Friday, June 28, 2013

The Secret Life of C.H. Moran

Every family has its share of secrets and closet skeletons.  This one belongs to C.H. Moran aka Uncle Brud.  Brud remained a bachelor his entire life but the correspondence left behind indicates he had a lot of lady friends, a few romances and even entertained the idea of marriage.  The family rumor that's been passed down says Brud had an illegitimate child somewhere in Texas and that he would send money for child support even after the mother married someone else.  We don't know the identity of the woman, perhaps at some point the records will tell us her name.

There was another rumor that said the folks from Ripley's Believe It or Not heard the rumors and they wanted to publish the story.  Now we know it wasn't a rumor because thanks to the Moran hoarding instinct we have the letter from Douglas Ripley!  Douglas Ripley was the brother of the founder of Ripley's Believe It or Not, Robert Ripley.  We are sure the Moran family would've been horrified to admit such a thing had happened much less have it reported in newspapers across the country.  The Ripley's cartoon series is the longest running cartoon series beating out even the Peanuts franchise.

The Ripley story varies a bit from the family version.  The family said he was sending child support.  Ripley says Brud was paying another man's alimony to a woman who was divorced and the ex-husband had skipped out on paying the alimony.

In today's world this would be a non-story but in 1934 it was apparently news.

Believe It or Not!
King Features Syndicate Inc
235 East 45th St. New York City
Cable Address: BION, New York

April 11, 1934

Mr. Harold Moran

Dear Mr. Moran:

   Mr. Ripley has been informed that you a bachelor pay alimony to a woman, because of endorsement of notes given to her by her divorced husband which he failed to pay.

   If true, would you kindly send us a photo or snapshot of yourself for use in Mr. Ripley's Believe It or Not cartoons?

   Would it be possible for you to secure a photo of the woman to whom you are paying the alimony?

               BELIEVE IT OR NOT
                   Douglas Ripley

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