R.I.P. Shirley Moberly.


Heartfelt condolences to Jeff, Tim and Don on the death of their mother, Shirley Ann Goodale Moberly. She died while I was in England.

Beginning in high school, and extending into my early twenties, there were regular excursions to the Moberly farm in Floyds Knobs. More than a few people, perhaps including my parents, thought that the sole reason for these outings was an unfettered atmosphere for drinking beer, but while true, this doesn’t capture the essence of the experience, for there was plenty of supervision.

The farm was like family to me, and that’s because Shirley and Ed (and Herb, Scott and all the other friends and relatives) made it that way. Here was a place where the adults could relate to the teenagers, and vice versa. A Sunday afternoon at the Moberly place was volleyball, beer and food; more importantly, it was guidance counseling and a classroom for life. There were challenges, compassion and camaraderie. It was fun. No one talked down to you. Histories were shared, stories told and music strummed.

Had too much? Stay the night. The extended Moberly clan wanted to see you again, next time.

At some point, orbits diverged, because that’s the way it goes. And yet the good times remain, and they’re eternal. One such experience, very early in the game, was described in this beer blog post from 2011: Pornadoes at 15. I’ll remember Shirley as a surrogate mom and den mother, whose world was shelter from my storm. Rest in peace.