From time to time I use this column with a subject of a personal nature, this is one of those times.
His name was Clyde Moravec, better known as “Moose.” If that seems familiar to you, it is because he has been the subject of or mentioned in many of my columns. He was a dear friend for many, many years.
We received word that on Saturday, Feb. 20 he passed away, suddenly, doing something he loved — riding his motorcycle with friends in the Mojave Desert. We don’t have all the details yet, but he fell off the motorcycle and died at the hospital.
Moose was born in Berwyn to Molly and Charlie Moravec; he soon had a younger brother, Alan. The family moved to Riverside on Selborne Road, and he attended Ames, Hauser and RB High School.
His popularity grew and he gathered many friends. He appeared in this column with stories about his part in the Youth Center production of Oklahoma, being named “King Bum” in high school (it was a good thing), and his part or lack of part in the stealing of the monkey parking sign from the Brookfield Zoo.
He was the one who held art fairs in Riverside in Guthrie Park, painted the curbs with friends and played the banjo. He even had a restaurant where the Henninger building was (now the Village Center). Everyone knew Moose. He liked everyone and everyone liked him.
He married Anne Osberg, of Riverside; she was a little younger than he was. Anne was the daughter of Ted and Mable Osberg, who had the electric store in town. For a time they lived on Lake Shore Drive before her job took them west, eventually settling in Beverly Hills, California, following Anne’s career.
Moose may have physically left Riverside, but in his heart it was always home. Coming back to Riverside as often as possible, he would connect with friends at gatherings that came to be known as “Moosefest.” He’d drive around town, stop at Grumpy’s and join us for breakfast at Connie’s. His last trip home was for his RB reunion, and what a good time he had.
There will be another Moosefest. We don’t know when, but again it will center around Clyde “Moose” Moravec. This time Anne will be with us as we relive the life and times of Moose.
We, who are his longtime friends, are still processing the passing of Moose, and though he is gone he will not forgotten.