Sometime after the second decade of our friendship Ryan Moran paid me a surprise visit while I was working at one of his organization’s Pharmacies. Luckily it was not very busy when he popped in that evening giving me his usual salutation of, “Howdy.” It was great to see him as there had been a long lapse in our being together. He explained he hoped to spend some time with me so we could catch up on events together. Then, apologetically, he explained how Erika had just curtailed his plans. He said he needed to fly to Colorado and spend some time at Cheyenne Mountain to take care of some “business.” We were both disappointed by this news. Not linger long in the Pharmacy, he shortly left to catch a flight telling me he would give me a call in a couple of weeks.
I did not know much about the Cheyenne Mountain Complex and most of what I knew came from the few articles I had read about it in magazines over the years. It was the nuclear bunker for NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), excavated deep within a granite mountain. It made sense to me he would be visiting there because this was a U.S. Air Force center, the branch of the military he served in. When he finally called me I asked him what he thought of the complex. With some exuberance to his voice he said he found it “impressive.” In all of our years together it was extremely rare for him to use that term and with exuberance none the less.
Ryan was the most well traveled and worldly person I had ever met. I suspect one would be hard pressed to name someone who was as well versed in the wonders of the world as he was. Yet when we were involved in social conversation with others it was an exceedingly rare instance when he would bring up such facts. To become “the most powerful man in the world” he had to do a lot of traveling and meet the elites of the World’s power structure. From Kings, Queens, and Royalty to Prime Ministers, Presidents, and even dictators he had met and visited with the planet’s fair share of impressive people and places.
I recall now how many years ago we watched a film together regarding aspects of his life in the CIA entitled “Three Days Of The Condor.” It was obvious from the film his code name was Condor. When I asked him how he came to receive such a code name he matter-of-factually replied, “A Condor travels far and wide.” So when he told me Cheyenne Mountain was impressive, I took him at his word.