Bill Garvey on the Left.  Dave Pilster on the Right at Dave's apartment the day he came up with the name "Moss Hill".
 
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My friends and I moments after signing incorporation papers forming Moss Hill, Inc.  L to R back row: George "Oz" Ostrum and John Wallerich.  Front row: Russ Fields, Me, Mike Meissner.  Photo taken by Al Penney. 


Scot's dad, Robin Robinson in his design studio. 


 

 

 

One of my good Hinsdale friends at the time was Dave Pilster.  Dave is a year or two older than I am.  He was a good friend of the 1010.  His big brother Jimmy was a rock star singing with the Cryan’ Shames.  They were both great friends with upbeat outgoing loving personalities. 

While visiting Dave in his Downers Grove apartment where he lived with his wife Judy and their new baby daughter, Maya, Dave asked me what I was going to call this natural foods store I was so determined to build.  I didn’t have a name for it yet.   

I told him that I wanted a name that would appeal to everyone.  For as much as it seemed that God inspired this venture, I didn’t want the name to have a religious overtone knowing that would alienate some people.  My friend Bill Garvey was there and we tossed out a few ideas.  Dave just sat there listening.  I could tell wheels were turning in his head.  With a very self-satisfied smile on his face Dave slowly pronounced “Moss Hill”.  Those two syllables floated out of his mouth and seemingly hung in the air.  It was the perfect name!

With unanimous approval, there was no question in anyone’s mind that Dave nailed it right.   I loved the sound of "Moss Hill".  It conjured beautiful images.  Moss Hill was lovely, cozy, and spoke of good things in nature.  I loved it immediately and without hesitation adopted Moss Hill as the name for my next great adventure. 

Though well attended by enthusiastic friends, the dinner meetings intended to induce investors and benefactors to write big checks of support always fizzled out toward the end when someone would light up a joint.  Many months earlier smoking pot had lost whatever short-lived appeal it had to me.  With everyone else stoned and lost in silly-land, I remained straight and diligent, focused on my task. 

Within a few weeks and after several of these ill fated dinner meetings, persuaded that God had called me to build Moss Hill, I decided to go forward with or without the support of my friends.

I was 20 years old and too young to be an officer of a corporation.  You had to be 21 years old to form a corporation.  With the help of my best friends Russ, Al, and Oz who were 21 years old we formed Moss Hill, Inc.  As one of the beneficiaries of my late father’s insurance policy, when I turned 21 I would use my share of the modest proceeds to fund Moss Hill on my own.  I soon would have $12,000 and began to make plans.  Scot returned from California to help me get this new store going.  We embellished the name officially to “Moss Hill Organic Food & Provisions Company”.  

Scot’s dad, Robin Robinson was a designer of all sorts of things from buildings to furniture to graphics. 


One day while at his studio without being asked, he came up with colorful sketch of a design for a sign for our store.  I cherish that little sketch and fondly display it framed on the wall of my den.

I
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