Harry Winthrop Moore, Jr.

Kathleen & Harry W. Moore, Jr.

I was born in Roslyn Heights, Nassau County, New York on May 10, 1914 which was a Sunday morning, as the church bells rang. So I was told. I was named Harry Winthrop Moore, Jr. My mother’s name was Anna Louise Dahl Moore. I was the youngest of four sons and three daughters, the last of seven children. One son died a birth (Howard) because the doctor was delayed, and no one in attendance had any knowledge of birthing. You who read at least remember that holding a new born by the ankles, upside down, and a sharp slap on the buttocks will cause him or her to cry out which is their first breath of life.

My dad was a lawyer and a self made man who had overcome awful obstacles before passing the bar exam. A stern father. We all walked softly around him because of his quick temper, and lack of sense of humor. Now, I know Dad was to be pitied, because he was lonely and we didn’t know it – or how to overcome it.

My Dad had been superintendent of an Episcopal Church Sunday School before I was born. At a business meeting at the church, someone made remarks about Dad having his hand in the till. Dad flared up, fired back and walked out so he didn’t have the Peace of the Spirit to lean upon. Most unfortunate, because my Dad was the epitome of honesty in every realm of his affairs. I believe that the first time I was ever in church with my Dad was when he was my best man at my wedding on May 17, 1941. Dad, Albert and I went to church in New Shoreham, Block Island, Rhode Island on boat trips.

Our mother, Anna Louise was the perfect mother. She loved Dad tirelessly and she cared for our every need — she made every bed, every morning every day of her life. She planned and prepared and served marvelous meals on time. She loved games and was a top notch card player. She very often brought home prizes she won playing pinochle, 500, auction bridge, or whatever card game the community was holding. Housewives got together at one home or another forming bridge clubs. Two or three tables met at our house probably once a month on some weekday afternoon. Early on I remember listening to the buzz of happy fellowship conversation among the ladies.

Mom acted in the Roslyn Players in several plays. She came up through the chairs of the Order of Eastern Star and was District Deputy Grand Matron in 1937.

Dad threw himself into his law practice and had little time for his children. He was home every night, but we never knew if he would be home for supper. It was tough on mom and meals. The rest of us would eat at usually 6:00pm and Mom would keep the food hot for Dad. Often if he had been in court in New York City, he would eat in town and drive home late in the evening.

My oldest brother Albert was about 16 years old when I was born and he became my “father-figure.” He taught me to catch a ball, ride a bike, rough and tumble, primitive boxing, and finally how to drive a car. He was the best driver I have ever known, and a great teacher. (I have 2 million miles under my belt right now, and have never had a rolling violation; not that I didn’t deserve several!)

One of my earliest remembrances took place on a picnic. My Dad and Mom were there along with Carl Bertanzel and his wife – maybe others. I was sitting on a mossy rock just at the edge of the water. I was 2-3 years old. I felt myself slipping and I screamed and fell into deep water. My Dad was instantly there to retrieve me, but I recall my fear.

At my parent’s home we all had chores that were expected of us and for which, the remuneration was being a supported family. I have carried scuttles of coal for the kitchen range, tended the coal fired, hot water central heating furnace; hauled ashes, fetched firewood for fireplace and cut acres of lawn with a non-powered push mower. And dried dishes!

I vaguely remember Florence’s sweetheart, Bill Terrell going off to World War I. Uniform, duffel bag and all. I also remember his return from the war with a puppy in his duffel bag. Bill played Santa and Gertrude and I caught “him,” Santa, in the act one Christmas morning. Because all the adults under our roof were present and accounted for — it had to be that Santa was real!

Every summer from before I was born until I was 12, we spent at a cottage we owned at Nassau-By-the Sea. It was on leased land with a 99 year lease. There were 35 cottages in all, a grocery store, and post office. All drinking water was delivered by a hand pulled cart in five gallon cans. There were no roads, cars, or electricity. Just sun and white sand and surf to the south, and bay to the north. Some adults commuted to New York City each work day by walking three or four miles to Long Beach and taking the Long Island Railroad.

I learned to swim at Nassau, and we all went barefoot all summer long and were as brown as beavers. We learned early on the do’s and don’t of sunburn, splinters, and sprained ankles. We learned to handle ourselves in the surf at an early age. To get to our cottage we had to take a passenger ferry — from Freeport, Long Island. People and freight only. It was a 40-50 foot motorboat, gasoline powered. I loved it!

Sister Charlotte, who was a great athlete; (at swimming, at diving, at canoeing, at dancing on ice skates, to tennis, and the best lady automobile driver I knew; she was the only girl, who could launch a canoe from the beach out through the surf, single handedly. She had the dubious chore of walking me to Sunday School and back, and I was a nasty little bugger. She slapped me around as necessary. Charlotte became a Registered Nurse, graduating from the New York Hospital School of Nursing in 1930 (8 West 16th Street, Manhattan).

Gertrude got polio at Nassau when she was 3 or four. My father had all of us children at the beach that year especially because of the polio epidemic. We children were away from crowds. I’m told that I, too, had the upset stomach that seems to come ahead of polio — but I got over it and Gertrude didn’t. She got so she couldn’t walk and couldn’t lift her right arm. She ultimately was operated on several times at Children’s Hospital in Boston by a Dr. Lovett and a Dr. Ober during several summer vacations. Mom went with her and I was sent to Buck Mountain Camp those summers. Gertrude wore braces, sat in a wheel chair, walked with crutches until she was maybe 20-21 years old. She was always handicapped and lame but she lived a full life in spite of them.

