Senor Dan Moore

Barbara Nunnelly Adler posed a question in her comments on my story about high school clubs and activities: BTW does any know what ever happened to Mr. Dan Moore who taught Spanish and also sponsored Spanish Club. I would love to be in touch with him to let him know what a big influence Spanish has been in my life. . . now with a son working and living in Spain!

I can’t help you with where he is today. I Googled his name and saw some links that MIGHT have been him, but I couldn’t be sure.

Which language should I take in high school?

I thought about Latin, but figured the odds were slim that I’d ever run into any Romans. France didn’t seem to be in my future, either. “I might actually go to Mexico,” I thought, “I’ll sign up for Spanish.”

It never dawned on me that I wouldn’t need to GO to Mexico. It and Cuba and much of Central and South America came to me. We moved to South Florida where Wife Lila and I are frequently one of only two English-speaking families in our immediate neighborhood. I wish I had studied a little harder at Central.

I remember the language lab pictured above. You’d sit in a tiny cubicle with a headphone and mouthpiece listening to questions or dialog that you were supposed to respond to. The instructor would sit in front of the classroom listening to each student in turn. I learned early on that there was always a “click” in the headphones when Senor Moore switched to me, so that’s when I’d start talking into the mike.

Are you an American citizen?

Senor Moore spent one of his summer breaks living with a family in Mexico so he could become fluent in Spanish. When it came time to come back home, he was in the back seat asleep when they came to the border crossing. He awoke to hear a Border Patrol officer ask, “Are you an American citizen?” His response, “Si”

Starring in Scarface

I had my own version of total immersion Spanish class. I spent a day short of a month in Key West covering the Cuban Boatlift in 1980. I was surprised to see myself in the opening credits of the movie Scarface (I’m the one with a camera and a Cat hat). I knew enough Spanish to be able to say that I was from a newspaper, to ask their name and ages and to ask if any kids present were their children. As long as I stuck to nouns and verbs (and darned few of them), I was OK.

A few years later, the paper offered in-house Spanish lessons. Once we got beyond nouns and verbs and into stuff I never understood when I was in English class, I bailed. I DID ask one last question, “How do I say, ‘Don’t shoot, please.’?”

I never needed to use it, which is probably a good thing. The instructor probably gave me a phrase that said something like, “Your mother is as ugly as a pig, but I’d kiss her anyway.”

Language teachers at Central High School

Here’s a photo from the 1964 Girardot.

It identifies the teachers, left to right, as Charlotte Malahy (Latin and English); Mary E. Sivia (French), Dan Moore (Spanish) and Bessie Sheppard (French and English).

I ran photos of Miss Krueger’s retirement party in 1963 here. She taught Latin before it became a dead language. She was one of six teachers who were in my Dad’s 1931 yearbook and still at Central when we were there.

12 Replies to “Senor Dan Moore”

  1. Mrs. Sivia is the reason I became a French teacher. She was an outstanding teacher and gave me a mark to shoot for in my own teaching.

  2. My recollection of Spanish at CHS started with Profesora Tillie Dale Williams. After an early lesson in the first class, I remember Jim Stovall proudly boasting what he learned to say…”Hasta mama!” [For the non-Spanish-speaking among us, the correct phrase was “Hasta mañana” – “Until tomorrow” or “See you later.”] That phrase was used (outside the classroom) for at least the rest of that year when we saw Jim. Then I had Señor/Profesor Dan Moore in the second year. I remember him as a really good guy who loved a good laugh. He became a sponsor/adviser to the National Honor Society – and maybe an “assistant” to Ms. Kathryn Sackman to the Student Council?? Maybe not, but I seem to recall that. Good guy.

  3. Thanks, Ken! Great to hear these musings about language. I also figured Spanish would be more practical and started with Sr. Walsh in Junior High and went on to Sr. Moore at Central. We also had a foreign exchange student from somewhere in Central America. He was in band so I practiced my Spanish with him. Thanks to Sr. Moore I was able to continue Spanish in college and finally teach it in KC before moving to New York where it is essential. Now my youngest son has acquired my love for the language and culture and has lived and worked in Spain for four years. Gracias, Central and Sr. Moore!

  4. Gosh Cory were you and i in the same classes? i had Ms Williams for my first year spanish and Dan for my second year. i took spanish because i am a ham radio operator even then and i would use the spanish to talk to hams in south america and as conincidence would have it i talked to my future wife’s brother when i was 14 years old and it would take years later to meet her at an alumni club in los angles, calif. now she speaks only english and i am the one who talks to ham in the spanish i learned from tillie and dan…

  5. I loved Dan Moore and I too would love to know about him. I had three years of Spanish and one of Latin. Do I use them, no ,but,I am so glad I took them. Actually I think they have helped in ways I can’t really explain. Truth be told I probably had a crush on Dan!!

  6. Seeing photos of Senor Moore brought back so many memories! When it was more popular to take French, I opted for Spanish also. (Plus two years in college.) I remember Senor Moore telling us that someday Spanish would be immensely useful, even in our everyday life. How right he was!

  7. I too took Spanish and use it every day…”Si” I still get called “El Terencio” at times. That is Spanish like “The Donald” is in English, I think or maybe not. “Donday esta is El bando?” is another handy phrase here in Florida.
    I was a M-, I + kind of student in Spanish. It does make you wonder where your teachers went after they got rid of you and me. So Ken, if you can find “El Senor Moore” please let us all know.

  8. A Charlotte Malahy Story: Junior year, day of the final and Mrs. M was ill. Who shows up as the substitute? Edna “Mouse” Haman, so I promptly raised my hand and asked if she knew the final was ‘open book’ to which she replied “No” as a gasp escaped the mouths of the class members. I wisely missed a few answers on purpose, but Mrs. M knew there was a rat in the mess as she graded the exams. No one ever gave me up. Whew. Years later, in 1983, Mrs. M showed up our our family home one morning for a gathering put together by my mom to introduce–finally, mercifully as I was 33–my bride to be. I was a bit surprised to see Mrs. M there as I wasn’t aware she was friends with my mom. In any event, she came up to us, introduced herself and said, “I came this morning because I just had to see who would ever marry this boy.” Surprisingly, the wedding came off as scheduled. Amo, amas, amat.

  9. There were 2 Krueger sisters. One taught Latin and one was principal at Franklin. They lived together on Themis just above NW End Blvd. headed to Franklin.

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