Newly married to
Kim Knickerbocker, I was all the more determined to not let my dream
pass by surrendering to failure. I appealed to the Small Business
Administration for a business loan. Working as a janitor and doing
odd jobs I was able to support myself while awaiting the long and
painstaking process of obtaining an SBA loan. It took almost a year
for the loan to be granted. I reopened Moss Hill in Hinsdale
in the Summer of 1973.
had recently moved his bicycle shop from it’s original home in the
alley between Hinsdale Avenue and First Street and Washington and
Lincoln. It was the perfect location for the new Moss Hill and it
was available. I signed a lease for the space and soon construction
began. I designed the new Moss Hill to embody as much of the
vision and materials Scot and I used to build the original.
It was even more beautiful than the first store and now I was
actually in my own home town!
attracted a parade of colorful characters to its unlikely alley location
in the middle of downtown Hinsdale. Wednesday evening pot luck
dinners hosted a showcase of diversity where customers from miles
around found fellowship, fun, and frivolity. I would make a huge
salad of vegetables fresh from the produce counter. Guests would
bring a vegetarian entrée to share.
We would all
gather to eat together around a dining table in the large back
room. After our meal I would show a movie. These were the days
before VHS. I had a 16mm movie projector and would borrow movies on
reels from the public library system. I showed all sorts of
documentaries including films about director David Lean, how to make
a birch bark canoe, and George Burns and Gracie Allen shows.
It was a funky
atmosphere dining behind the refrigerator compressors in the
unfinished back room. There were nights when a couple of dozen or
more people were there and other nights it would be just a few.
Moss Hill was a place where young and old, the serious and the silly
could come together and enjoy each other’s company without fear of
Back in the
early 70’s the allure of eating natural foods was still associated
more with the occult than it was to common sense. Back then we used
to drive an hour just to go to a restaurant that had a fresh salad
bar. We were pioneering something we thought was very important.
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