When I was five or six I remember my brother Irving (who was) maybe 17 or 18 asking Dad to come and look at a used motorcycle he wanted very badly. I remember the lecture Dad gave him — as to how he knew several motorcycle policemen — who as professionals were better riders than any amateur, and that several of them had been killed or maimed riding cycles. Dad went and looked but didn’t buy. To the best of my recollection, Irving never owned a cycle.

In 1926 we went nautical. Dad bought a 30 foot double-ended wooden life-boat from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. My brother and Bill Terrell towed it home from Brooklyn on a borrowed Long Island Lighting Co. Telephone pole trailer in the wee hours of a Sunday morning. They put it in Bill Terrell’s welding shop building to work on.

I watched the cabin enclosure designed and built. I watched the installation of the circa 1920 Oakland V-8 engine, together with the shaft, stuffing box, propeller, and rudder. When done it was a good, safe, sea worthy, motor-sailer that slept four adults. There was no “head” so we sat on a half a galvanized bucket of sea-water when necessary. Summer vacations every summer were spent cruising the same waters: Pt. Judith, Block Island, Montauk.

Dad decided when I was 13 to install a pulpit on the bow of the boat so we could perhaps harpoon a swordfish in the waters around Montauk Point and Block Island. He gave Al free reign to design and install the pulpit, but with one request, no holes were to be drilled into the hull of the boat. Al and Capt. Henry Bryant put their heads together and they could not come up with a design that didn’t require holes in the hull.

I had been around the edges looking on and my first flash of mechanical aptitude happened! I tried to get their attention but was repeatedly “brushed off.” Finally I got a piece of cardboard and a pencil and sketched my design. When they finally saw it, that is the way it was built! I never got credit for it because I believe Al was ashamed to admit that little brother had done something that he, a Columbia University student, couldn’t do.

One day when I was fished for flounders in Hempstead Harbor, I got thirsty and rowed ashore to a perpetual spring of water for a drink. At the spring I met a young man dressed in a dress blue, naval officer’s uniform. He told me that he was a cadet at the New York State Merchant Marine Academy. I admired the looks of that guy! He made a great impression on me. The uniform was so handsome! This encounter led me to the New York State Merchant Marine Academy — and my mechanical proclivities into take the Marine Engineering Course. The education was sufficient to equip each of us with some fine hand-on experience, and enough theory to pass the license requirements for Chief Engineer. We were only entitled to sit for third assistant’s ticket after graduation.

I came ashore after several trips and worked as an operator for Long Island Lighting Company. I also went to night school at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and took thermodynamics and hydraulics. I also took meteorology evenings at New York University for my private pilot’s license (#20835-40).

A TIMELINE OF HARRY W. MOORE, JR.’S LIFE

May 10, 1914 Born in Roslyn Heights, Nassau County, New York
1932 Graduates from Roslyn High School, Roslyn, L.I., N.Y.
1936 Graduates from NYS Maritime College
Jan. 1937 Engineering Officer in Merchant Marine
1937 Earns Third Assistant Engineer’s License
May, 1937 Operator, Glenwood Power Station, L. I. Lighting Co.
1939 Courses in Thermodynamics & Hydraulics at Pratt Inst.
1940 Private Pilot’s License
May 17, 1941 Marries Kathleen Patricia Smith
1941 Lives at 104 Moore St., New Hyde Park, L.I., N.Y.
Dec. 11, 1941 First son, Harry W., III born in Mineola, L.I., N.Y.
May, 1942 Engineering Officer, Army Mine Planter Service
Feb. 26, 1943 Second son, John Edward, born in Mineola, L.I., N.Y.
  Moves to 192 Broad Street, Williston Park, L.I., N.Y.
1945 Earns First Assistant Engineer’s License
1945 Certificate, Boiler Inspector for New York State
April 1945 Honorably Discharged from Army
May 15, 1945 Boiler, Machinery, and Safety Inspector for Traveler’s Indemnity Co., Hartford, CN (in New York City & Rochester, N.Y.)
Fall 1945 Moves to 205 Wooden Street, Rochester, N.Y.
1946 Commission from the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors
1948-52 Service Engineer, Combustion Engineering
Oct. 1, 1952 District Superintendent, Service Department, Combustion Engineering
Feb. 8, 1953 Third son, Daniel Thomas, born in Rochester, N.Y.
1954 Moves to 135 W. 21st St., Huntington Station, L.I., N.Y.
 1956 Coal Sales Manager, N.Y. Central Railroad
1957 District Sales Manager for Riley Stoker Corporation
1957 Moves to corner of Stilwell & Sirrine Rds, Trumansburg, N.Y.
1965 Amos Coal – decides coal was a dirty energy source and he didn’t want to sell it.
ca 1967 Ithaca College Buildings and Grounds Department
1967 Ithaca Area Chairman of American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ca 1969 Hired by Cornell University Hotel School, later Buildings & Properties
1976 Recognized as Lay Preacher in United Church of Christ
March, 1977 Laid off at Cornell (took full retirement)
May 19, 1993 Died at home in Trumansburg, N.Y

Follow Dan on Facebook

Find Dan on IAN

The Independent Author Network

Follow Dan on Twitter

Follow DanMooreAuthor on Twitter