Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mr. Moyer

My father, back in 1976, decided he needed to expand the size of our house. There were 11 of us living in a 4 bedroom 1 bathroom Cape Cod. My dad wanted make the kitchen larger, add a bathroom, add 3 more bedrooms, while turning one of the existing bedrooms into a family room. My dad was not going to hire professionals, he was going to build the addition himself. The addition was a two story structure which required the assistance and advice from various family and friends who knew how to tackle these types of projects.

One of my dads main advisers was Mr. Moyer. Mr. Moyer lived across the street and was in various aspects of the construction business for a very long time. Every couple of nights Mr. Moyer would survey the progress of the addition. Mr. Moyer was a quiet and respectful man offering his insight and knowledge but never his opinion. Mr. Moyer had a certain way of guiding you to let you come up with your own answers. This is where Mr. Moyer was such a good adviser and what made him such a good person. He never said "I would have done it different." or "I think it could be better." He knew his opinion did not matter but only that the job was done, done right and was safe. Mr. Moyer was a man of few words and would simply nod his approval at certain completed tasks. If something was not right he would tell my dad what needed to be changed and sometimes help my dad finish. But as I said Mr. Moyer never offered his opinion.

My dad told me this story many many times about Mr. Moyer.

One day while Mr. Moyer was looking at the progress of the addition my dad asked him for his opinion. My dad told Mr. Moyer that he bought some discontinued window frames for a really good price. They windows were priced so low due to the fact that they were very tall frames that stretched almost from ceiling to floor. My dad was not sure if he should put them in the kitchen and family room or if he should use the frames upstairs in the three bedrooms.

"What I am afraid of " my dad explained,"is that if I put the windows upstairs in the boys' bedrooms, they are so low to the floor that if the boys are rough housing, well , one of them could end up going through the window."

Mr. Moyer looked up at the second floor addition as if contemplating the scenario just laid out. He took a drag from his cigarette. He looked at my father, then back to the second floor. A puff of bluish smoke clouded the smile on Mr. Moyer's face as he chuckled and exhaled. He turned to my dad and said, "When I was a kid we threw my brother Richie out a window."

And with that my dad decided the tall windows would go on the first floor in the kitchen and family room.

Mr. Moyer never needing to offer his opinion.


Melissa said...

Mr. Moyer...may his family and your family take comfort from knowing his strength...and learn from him as your father before you learned from him.

you are a good man, Bill.

Dustin Christian said...

I would have liked Mr. Moyer.

Anonymous said...

I will miss Henry's grandfather.

Anonymous said...

Mr Moyer let us use real tools and gave us his scrap wood and sometimes not so scrap wood to build forts and stuff. He would help when we really needed it

Effie said...

he seems like the kind of neighbour we need, not the kind we have! :)

John Green said...

Mr. Moyer, what a good man, we all can learn from him

James (SeattleDad) said...

Wise man that Mr Moyer.