Honored, humbled, thankful — those are just a few of the words brothers Lawrence Moore and Thomas Moore use to describe their feelings about being named Co-Marshals of Pioneer Day 2019.
Larry and Tom summed up their reaction to Mark Perry calling to ask if they would be Co-Marshals: “You’re kidding! Do you have the wrong number?”
“It’s an honor,” Larry said, “and I am very proud of us being chosen. Sometimes, it’s kind of hard to swallow.” Adds Tom, “It’s very humbling. When you think about all the history that we are following in, it’s really something.”
The first-born son of Calvin and Alva Daniels Moore, Lawrence (Larry) Duane Moore was born at home on the family farm on September 3, 1931 in Custer County, Oklahoma. Colene was the next child born to the couple, followed by Thomas Hardin Moore on May 27, 1936.
Larry was 5, and Tom was just 3 months old when the family headed to California in search of a better life. Like many Midwest farmers, after years of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, they were seeking the promise of jobs and a better life. Their father and uncles found work in a cotton gin in Shafter.
“If you’ve ever watched the Grapes of Wrath, that gives you an idea of what our travels were like,” Larry said. “I think we were in a 1930 Model A two-door sedan, pulling a trailer — there were four adults and six kids.”
Their parents, described by Larry and Tom as “loving, caring, kind, hard-working, family oriented people,” later welcomed Cletis, Weldon, and Melba to the family.
In 1942, their father, Calvin, was offered a job at Carl Glass Trucking and moved the family to Paso Robles. He worked for several years there as a mechanic and driver; he later worked for A.J. Woods Machine Shop and Buckles Body Shop.
“We moved about 12 times once we came to Paso Robles, living in houses on Merry Hill, Olive, River, 38th, 2nd, Vine and more; Dad was always looking for something better,” Tom said.
Larry and Tom’s maternal grandparents, Marcus and Melva Daniels, also settled in Paso Robles. Marcus worked for Hugh Black and was in charge of the incubator rooms at the Black Hatchery, located on the property just north of the current-day Black Oak and Adelaide hotels.
More about Larry
Larry attended grammar school at Glen Speck. As a pre-teen, he worked for Gibbs Newspaper Contractor selling newspapers to the troops at Camp Roberts; he also belonged to the Boy Scouts for several years. Larry and a friend also operated a shoe shine stand in Capes Barbershop at the old Paso Robles Hotel.
A 1950 graduate of Paso Robles High School, Larry excelled in football and track. He was a starter for three years in football, team captain his senior year, and competed at the CIF Track and Field Championships his senior year. Larry was the freshman and sophomore class president, elected to Boys League, went to Boys State, was Student Body President his senior year, and won the Lions Club Sports and American Legion awards.
“I became Larry my freshman year,” he explains. “Before that, everyone in my family called me Lawrence Duane. The principal looked at my long name and said, ‘that’s too much to write so you’re Larry now.’ What I remember most about high school is it was a lot of fun!”
He worked various jobs including bellhop at the Paso Robles Inn, washing dishes at various eateries and helping those in need. Larry joined the National Guard, and attended Taft Junior College where he played football. He returned to Paso Robles and went to work for Paso Robles Glass in 1951 before retiring in 1996.
He married his classmate, June Hackney on May 30, 1951 in Reno. They have three children — Karen Roden and her husband, Bill; Duane Moore and his wife, Allie, and Debbie Vandergon and her husband Jerry. They are grandparents to Matthew, Christina, Zachary, Courtney, Josh, Nicole, and Kenny and have seven great grandchildren with two more on the way.
Larry has been dedicated to the youth of the community, and served on the Paso Robles Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for nearly 30 years helping develop programs, parks and pools. Upon retiring, the City named and dedicated the Larry Moore Park in his honor in 1994.
He belonged to the Quarterback Club, a precursor to the Bearcat Boosters Club; alongside his Bearcat football teammate, Manfred Vanderlip it grew to what it is today. Larry served three terms as president. He was inducted into the Bearcat Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007.
Larry served on the Paso Robles Volunteer Fire Department from 1962-1987; he retired with the rank of Lieutenant when an accident during a fire call affected his health. He was one of the first trained early paramedic teams on the department and served on the rescue squad.
He was chosen Personality of the Month in 1971, Citizen of the Month in 1996, and Roblan of the Year in 1999. Larry defines his life by family, friends, community, love, loyalty and devotion.
More about Tom
Tom attended Marie Bauer and Glen Speck elementary schools from grades 1-5, and the Seventh Day Adventist School for grades 6-8. He went to the Monterey Bay Academy for his freshman and sophomore years, and completed his junior and senior years at Paso Robles High School. Tom played football, baseball, and basketball and joined the California National Guard. He also helped his brother Larry sell newspapers to the troops stationed at Camp Roberts.
“My high school years were great and I met the young lady who would become my wife,” Tom said. “We had a lot of good friends and had fun playing sports; there are a lot of good memories.”
After graduating from PRHS, Tom enlisted in the Air Force and served from 1955 to 1959 as an airplane engine mechanic; two and one-half years in France and later at a SAC Base in Northern California.
Just prior to joining the Air Force, Tom proposed marriage to his high school sweetheart, Roselyn Wear. They married three months after his enlistment was up, on December 6, 1959 at the Congregational Church in Paso Robles. They are parents to Cindy Liggett and her husband, Dan, and Kay Moore; and grandparents to Heather, Nicholas, Mackenzie, and Derrick.
One of Tom’s memories from childhood is the day WWII ended. He was nine years old, at Chuck Frazier’s service Station on Spring Street, and remembers all the church bells ringing, fire whistles and work whistles going off, people celebrating and honking car horns.
Tom joined the Paso Robles JayC’s in the 1960s and served as president and the high honor of JayC Senator. He helped coach Babe Ruth Baseball League and was Chairman of the local Campfire house.
In 1970, Tom joined the Paso Robles Trail Riders; he served as President in 1990 and remains an active member. He was the Trail Ride barbecue chef for 15-plus years, starting with his father-in-law, Dick Wear, and continuing on for many years after Dick retired.
“Larry and I are both still involved with the Trail Riders, even though we haven’t taken horses along for many years,” Tom said. “Now, we
just go to socialize.”
Tom joined the Lions Club in 1971 and is still a member. He twice served as president, was twice named Lion of the Year, and received the Melvin Jones Award — the highest honor in the Lions Club. He began working at Paso Robles Glass in 1972 and retired in 1998.
He has been named Roblan of the Month, and honored as Roblan of the Year in 1987. Tom was a Pioneer Day Committee member for 28 years, the Parade Starter for many years, and Chairman in 1978 and ‘79. He also spent many Pioneer Days making beans in the Paso Robles Park with the Lions Club and has not missed a Pioneer Day in more than 50 years.
Tom and Larry’s brothers and two sisters — Coleen Bruce, Cletis Moore, Weldon Moore, and Melba McKanna — still live in the area and support and spend time with one another.
As they reflect on Pioneer Days of the past when they’d watch the parade, go to the rodeo at Robbins Field and attend the nighttime street dance, they are looking forward to Pioneer Day 2019, especially the parade. Be sure to wave to them! They’ll be wearing their biggest smiles while riding in Wade Taylor’s blue 1958 Cadillac, followed by a float filled with family members.