Saying Goodbye To Alan Morton
Molly McClannahan used to call Alan Morton “The Conscience of Fullerton.”
At some point back in the 1990’s, the city retained an expensive consultant to design a sign to be painted on the Union Pacific bridge (my idea) over Harbor Blvd. Alan voluntarily designed the “Welcome to Downtown Fullerton” sign on his home computer, saving the city thousands of dollars.
Alan would constantly question city staff’s wisdom of using legal size paper for staff reports instead of letter size, which is what they use today. Staff’s answer was that they had no choice because the file cabinets were designed for legal size paper.
One of my all time favorite council meetings (I’ll have to YouTube it someday) was when Alan chucked an illegally placed Sa For Council sign during the public comments and the sign almost hit Sa en la cabesa. You go Alan!
I believe it was the great recall that really got Alan energized as an activist. From there, it was off to the races for Alan. He continuously ragged on the council to televise council meetings, and now they are. He would speak on almost every important item on the council’s agenda. His activism helped save Fullerton taxpayers millions of dollars.
Recently, at the ripe age of 86, Alan was having breakfast with three of his buddies. While chatting with one of the servers, Alan took a deep breath and that was it for our feisty old Friend. Alan gave of himself and asked for nothing in return. People like Alan Morton are Fullerton’s Future.
20 Replies to “Saying Goodbye To Alan Morton”
As the Los Angeles Times obituary stated, Alan worked on the Space program in Downey. There he worked with Ralph Kennedy, and many other engineers from Fullerton.
Alan had an interesting theory, which I would now reveal: the control over a complex documentary system relects rather directly upon the precision of the technical execution. He told me astronauts Grissom White etc. were scared for their lives, long before the tragedy, because they themselves had a lot of technical knowledge and could see engineering problems that resulted from rushing. A few years later, Dave Zenger described similar phenomena to me, in the context of elaborate designs of buildings and public works.
As a CPA, the whole issue interests me, because there are formal procedures for accounting and software system development that can prevent problems, but again in software work there is a tendency to “cut corners”, and the master control processes are often economized out of the picture.
I think I could write a small monograph about my conversations with Al Morton.
Alan was one of my principal helpers during the Recall. Our country is rightly proud to have had men like him among its citizens.
William Snow Hume
Has a way of getting clouded. Alan was good for Fullerton in many ways. But he also had a whack side. It probably had to do with medications. I recall Bankhead’s retort to McClanahan: He’s a maniac!
Local hero or maniac? probably a little of both.
The best of men are just a little bit crazy.
Oh! He scary man, Morton. He almost hit me in head with sign. Bad man.
Alan and I sure had a lot in common – natural born radicals. Too bad when the chips were down I threw in my lot with people like Dick Ackerman and Buck Catlin and Dick Jones.
Nothing is sacred here. You honor one dead person by bashing another. Grotesque.
Sacred? You think this is church?
Nothing is sacred here.
Thanks, but this blog already has a motto.
Sacred? Are you out of your mind? I love this site!
I wonder what will be said about Tony when he’s dead?
Probably just about what they’ve always said.
No one will be able to show up for the funeral.. being afraid of exposing their identity.
We will all wear masks.
Alan Morton was one of a kind, alright. I wonder if he ever visited this site. I believe he would have liked it. He went to the City council meetings and said whatever he pleased.
He did promote televising meetings so the public could see their representatives in action. And he promoted the web as a source of communication for the City back in the mid-90s.
” On Jan. 27, 1967, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee died in a fire in the command module while preparing for the first crewed Apollo flight. After the tragedy Alan left aerospace ” mon oncle an engineer same time at North American Rockwell. Alan and his co engineers on this project were asked to leave by their employer. mon oncle promoted to weeding out more incompetents in this firm that eventually melted away in mergers. These old guys were not radicals, just extremely angry that they had been made old before their time.
Alan is my Grandad and was one hell of a guy! Hero and maniac would be a good way to describe him. The maniac made him the great man he was. You’ll be missed!
Thanks for the comment.
Thank you so much for your tribute for Alan Morton. I met him when he had his copy shop on Harbor Blvd., back in the 70s. I was an aspiring writer and needed to make lots of copies to send to dditors in the days before electronic transmissions.
Alan always had a smile and a story to tell when I came in. I found him one of the most interesting people I’d met since coming to California. I never go down the alley behind that shop that I don’t think of him. May he rest in a deserved peace.
I met Al after he had already lived a long life of intelligent effort and accomplishment, much of which I’ve only learned among the bits and snippets included above.
The things I knew of him were his clear and true – “right vs wrong” moral values – which he invested well in our community, his kind encouragement and his wonderful youthful enthusiasm. One of the surprisingly many outstanding individuals who contribute what must be the best of their lives in our town.
I cannot say enough about how this man helped me in the search for information about my Father WWII Veteran, POW survivor I will always be grateful for this dear friend. He always had an answer for every question I asked. RIP Alan, you will be missed.