After serving in WWII, my father came home, married my mother, and settled down to work the dairy farm carved out of a larger parcel of land owned by my grandfather—land that had been passed down through my family all the way back to the Revolutionary War when it was awarded to my direct ancestor, Nathaniel Moore, for his service to our new nation. This is where my parents had five of their children, and this is where I was born.
But all was not well on the home front. Apparently, Dad had returned from the war a troubled man—a man looking for answers. He turned to the Bible; and one night, he had a dream. He found himself in heaven. The next night and the three nights following, he had the same dream—and each night, he discovered new wonders. On the fifth night, he asked, “God, this is really beautiful, but what does it have to do with me?” The dream abruptly ended, and Dad was left longing for the peace he had experienced in his dreams.
So Dad decided to go to seminary school in a place called the Texas Soul Clinic, a dry, dusty boot camp for future missionaries in the West Texas scrub. He sold the farm for about a third of its value and built out a 1939 IH Metro step van (complete with teardrop headlights). He added a living area replete with bunk beds and a five-gallon grease can we called “The Pot” and used as a bathroom. Then Dad loaded my mom, us five children, and our dog Pepper into our new home, and off to Texas we went so that he could become a missionary.
Dad was not well received at the Soul Clinic; he was brilliant and arrogant and loved to argue, and soon he was asked to leave―before he could get his diploma. Stubborn and not given to conceding defeat, Dad decided he had learned enough doctrine and understood “the truth” better than anyone, so with no financial support other than what my grandmother and two uncles could give him―about $175 a month―Dad struck out on his own with our family in tow.
We went to Mexico….