“Moes”ying Through History, Part 2

Learning the Trade


Ed. – You can see Part I of “Moes”ying Through History here.

Mike was already serious about launching his business at the boatyard when he went to a dance hosted by Rainbow Girls and DeMolay International.  There he met June Staller, who was dating a good friend of Mike’s, Ted Penning.  Elective affinities kicked in and before long, June was no longer dating Ted but Mike.  The friendship must not have suffered too harsh a blow, for Ted continued to go down to the boatyard in its early days and play ping-pong with Mike when business was slow.

About two years after the dance, June and Mike married on November 25, 1941, and took a honeymoon along the Ohio River.  Realizing that war was imminent and feeling he would rather not be sent overseas when he had a new business and a new wife, Mike decided his best move would be to enlist in the Coast Guard where he might continue to learn skills useful for his business.  Within a week of his enlistment, the Japanese attacked at Pearl Harbor.


Mike with his son Tom just prior to his departure for the Pacific.

While the U.S. began mobilizing for war, Mike was sent to boot camp at Norfolk, and from there to Detroit, where he was put to work repairing and producing boats for the Coast Guard and the Navy.  Here, Mike gained much of the knowledge and woodworking skills he would later use at Moes Marine Service back home.  His projects even included cabinetry.

Happily, June was able to live in Detroit during this time, too, and in 1943, the couple weathered the biggest change of wartime life: the birth of their first son, Tom.  Before long, however, Mike would be sent to amphibious school at Camp Bradford in Virginia, and the little family would have to split up as Mike continued in his World War II service.

Check back next week to follow Mike’s adventure in the third part of our series on the history of Moes Marine…

Continue to Part III >>

Elizabeth Eshelman Moes

About Elizabeth Eshelman Moes

I am an aspiring novelist with a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from George Mason University. In addition to working on my own novel manuscripts, I have had the great privilege of working on two recent books: Literature Craft & Voice, Ed. Nicholas Delbanco and Alan Cheuse (McGraw-Hill 2010), and The Poets Laureate Anthology, Ed. Elizabeth Schmidt (Norton 2010). You can read my thoughts on literature at http://elizabethanlit.blogspot.com/.