Bob and Audrey Moller were close family friends of Sam and Peg Mosby. So close that the young Scott Mosby assumed Audrey and Bob were his aunt and uncle. In actuality, Sam Mosby attended Webster High School with Bob Moller in the late 1930s, beginning a friendship that lasted Sam's lifetime.
Audrey looked back to what she sees as a starting point. "Sam built the swimming pool area at Camp Fiddlecreek, the Girl Scout camp in Labadie, Missouri. In fact, I think it was that job that really got him going with his business. Also, he started his business out of necessity. When he came back from the war (World War 2), there was no money, no jobs, no place to live, no nothing."
Sam grabbed the opportunity to build something from nothing, and Mosby Company was born in 1947. Come the early 1970s, Sam and Bob teamed up to build an addition to the Moller's Kirkwood home. Sam drew up plans for a 15 x 24 foot family room off the dining room at the rear of the home. Bob recalls that they began building in 1974, "just before the price of lumber went up and it took several months to build because we only worked on weekends."
Then Bob amends the memory with, "Sam always gave me a list of what I could do during the week to speed up the construction, and he always gave me a little more than I could actually do. So, I never ran out of chores.
"Sam would come over Saturdays and Sundays, and we'd work all day. But we didn't get started early; Sam would come over around noon. Every Sunday night, Peg would bring the kids over and she and Audrey would make a big meal for us. We worked hard, but it didn't feel like hard work. Sam was easy to get along with and easy to work with."
A few years later, Sam and Bob repeated the process with a 25 x 26 foot garage addition. "I wish we had been smart enough to do the addition and the garage at the same time," says Audrey, citing the inflated lumber prices that made the garage twice the price to build as the $3,500 family room addition. "But we had kids in college and were watching every penny, so we did it piecemeal. Live and learn!"
For our chat about Sam's work, we sat in the rustic, wood paneled room that Sam designed and built with Bob. The room is spacious, comforting and clearly the most used space in their home, with its easy access to the dining room, kitchen and the backyard. It still looks great, and so, after 33 years, how's it holding up?
"Beautifully!" Bob quickly replies with a big grin. "Haven't had to do a thing to it." To which Audrey adds, "Except clean it!"