Dick & Shirley Moeschter
Bob Campbell, Duane Warren, Al Longley & Dick all won awards at the 2004 GN
Dick & Shirley's '75 won top honors at the 2002 Grand National in Detroit too!
Click Here to see a story in the Apr '04 Moeschter's Daily Driver, 2001 DTS
Herald on all Eldorados.
Dick & Shirely Moeschter
Dick Moeschter, EDITOR of the YEAR
It’s official. None less than the SELF STARTER have proclaimed what we’ve all known for quite some time now. The National Cadillac LaSalle Club has declared our own Richard Moeschter, the best Editor in the world. Proof and picture are to be found on page 15 of the August issue of the national magazine where Dick is shown bringing honor to our HERALD and the North Star Region. His award comes at a time coinciding with his tenth anniversary of membership in the club.
Many of us feel the monthly newsletter is really the “glue” that holds the club together, and many are the times that myself and others have told Dick how valuable he is and what a great editor we have. This man never accepts the praise to himself, but rather is want to pass it off to those around him who help out or offer material for the paper. He has claimed to me that his predecessors, Duane and Jean Shuck were better editors that he. All those who came before him each took their turn keeping the club “glued” together, that’s for sure, but it was Dick Moeschter who won the trophy.
Jerry Steelman, our club director, asked me to write a little introduction for this issue of the HERALD, highlighting some of Dick’s achievements. But, Dick does everything so well I thought that might get a little boring. Most of you know he works tirelessly for hours upon hours on the newsletter and in maintaining the communication network. Most of you know about all the work he has done on his ’75 Eldo and all the trophies he’s won. So, I decided, let’s peek into his past, and see if we can find out what makes this nice man tick.
The first thing I did was call up a few of his old buddies from the Maplewood Police department. Now, most of you know, Richard is a retired Maplewood Police Officer. But you might not know about some of the drama and adventure that attended his work while cruising around town driving a big 440 powered squad car with a Glock strapped to his hip. We are definitely going to get into that, but, first a little background look at where all this begins.
Richard Moeschter was born in St. Paul, the son of Milton and Hulda. Hulda was a first generation American Swede and Milton a first generation American German. The young Moeschter’s grandfather had a connection to German Nobility. Richard’s earliest memories are of the Selby/Dale neighborhood where the family then lived. It needs to be mentioned that Selby/Dale back in those years, was a very well heeled neighborhood. It was much later that it became simply, “The Hood”. Maxfield Grade School, Marshall Junior High, and Wilson High, were schools that began the process of grooming the young, future editor, into the fine artist that he is today.
During those formative years, Dick got a lot of exposure to auto mechanics inasmuch as his father was a fine “back yard” mechanic who, for a hobby, helped out frequently in his good friend’s automotive repair garage, and Dick was often there with his dad.
Out of high school, Dick joined the Marine Corp in 1958 and was found to be perfectly suited for the Military Police. Actually, the way the military does things, he was probably more suited to be a chaplain’s assistant, but the Marines always seem to turn things inside out to keep the recruits a little off balance. Whatever the case, his luck improved substantially in 1960 when he left the Marines and went home to marry his exuberant and lovely fiancée, Shirley, who is herself, a very important member in this club today.
Shirley and Dick did very well as a partnership and produced four wonderful children who in turn brought them eight adorable grandchildren. During that time, Dick gained employment at Armour & Company as a draftsman by starting out in the mail room. (Go figure). Good thing someone at Armour could distinguish raw talent from raw meat.
Other employers who had a chance to capture some of the Moeschter talent were NSP and the 3M Company. Finally, the Maplewood Police Department came up the big winners when in 1971, they hired our young rookie. And now, we revisit some of the drama and adventure of that illustrious career.
Who better to tell the story of this part of Dick’s life, than the people he served with, I thought. So, after making a phone call or two, I got myself set up for a breakfast with none other than Bob Vorwerk, Jim Youngren, Dale Clauson, and Dick Lang, all, men of the line who had served with Dick.
I was surprised to learn that there were two activities in Dick’s resume that uniquely qualified him for police work. The first was that he had been a “Roller Skating Rink Guard”. And what surprised me even more was that they said he was very light on his feet. I should not have been surprised to learn he had also been a bouncer.
Apparently one night at the Crystal Mist, in the Maplewood Bowl, three Hell’s Outcasts gang members showed up planning to use the establishment as their personal party room. By the time squad cars appeared on the scene, Dick was coming out the door with one Outcast under each arm and the third by the scruff of the neck. All the boys in blue that I talked with said the same thing. “If there was going to be trouble, the guy you wanted on the scene was Dick Moeschter”.
It apparently wasn’t always possible to find Dick, however, since he preferred working nights and knew all the very best, hard-to-get-to hiding spots, where he could tuck himself and his squad car away and no one could ever find him, if he felt overworked and needed a short break from the action. One night trying to find him, Dick’s supervisor cracked up a cruiser trying to navigate off road in a place Dick normally drove through as though it were a freeway.
Drunks are a frequent source of “business” for the police and often cause the most trouble. One night in the station while administering a breath test to such an offender, the drunk threw a punch at Dick. Big mistake. Dick threw a punch back which sent the unfortunate violator hurtling through the air to land in a heap ten feet away. The guy messed his pants and remained unconscious for ten minutes.
One fact needs to be mentioned here that all Dick’s former work mates expressed; Dick always solved more problems with tact and diplomacy than he did with his hands and weapons. The latter were always the last resort with him. But there was a time when the cops showed up at a raucous and rowdy party when talking wasn’t enough. The revelers began to bad mouth the cops, so Dick summarily broke the taps off all six of their kegs, and with beer shooting twenty feet in the air, took no time convincing all in attendance the party was over.
Negotiating a problem to a conclusion wasn’t the only skill Dick used in plying his trade. He knew how to appeal to a man’s sense of priority. If he had a biker pulled over and needed a confession, he’d hold the violator at the scene until the tow truck arrived and then instruct the tow driver to hoist the motorcycle up by wrapping a large chain around the bike’s bright, shiny, gas tank. The confession was always forthcoming, and the chain, never employed.
Of course things don’t always work out for us the way they’re supposed to, and Dick was no exception. His favorite cruiser was a 1968 Chevy Wagon. One day another officer totaled that car on his shift, when an intoxicated driver plowed into the rear end of it. They say that was the first time any one had seen Dick cry in the line of duty.
Through the years he’s loved all the cruisers that he’s used, or used up. Dick pretty much owned all the records for driving with lights and sirens and back before Maplewood had ambulance service, the cops themselves made the emergency runs to hospitals. One story, which his colleagues swear is true, found Dick racing to a hospital with a fellow in the back of the squad car with no pulse who was clinically dead. With Dick pushing the gas pedal through the floor board and all the way into the carburetor of the big 440 engine, the man in the back sat up, and with terror in his eyes, screamed, “For God’s sake slow down before you kill us both”!
During all those years of police work an irony reveals itself. Dick was most reticent toward the media. He would never speak a word nor disclose a detail to the news people. Now, here he is, an editor; and a pretty talkative one at that.
Dick Moeschter is an editor, and a mighty darn good one to be sure. And I asked this man of letters, why he works so hard and so long for the NSR. He said it’s because he enjoys the people in this club so much and his greatest hope is that we all stay together.
Now, how good is that from the man who is the “glue” that keeps this club together.
Locked in Second
by Earl Faulkner Sr.