Today is my dad’s, Mangus Moore, 74th birthday. When I was a kid I thought anyone over 60 was really old. But my Dad sure doesn’t make even 74 look old. He is one of the busiest and most physically active people I know. We tease him that he can outwork any teenager around, but it’s the truth. He hires boys to help him haul square bales in the summer and will most often outwork them. I know my Mom wishes he’d slow down, take life at a slower pace and relax a little, but that is not Dad.
Dad was the youngest of 11 kids. He comes from one of the hardest working families in our area. Dad row crop farmed with his oldest brother, Manley, for several years while I was growing up. My Uncle Manley would work day shift at the brick plant in Mexico and farm in the evening. Dad would work evenings or midnights and farm during the day. When the farm economy crashed in the 80’s, Dad sold out and switched to custom hay work with two more uncles, Uncle Les and Uncle Richard. Uncle Richard and Dad actually still do custom hay work and Uncle Les did until he passed away. All the brothers, including Uncle Harold and Uncle Jim, worked at fire brick plants in the area. Actually, they all worked for Kaiser in Mexico EXCEPT Daddy. He worked at AP Greens in Fulton.
While the Moore family is known for being hard workers, they also are known for sticking together and supporting one another. The family reunion held in Auxvasse every September shows how important family is. We have up to 5 generations there all because of a love of family. Daddy has alway been supportive of us kids no matter what we were into….even trouble….and is there for his grandkids and great-grandkids. He’s been to baseball, football, basketball games, soccer matches, dance recitals, atv races, truck pulls, cattle shows, school plays and programs, graduations from kindergarten through college, and so much more just so his family never doubted his love and dedication.
I was blessed to get some extra time with my Dad being the youngest. He worked evenings when I was a preschooler, so I got to spend a little time with him in the morning. I remember making peanut butter and cracker stacks and seeing how big a stack would fit in my mouth for lunch. I remember him taking me to stay with my Aunt Ella Mae while he went to work and before mom got home. I remember going to the Montgomery City sale barn and eating pork tenderloin sandwiches for lunch. I also remember taking some rabbits to the Montgomery City sale barn to sell because we had quite the rabbit population explosion at our house. I told Dad I would only sell them if people were going to keep them as pets and not for meat. I’m pretty sure he was more than a little frustrated with me, but we hauled most of them back home that day. I knew that at EVERY basketball game, I could count on him and Mom sitting in the stands cheering us on. I also remember Daddy getting in the coach’s face because he thought the coach was being too hard on me.
I also remember him holding my sons and the look of love on his face for these little guys he’d just met. He has been there for us through everything – good times and bad. Through births and deaths, successes and failures, frustrations and joys. I never got to meet Dad’s dad as he passed away several years before I came along, but I’m sure he was a great grandpa, because Dad sure learned from someone. All the kids believe they’re his favorite and they’re actually all right. He loves ALL of them with ALL of his heart.
So, today, I’d like to wish Daddy a very happy birthday. Thanks for all the memories made and the ones yet to be made. By the way, that’s Daddy on the far right in the red shirt. Pictured are: Aunt Tootsie, Uncle Richard, Uncle Harold and Dad.