Today’s poem was written in honor of my father, Charles Moore.*
“Beginning in 1931”
My father was born a month after
While one was known
for his role as a stoic Vulcan
adventuring among the stars with his
less than stoic comrades,
the other was born in New York State
growing up during the Depression
on a small farm
My father is not a Vulcan.
I remember my grandparent’s farm
had chickens specifically
when my father was growing up
-not because I was there,
-how could I be?
but because he told me how he hated to kill them.
On Sundays, that was his job,
and it always made him feel bad.
I remember my grandmother telling me
how her and my grandfather
had scrimped and saved to buy a top
so he would have a toy
He played with the cardboard box.
I don’t know if Spock
ever played with a box
instead of a toy top
when he was growing up on Vulcan,
but Leonard Nimoy might have
-probably not on Vulcan though.
My father once told me that
he went on a field trip
where he saw a living cow
with a clear plastic side
so you could see her organs
which inspired him to want to be
Instead, when he grew older
he lived in Mexico for awhile,
became fluent in Spanish,
and painted an abstract mural
on his apartment wall.
I saw a picture of it,
the photograph’s colors
faded with time,
but the image
of 3-dimensional blocks and cubes
retreating into the distance
is clear in my mind.
It’s shocking to realize
your parents had entire lives
before you were born,
besides the ones
you grew up with.
Maybe I was just that self-centered.
Spock’s art was music,
but I doubt he lived in Mexico.
I don’t know if Leonard Nimoy ever lived there.
When I was a teenager
my father took art classes,
sketching figures in charcoal.
I used to look in his book.
It was amazing.
How did I NOT know he was that good?
It fueled my own interest in art
-though I never approached his expertise.
Almost every day,
as I was growing up,
I watched Leonard Nimoy
-an odd thing to do since Vulcans never play.
It was my favorite show.
My father did other things
that just seemed like DAD things to do.
How could I know if they were
without a basis of comparison?
He worked for himself
at a business he built up over decades.
Chamber of Commerce
Knights of Columbus
Every Sunday we went to church.
The part I looked forward to most
as a child
We always had donuts
from the snack stand
on the patio behind the building.
I usually got something chocolate.
My parents hung out and talked to friends,
happy and laughing,
before we piled in the car
and drove to my grandmother’s mobile home.
The drive took hours,
but we made it every Sunday
until she eventually moved in with us.
I gauged travel time
based on whether or not
we had passed the sign for Monkey Jungle
or Ripley’s Believe It or Not
They usually didn’t take the hint
during those drives,
but they did take me during vacations.
My favorite memory though
was a trip to Disney,
Not the one where
we turned back home.
An asthma attack
brought on by excitement
had dashed my hopes of Mickey and Pirates,
but the one
when I awoke in the back of the station wagon,
tucked in like a bed,
with no clue why I was there.
“We’re at Disney World!” they said.
They’d had to sneak me there
so that I wouldn’t be too excited before I arrived.
I loved them so much for that.
On another trip
I was less fond of leaving early to go to
I went to Disney several times during my childhood.
I don’t know if Leonard Nimoy ever went to Disney,
but Spock went to a vacation planet
where people’s desires became real
-though they didn’t know that at the time…
Now my father plays harmonica,
something he did as a young man
but had dropped as I was growing up
only to pick it up again later.
He plays “gigs”
at restaurants with his harmonica group.
I have a tape of him playing.
He’s also written harmonica articles
and repaired them for other people.
Leonard Nimoy sang the Ballad of Bilbo Baggins,
but I don’t know if he ever played harmonica.
I think Spock played the Vulcan Lyre… or was it a Harp?
My father has always been funny.
He’s done standup routines for his clubs.
He’s made me laugh so hard
tears ran down my face.
I’ll bet Leonard Nimoy has made people laugh,
but Spock can’t show his emotions.
Leonard Nimoy is gone now
and sorely missed by those that knew him
and those that only knew of him.
My father is still here.
I call him and my mother once a week.
I’m grateful that my plan does not bill for
He’s still married to my mother,
works around the house,
conducts business from home,
socializes with his friends,
and participates in church.
I doubt Spock has ever attended a Mass,
though my father has almost every Sunday.
They all got their start,
one fictional and two non,
a month apart
*The poem was written and published on my old blog last April. He passed away last week, so I am reposting it, dedicated to his memory.