Ready to travel the world, Ronald Moss joined the U.S. Army in 1946. He went to Ft. Bennon, Ga.; Ft. Louis, Wash.; Camp Stoneman, Calif.; the Philippines; Hawaii; and learned to speak Japanese while in Japan. He was a part of the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. During his time in the military, he graduated from the National Radio Institute and worked as a radio technician.
Moss returned to Camp Stoneman and was honorably discharged.
“You name it, I did it,” he said of his various duties during his stint overseas.
During his preparation time, growing up on Crooked Island, Bahamas, Moss spent several hours at school each day; the weekends provided him time to fish and have fun at the beach. Moss completed the sixth grade and Oxford Junior College. He was advanced in math and passed the Oxford College test in the subject.
“I’m still good at arithmetic, to tell you the truth,” he said.
Moss worked as a “subordinate teacher” at the age of 12 years old. He taught second and third grade students up until the age of 16. Then it was time to travel; Moss moved to the U.S. and joined the army.
After Moss was discharged, he went back to Homestead, Fla. He completed a two-year GI school, and graduated proficient in general woodwork and carpentry. Soon after. he completed a tax-training institute in St. Louis, Mo., and became a tax consultant around the age of 20. Moss also made a living as the captain of boat used to transport a former president of the company Johnson & Johnson. Moss would take the boat from Florida to Maine and back several times a year from 1954 until his retirement in 1989.
After he retired from sailing, he focused on carpentry and taxes. He’d previously built a two-bedroom home over a two- to three-year period. In 1976, Moss and his family moved in to their current home. He added on a “Florida room” in 1984 and a garage as Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992.
“Everyone came and built a home and owned their property. Bahamians don’t believe in paying rent.
“When I was growing up, things were tough. On certain Christmases, like now, you could hardly find something to eat. But that’s why came over to this county, to make life easier. I took advantage of it and I think I did pretty good,” Moss said.
One of the highlights of Moss’s life was his participation in multiple “secret organizations,” including the Masons and the Secretary of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows. ”Friendship, love and truth,” were the main tenants of the organization, he said. He was a Quarter Master for the Veteran Master of Foreign Wars and participated in the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks. Citizens of “good moral character” are hard to come by in the younger generation, Moss said. Moss said these organizations, which his grandfather and father participated in, help build a way of life. They instill knowledge of world history and help give people a sense of self.
To his dismay, however, many of the organizations are dying out, in Florida, and around the country, because young people aren’t interested in being a part of the organizations. The youngest member of one of his organizations is 85, he said.
“They say we’re old fashioned,” he said, laughing.