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  • Writer's pictureKurt J. Kolka


2017 / by Kurt J. Kolka

GRAYLING — In May 1977, Fred and Nancy Moore moved their family to Grayling to take over an automotive business. Among their five children was their son, Andy, the youngest.

Andy spent much of his time growing up at the store. While his mom did the bookwork and dad sold parts, Andy used to sit on an old bus seat in the back with a typewriter, pretending he was part of the business too. Little did he know as a four-year-old, this was a foreshadowing of his life to come.

By age 14, he began getting paid for real work there. It began as simply keeping the place clean. As time went on, he progressed to handling sales.

“My older brother and I worked together. That was neat,” says Andy. “I always enjoyed working here.”

The now-owner of Moore’s Automotive was not always sure he wanted to run his dad’s business however.

“When I graduated high school, I wanted to be a coach. So, I went to Central Michigan University (CMU) to go into the teaching program.”

Andy’s other passion had been his time spent on the wrestling team at Grayling High School. During the 1990 and 1991 wrestling seasons, his team had become Team State Regional Champions.

“Then, about three and a half years into CMU, I took a semester off to help my dad out. He needed some help. Someone had quit out of the blue on him. So, I came back here and worked January to August full-time. And that’s when I went, ‘This is what I want to do.’”

He went back to college to finish a four-year degree, but didn’t get the teaching certificate. In 1998, he became manager of the store. And, after his dad retired in 2004, he bought out the business.

Much has changed in the years since.

“I’ve always taken pride, and this goes back to my dad’s days, in the fact that we’ve outlasted every other locally-owned auto parts store in Grayling. The other two are company owned.”

Since taking over, Andy has expanded the sales area and doubled the inventory of the business. Their delivery service has now expanded to include Roscommon and Lewiston.

Among his thoughts for the future are adding on to the current store and expanding the business to another location.

Andy admits that it is his love for area which continues to keep him here. He and his wife Stacy and their four children love to camp and kayak along the river, when not keeping up with their sports activities.

While he did not complete his teaching degree, his dream of being a coach was not hampered by a lack of a certificate.

Six years ago, when the former wrestling coach left, a friend approached him about taking over the wrestling program. He gave it only brief thought because his older son had started wrestling and he wanted to spend as much time as possible with him.

Then, his former wrestling coach, Don Ferguson, stopped by. “Coach” Fergusson, as he commonly known around town, suggested Andy try out for coach of the wrestling team also. He was harder to say no to.

Coach had been a mentor to Andy during his years in school.

“Next to my mom and dad, he is probably the closest thing I have to a parent. He’s one of those people in your life you don’t want to let down.

“He taught me about leadership, self-discipline and confidence. I still talk to him about every day. He helps me out with the team.”

Andy went home and discussed the idea with Stacy. She didn’t have a problem with him taking on this new responsibility. So, he agreed. His oldest son was ecstatic.

The Grayling Wrestling Team has now been conference champions five years in a row. This year, Andy was voted Regional Coach of the Year.

Andy says he is very content with where his life is here in Crawford County. There aren’t many people who have two passions in life and get to live out them both!

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