Do You Know Mike Moran?

Mike MoranMike has lived in Lavaca since 2007, and is one of the original ‘pioneers’ who bought a town home in Artisan Park — formerly the site of the Victoria Courts. He remembers getting lost inside the Courts in the 90’s when looking to park for a Spurs game at the Alamodome. At the time, Mike felt it was an intimidating place, with no apparent exit!

Mike was born in Findlay, Ohio, but his father (an accountant) was always seeking better job opportunities, so the family moved around a lot. For example, he started high school in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, transferred to Greece, New York, and graduated from Denton High School in north Texas. He earned a B.A. in English from the University of North Texas and a M.A. in English at the University of Texas in Austin.

Since 1998, Mike has been a full-time professor at St. Philip’s College. He loves teaching there because the school has great ethnic diversity and a long, storied history. Many of the students come from humble backgrounds and are the first in their families to attend college. Mike finds it exciting and rewarding to see them succeed.

When he first moved to San Antonio in 1991, Mike describes himself as the quintessential ‘gypsy scholar’. He cobbled together a living from part-time jobs at UTSA, St. Mary’s, and San Antonio College — glancing at lesson plans while stopped at traffic lights as he went from job to job. He lived all over the city in all sorts of situations: a barely-surviving bachelor in a small apartment on Woodlawn, to sharing an apartment with his ill father on the Northwest side, to living as a married family man with a wife, two stepchildren and seven cats in Alamo Heights.

When Mike’s not in the classroom, he loves to travel. His wanderlust started when he was in the Peace Corps stationed in Morocco. He taught English as a Foreign Language in a small village there, and a decade later he taught English to business professionals in Madrid, Spain. In recent years he has vacationed in Boston, Chicago and Washington DC, and he took graduate classes in North Carolina and Oregon.

Mike has finally found a permanent home here in Lavaca. He served as a Board member for the Lavaca Neighborhood Association from 2008 – 2010, and he wrote the neighborhood grant for the Extreme Target Sweep in 2009.

He loves to bicycle through the neighborhood, and most weekends he plays golf at Riverside or Mission del Lago. He loves shopping at Half-Price Books and collecting vinyl records. He enjoys eating out at Indian, Middle Eastern and Thai restaurants. Often you’ll find him tucked away at a corner table at Blue Star or Madhatters grading papers, the occupational bane of English teachers.

Back in 1992, he helped lead the Jerry Brown for President campaign at UTSA. When Mr. Brown arrived, he asked Mike to introduce the opening speaker. It was César Chávez, the iconic leader of the United Farm Workers. He thinks of that moment some mornings when he turns right on César Chávez Boulevard, which now offers a clear way in and out of the neighborhood.

Originally published March 14, 2012 in the Lavaca & Friends Happy Hour update.

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