Terry Mosher 3


I was once a Hank Williams bevy of sad songs. That memory is awful sad and it took away all the spring in my youthful step and dragged me down and kept me from achieving what I believe I could have if I hadn’t gone down Hank’s “Lost Highway.”

Me and my three brothers were  talking about this recently when I went back to our home state (New York) and our hometown (Portville), My three brothers – Ray, Ronnie and David – were all excellent high school athletes and I was expected at the time to be even better.

And for a short time I was. Then came the sadness that came with our mother’s death when I was 12, my father’s remarriage a year ago, a move from Portville to Ferndale just on the other side of Bellingham and a life where I wasn’t welcomed in the blended family and lost my way down that Lost Highway in my own thoughts and my own wanderings

I was “Alone and Forsaken” and drifted away from athletics and from the classroom. I barely existed the four years of high school at Ferndale, lost in my own thoughts and misery as the “The Blues Come Around.” I certainly wasn’t myself, although I’m pretty sure none of my classmates and friends knew that. I was a different soul and “For Me there Was No place” that I felt I belonged as I once was.

Staying away from home for long periods of the day and wandering the nearby woods or just walking along the lonesome railroad tracks, counting the ties and throwing rocks was my home.

Looking back there was no growth, other than physically. I grew taller, almost six-foot-five, but I was skinny as the tracks I often walked on. If I weighed a buck 50 it w as because I was soaked from the rain that swallowed me as I walked alone, adrift in my own dreams and wants.

How I survived, I don’t know. Physically I wasn’t there. Mentally I was gone. Emotionally, I was a wreck. There were many times I drove my dad’s DeSoto faster than it showed on the 140-mile-per-hour speedodometer.  Sometimes it was a gravel county road with a close friend screaming in my ear as I laughed and lowered my foot on the gas pedal just a little more.

I raced another friend one night from Bellingham on I-5. I beat him although he was pushing the limits of the new truck that belonged to the farmer he worked for. Nothing, it seemed, could slow me down. I was the Red Baron, scarf blowing in the wind, as I mindlessly came near losing my mind, and my life.

Nothing mattered to me. It was like “I don’t care (If Morning Never Comes)” and just kept speeding down that Lost Highway.

Those high school days were a blur even though I wanted to be in the school more than I did at home. When the final bell rang each school day dead, I became a zombie again and I slowly took my time walking the three miles back to the home where I was not welcomed.

I found love for the first two times. Once on a visit back to my old hometown, but then she found her eventual husband and my only solace was the Dear John Letter that I refused to open until nearly a month after it arrived in the mail box.

I have blocked out what it said when I finally did read it, but I do know I ripped it to shreds because it ripped me to shreds. It was like a blast from “Cold, Cold Heart” and it took years to get over it.



  “I tried to so hard my dear to show that you’re my every dream

   Yet you’re afraid each thing I do is just some evil scheme

   A memory from your lonesome past keeps us so far apart

   Why can’t I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart.”


  Then there was the one who was as lonesome as I was. We cried on each other’s shoulder and wished it would all go away. Her story was a dysfunctional home with an alcoholic father and a poor gambler. She was fortunate to find another and that left me out in the cold and lonesome once again.


   “Hear that lonesome whippoorwill

    He sounds too blue to fly

   The midnight train is whining low

   I’m so lonesome I could cry.


   I’ve never seen a night so long

   When time goes crawling by

   The moon just went behind the clouds

   To hide its face and cry


   Did you ever see a robin weep

   When leaves begin to die?

   Like me, he’s lost the will to live

  I’m so lonesome I could cry.”

Life picked up when I went to college back east for a year and half and then traveled to California with three New York friends for some badly needed sunshine and life on a beach with beautiful women nearby sunning themselves.

As I matured and finished out my college life at Western Washington I started to understand a bit more my situation and while it was still not great it was doable and I would eventually meet my lovable and beautiful Mary and we would wind up here in West Sound.

After our granddaughter’s death in 1989 and a year’s search for the truth, some of it awful, “I saw The Light.”


  “I wandered so aimless life filed with sin
I wouldn’t let my dear savior in
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night
Praise the Lord I saw the light

  I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light

 Just like a blind man I wandered along
Worries and fears I claimed for my own
When like the blind man that God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light

 I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light

 I was a fool to wander and stray
Straight is the gate and narrow’s the way
Now I have traded the wrong for the right
Praise the Lord I saw the light

 I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night
Now I’m so happy no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord I saw the light.”

I don’t know if you understand what I have written or care to understand. I just know it happened and I am likely not the only one to feel like I did. We are a nation that is more divisive then I have ever experienced it and I know that there are a lot of homes where some kids do not feel safe or loved.

If there is anything to learn from my experiences, it is that time will heal a lot and that it is necessary to hang in there no matter how difficult it might seem. There is a light shining out there for you and I want you to know that you are loved and can love in return.