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StoryCorps in Oklahoma: A Lifetime Love of Politics (ENCORE) (Jan 13, 2012)

An engaging junior high school civics teacher and attending a campaign rally for Cleeta-John Rogers' unsuccessful 1966 gubernatorial campaign led to a lifetime of public service for Rick Moore.
"I remember going to that first political rally at the old Skirvin Hotel in the ballroom," Moore said. "I thought I was at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. It was just tremendous. The balloons, the music, it was just phenomenal."

That rally at the Skirvin captured Moore’s interest in politics, eventually leading him to major in political science at Central State University (now the University of Central Oklahoma) in Edmond. One of his professors was former U.S. Sen. and Oklahoma Gov. Henry Bellmon.

“I remember learning so much under Henry Bellmon,” Moore said. “At that time, the big issue was acid rain. So I did a paper on it, and Henry said, ‘That’s the best position paper I’ve ever seen, even when I was on Senate staff. Have you ever thought of going to work on politics?’ Well what do you say when you’re a kid in college and you’re majoring in political science?”

While in college, Moore worked for the United States Postal Service, and climbed the post office ladder to a management position. He became the president of the National Association of Postal Supervisors in Oklahoma, where his main job was lobbying Senators and Congressmen.

“I remember one in particular who said something, and I responded, ‘But you’re just robbing Peter to pay Paul. In 20 years civil service retirement will be in the same situation as Social Security.’ And he said, ‘Well son, I won’t be here in 20 years, I don’t really care.’”

“And I remember I went back to my hotel and I was sick to my stomach. I was just thinking how could anybody think that way? And I called my wife and said, “I can’t let this happen. I have to get involved.”

Moore went home, where he and his wife talked and prayed about what he should do. He quit his job at the Post Office and started looking for work in the offices of those same Senators and Congressmen he once appealed to on behalf of the USPS.

“I walked into Congressman Mickey Edwards’ office, and his campaign manager said ‘We don’t have anything open,’” Moore said. “So I gave her my resume and asked if they had any volunteer work, because I’d be happy to do that.”

Moore spent four hours in Rep. Edwards’ office that night addressing and stuffing envelopes before he went home. He was back on the job hunt the next day when he got a call from his wife, telling him the Congressman’s office called, wanting him to come in.

“So I went back to the Congressman’s office, and the campaign manager was sitting there scratching her head,” Moore said. “’You’re never going to believe this,’ she said. ‘I just got a call from the Congressman saying, ‘We need to hire an organizational director for my campaign. Do you know anybody?’

‘And I said well this guy came in and applied and did some volunteer work last night.’

‘What was his name?’

‘His name was Rick Moore.’

‘Is that Rick Moore from the Post Office?’


‘Well hire him, maybe he’ll leave me alone!’”

Produced for KGOU by Brian Hardzinski, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and collecting stories of everyday people. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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