Thursday, October 19, 2006

More on Father Moran

If you've read the article I mentioned in my last post; you'll get an idea on how well loved by the Amateur Radio community Father Moran was. This post by Mike Schatzberg W2AJI appeared on the DX News reflector. It's an e-mail that he wrote to the author of that article.
Hello Brooke:

I particularly enjoyed your article about Moran, as he
called himself on the air. Everyone knew he was Father
Moran, but when asked, he would just say "my name is Moran".

While you may remember him from the pile-ups on 15 or
20 meters, I remember hearing his "BREAK" while chatting
with local stations on 15 meters, way back in the sixties.

"Standby breaking station," said I. I then finished my last
thought, and said, "breaker go ahead please".

Then I heard, "This is 9N1 Mickey Mouse", said the voice.
"This is Moran in Katmandu".

I was really stunned, here he was, the best known DX
station in the entire world, breaking into my QSO.
I swallowed hard, and said, "hello Father, how
are you today?" Moran said, "Mike, (God he knew my
name from reading the mail), have you got the newspaper
there with the scores from the weekend football?"

"Sure Father, let me see where it is".

"Tell me how Notre Dame made out on Saturday please".

Well, that was the beginning of many contacts with
Father Moran. I often read the scores to him, and he
always broke in when he heard my signals. My callsign
for 42 years was WB2AJI, and I was operating from
West Orange, New Jersey in the sixties.

To avoid creating pile ups, I always mumbled his callsign.
His signal wasn't very strong as I remember, and I could
almost keep a contact with him a secret for a while, until
the anxious tuner uppers would finally bury Moran's little
signal.

Thanks for putting a smile on my face tonight as I read
your article. I remain an active DXer to this day, but
those contacts with Father Moran were really special.

73,

Mike Schatzberg
W2AJI

Thanks Mike, for the cool post. I always enjoy these
"personal" stories. This is part and parcel of what makes
Amateur Radio so great!

73 de Larry W2LJ

1 comment:

Mike Schatzberg said...

Hi Larry...thanks for sharing the Father Moran article, and for correcting my typo on his callsign...I wrote that piece so quickly from my aging memory bank, and should have rechecked it before sending it along. My wife suggested that I share it with the DX crowd, and the many nice notes I have since received have been very gratifying. By the way, if you get a chance, check out my website for the little review of a new DSP module which has been helping me with DX during these zero sunspot days. A version of that article will appear later this year in QST. 73 and Happy DXing, Mike W2AJI