long as I was in school progressing toward my degree and the draft board couldn’t wait to get their hands on me.

 Sadly, after all the drama of trying to get me, the draft board lost when the Army rejected me with a bad heart. Somebody had told me the way to funk the physical was to go out the night before and just get hammered. So that is what I did. I had a room in the downtown YMCA and I barely remember making it back that night and didn’t get much sleep.

 The day I took my physical there were about 30 others getting checked by two Army doctors. We were all lined up in a circle and all of us were stripped down to our underwear. When one doctor got to me, he put his stethoscope over my heart he broke out in a big laugh and turned to the other doctor and said,” Hey, you got to hear this.”

 Needless to say that I flunked the physical. I quickly got dressed and out of there like mouse chased by a cat. I walked to the Greyhound Bus station and took the first one south to Los Angeles. One of the three amigos ‑Amos ‑ that had gone with me to LA

in January of 1960 picked me up in downtown LA.

 I probably didn’t mention that 1960 trip in an earlier story on my life. I don’t know why I didn’t. It was a big event, not just for me but for the three amigos who went with me. It all started one lazy day at the OldRoseInn, the only beer joint other than the American Legion in Portville. The memory is just as clear me today as if it was happening right now.

 The big thing back there is the card game, Euchre. It is played a lot. My father used to play it every once in a while at the Odd Fellows Lodge in Portville. Four of us were playing Euchre. Dick was my partner and sat across from me. Dave was Amos’ partner and sat across from him. I was to the right of Amos and we all were drinking. I had an Iroquois beer (it was my favorite, but it is no longer bottled), Dick was drinking a Genny (Genesee) and Amos and Dave both were sipping gin and tonics.

 About an hour into the game of Euchre we all were pretty much half in the bag and mainly talking about our boring lives. It was cold, very cold, outside with about four inches of crusted snow.  It was warm inside the Old Rose Inn. Buddy Holly was playing on the jukebox, which was about 10 feet away and as Buddy sang we all became sensitive to our sorry situations.

 Then, all of a sudden, Dick suggests we all go to California. Even before those words were finishing coming out of Dick’s mouth, Amos rose up from his chair, his Euchre cards in his left hand and his gin and tonic in his right.

 The gin and tonic was spilling out onto the darken wood floor and Amos had this big (bleeping) grin on his face and he practically roared, “Let’s go!!”

 Dave brought a little order to the scene ‑ and it was funny, looking back ‑ by saying, “No, not now!”

  But the seed had been planted. We would all go to California. The plan was to all chip in $35 that we would use for gasoline and we would use Dick’s 1954 Mercury as transportation. Somewhere in the planning we decided to buy a case of beans (always good to have in close quarters when you are driving 3,000 miles together) and a case of soup.

 We left shortly after New Year’s of 1960. The couple who owned the Old Rose Inn bet us the largest drink in the house (a Singapore Sling that we would come back to Portville and live.

  Didn’t happen. Amos and Dave lived out the rest of their lives in the LA area (both have died), Dick left for the Middle East with his dad, mother and sister, and  tragedy died in an auto accident while visiting back at Portville in 1962.

Yes, I’m the only amigo left. I think of Amos, Dick and Dave a lot. It saddens me to do so, but I can’t forget that we four were brave enough to leave the security of friends and family in a beautiful area for the sunshine and exciting life of La-LaLand. It took a lot of guts for us four hicks to do this. But all of us where glad we did, even though for Dick it was short-lived. Dick was a wonderful person who packed a lot of life into his brief (23 years) appearance on this Earth.

 In April of 1965 I lived with Amos and his first wife Louise in North Hollywood for a week or so. I would go downtown LA with Louise every morning (she worked as a buyer for the May Co.) to look for work.

 It was frustrating work looking for work. I finally left Amos and Louise and went to Santa Anna and for about week liked with another friend from Ferndale. He was married but I could plainly see that it wasn’t working. He had a roving eye and didn’t hide it very well. I felt uncomfortable being there, so I called my older brother Ray, who was living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and he said I had a job with his company if I wanted it.

 So I left on a Greyhound Bus for Tulsa, where I spend the next two years overseeing a bunch of drivers who proved meters in the oil fields stretching from Tulsa north to Kansas and south to Texas.

 The Oklahoma experience was a wild time. I mingled with some of the wealthy oil cowboys and the intrigue was unbelievable. Money was flowing like water and by 1967 a lot of it was pouring out of Oklahoma to Texas were somebody named Bush would sprout and become a national figure.

 I was captivated by it all, but, frankly, I was out of my league. I was just a hick from Portville who somehow managed to obtain a college degree. But I was overwhelmed by these big money men and their boastful tales and thousand-dollar suits. I just wanted a quarter for a beer.

 In December of 1966 I came home to Ferndale to celebrate Christmas and the week home completed the vision I had when I was in the fifth grade in PortvilleCentralSchool. If I didn’t mention it, I will now.

 I was minding my own business (well, I was tugging on Martha Jean’s hair, who was sitting in front of  me) when telepathy I heard these words: “You will marry Mary.” Me and a distant cousin were sitting in the Wintergarden, a beer join halfway between Bellingham and Ferndale, when these two women walked in the front door.

 Mary had arrived.

 The rest of the story next time.

 Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

 Have a great day.

 You are loved.