Ida W. Moose: White Heroine to Black Girls
Rest in peace. Thank you Trixie for saving Mrs. Moose's life.
Trixie, Life Saver, passes away at 18 years old
Since I found Ida Moose, I have joy in sharing my life with her and her life with mine. Yesterday she told me that her beloved Trixie passed away on February 5. Trixie saved Ida's life two times. Trixie was blind and had a heart condition. Her heart finally just gave up.
I wish I were there to comfort Ida but I pray for her. Ida is also losing her sight. She first lost sight in her left eye last year and is not losing sight in her right eye. Ida and Trixie instinctly helped each other manuever the darkness.
Thank God Ida has Rosie. She loves Rosie but no one will ever take Trixie's place. Please pray for Ida.
Mrs. Moose and Trixie
I grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the 50’s and 60’s. Little Rock has a prominent place in the Civil Rights Movement which spanned 1954-1963. Although I used “colored only” facilities and rode on the back of the bus, I was unfazed. During that time, being called the “n” word was expected anytime I was around white people. That’s just how it was. Five years later I would meet a young white woman who would have a profound impact on my life.
I attended the infamous Central High School where the Little Rock Nine made history in 1957. The black population, the only minority group, was five percent. In 1967, my senior year in high school, I enrolled in Cooperative Office Education. On the first day of school, the teacher announced that most students had jobs and all students had been on interviews. I thought to myself, “I haven’t been on an interview.”
Over the next three weeks I went on many job interviews. One interview was with the assistant to Governor Winthrop Rockefeller. Later my teacher told me that the Governor’s assistant said my skills were good but she was concerned about my hair. The assistant said media representatives are always in the office and I wouldn’t look good on camera.
My final interview was with Ida W. Moose, Director of Arkansas Plan, a college work-study program. I arrived at the interview ready to take shorthand dictation. Mrs. Moose said, “That’s ok. I already heard about you.” She showed me the filing system and gave me tasks to do that afternoon. Mrs. Moose told me that her family lived in Morrilton, Arkansas. Her family and the Rockefellers, who owned Winrock Farms, were good friends.
Ida W. Moose became my employer, my mentor, my teacher, and my friend. I entered the Cooperative Office Education class to find a secretarial job. When I graduated high school, Mrs. Moose encouraged me to go to college and kept me on as her secretary. We didn’t talk a lot about race or discrimination but it was very obvious that Mrs. Moose believed in equal opportunity, respect and dignity for all people.
While working at Arkansas Plan I met Faye, one of my closest friends. Mrs. Moose took us to restaurants and taught us proper etiquette. She bought nice gifts for us for Christmas and was available anytime we needed advice. She never said it but we know she loved us. We are glad because we love her too.
After I moved to California, I lost contact with Mrs. Moose. Several weeks ago my sister told me she saw an article about Mrs. Moose in the newspaper. Mrs. Moose fell in her yard. Trixie sat on her chest for 20 hours to keep her warm until help arrived.
Faye and I are trying to contact Mrs. Moose. We have narrowed down her location and we hope to speak to her soon!
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