It was the car she noticed first.
While enjoying a soda with her mother at Halpin’s Drug Store in Spokane Valley, Maggie Moore watched a sleek, black 1947 Buick Super pull up. “I’m a car lover,” she said.
It would have been hard to miss this one. “That car was about a block and a half long!”
She barely noticed the man behind the wheel.
Not long afterward that same Buick pulled up in front of her house. Her father had purchased a pool table from a young man and invited him to come over and play a game. “Oh. It’s THAT guy,” Maggie said as she watched him walk toward the house.
That guy was Vince Moore. He’d enlisted in the Air Force in 1943. “They told me they needed meteorologists,” he recalled. But after basic training he was sent to flight school.
Moore spent most of his military service in King City, Calif. “They taught me to fly in Stearmans and AT-6s,” he said. By the time he was ready for an assignment the war had ended.
“They asked me if I wanted to stay in or go home,” he recalled. “I said ‘I want to go home.’ ”
When he returned to Spokane he started a surplus business with his brother-in-law Hal Pierre. The pool table Maggie’s father had purchased was one of 50 Vince acquired from Farragut Naval Training Station.
After playing pool with her father, he walked through the kitchen and saw Maggie perched on the counter. The slender, dark-haired beauty made quite an impression.
He found out she worked at an insurance office and that she already had a boyfriend. That didn’t deter him. “I walked into the office where she worked and asked her if she’d like to go to Post Falls with me – I was going to take some pictures.”
She agreed. When asked about the erstwhile boyfriend, Maggie grinned at Vince. “I thought I liked this one a bit better.”
They married Jan. 8, 1949. Vince was 27 and Maggie was 22.
His business, Moore and Pierre Hardware, thrived and so did his growing family. Maggie gave birth to a son, Tom, in 1950, followed by a daughter, Debbie, in 1951 and another son, Steve, in 1952. “It was wonderful,” she said of those busy years.
In 1952, Vince started a new business, Auto Rain, in the building next to Moore and Pierre on East Trent Avenue. The sprinkler installation business expanded as quickly as his family. Maggie gave birth to a daughter, Marcia, in 1956, followed by Holly in 1962.
Eventually, Vince and his brother-in-law parted ways. Pierre kept the hardware business, and Vince moved Auto Rain to a new location.
When her youngest child began middle school, Maggie took a job at Dodson’s Jewelers where she worked for a dozen years. She worked part time because in the early 1970s she and Vince began traveling all over the world.
A large map in their home, liberally dotted with multicolored pins, shows the countries they’ve visited. “We’ve been to every state and every place in the world, except India,” Vince said. “I really wanted to see the Taj Mahal.” He glanced at his wife, shaking his head. “She told me I could see the Taj Mahal at Legoland in California.”
Other adventures made up for missing India. Both avid golfers, they golfed in New Zealand, Australia and Portugal. They went in a hot air balloon over Africa, and even got to see the pope speak from the Vatican window while visiting Rome. While they’re hard-pressed to pick a favorite trip, one thing stands out: “We enjoyed the people in every place we visited,” Maggie said.
Vince nodded. “We’ve had a great life and a great marriage. Every night when we go to bed we say we are very lucky and fortunate. She takes good care of me.”
Hearing this, Maggie crossed the room and gave her husband a warm hug and a kiss. “They don’t make them any better,” she said.
The pool table that brought them together has found safe haven in their youngest daughter’s home. And Maggie’s abiding love of cars is revealed in a photo that hangs in their entryway. It shows her behind the wheel of a sporty, red Maserati convertible. She said, “It was a super cute car!”
Recalling the Buick Super that caught her eye 65 years ago, she said of its owner: “I finally fell in love with him after I got tired of the car.” Then she grinned. “And I haven’t got tired of him.”
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