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One Photo: One Story; Moe's Hole.

Moe was family. He was my Dad’s best

friend. He knew us all, he was my sister’s godfather, and

my grandmother loved him like a son. He called her “Ma”.

He was always at our home. My Dad and Moe were union

brothers in the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen.

Several times a month they would sit and talk at the

kitchen table. Moe would grab two beers, hand one

to my Dad and they would talk all night.

They dialogued about one thing - union strategy.

They talked union benefits, negotiations,

medical insurance and saving jobs for the guys who would

do stupid things like fire a gun at work. They would talk

for hours and agree and disagree. Moe would smoke and they

would drink beer and the hours would fly by.

In every home we ever lived, wherever Moe sat, he burned

cigarette holes in my mother’s tablecloths. My Grandmother

always sat where Moe’s Hole

was. When mom would call us for dinner, Nana would

shuffle out and ask, “Where do I sit, Marie?”

“Just sit by Moe’s Hole”, she’d yell. There was a Moe’s

Hole in every plastic, lace, and Irish Linen tablecloth my

Mother owned.

Every family dinner, birthday, holiday and important

family meeting was around Moe’s Hole.

Moe and my Father were philosophers of railroad business.

They were hard working men, serious about railroading and

protecting the working man.

Someone once said to Moe, “You guys sure

talk a lot about railroad stuff, but do you ever talk about

important stuff like girls?” To which he answered, “Why

would we do something like that?”

Moe called my Dad, “Willie”. It always sounded like


Once they got into a loud argument. It got louder and

louder until Moe said something that became legendary in my


We where all gathered in front of the TV just before our

bedtime. When Moe shouted, “You’re a Liar,

Woolley, A God Damned Liar.” Moe had just broken the circle

of trust.

We sat in front of the TV stunned.

Waiting to see what my Father would do or say, we sat.

It seemed like forever.

My Father’s hurt response came from

the kitchen. “Get out of my house, Moe. I don’t lie and you

need to leave my home. Get out of my house Moe.”

Moe knew my Dad and he left quietly. He wished a polite

goodbye to my Mother, said goodnight to us kids and left.

My father never remained angry for long. If you could

handle the initial loud bombastic, foot stomping, song and

dance, you’d be okay. Moe was okay.

A few days later he was back arguing with my Dad and

drinking beer. He was forgiven and perhaps misunderstood.

They were like brothers and soon they were

laughing and slapping each other on the back.

Moe was a lot of laughs. What happened

next became a legendary story in my house.

My Father and Moe drank beer and argued for a few more

hours. Moe not only burned holes in all of the tablecloths,

he urinated wherever he felt the need.

Maybe he just couldn’t hold it.

On that same day, My Dad had a carpenter coming to give him

an estimate on work he was doing in our attic. Moe took it

as his cue to go home.

He said goodbye and walked outside,

opened the door to his car and proceeded to urinate right

there on the street. In between his open door and the front

seat of his car, he peed and peed and peed leaving a large

puddle on the ground. He pulled up his zipper, said,

“Goodbye Woolley”, got in his car and drove off.

Minutes later the carpenter pulled up in

front of our house. His van was parked exactly where the

puddle was. The carpenter did his measurements and

gave my Father an estimate.

He walked from the house and up to van and noticed a puddle

under the front end. He may have been expecting

antifreeze, oil, water or gasoline. He bent down, put his

finger in the puddle, looked at it and dabbed it on his


He shot up spitting. “What the hell is that? It tastes like


Dad calmly answered, “Piss, that would be piss.

Don’t touch it”.

Classic Moe.

Moe left us a few years back and we miss him

very much. I know Dad does and the legend of Moe’s Hole

lives with us forever.

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