‘Moon’ will be leading the St. Paul Park Heritage Days paradeIf there was a Top 10 “heck of a nice guy” list, Don “Moon” Mullan would be on it.
By: Judy Spooner, South Washington County Bulletin
If there was a Top 10 “heck of a nice guy” list, Don “Moon” Mullan would be on it.
It’s hard to believe that Mullan, 74, who was a Newport Police officer for 23 years, owned local restaurants DeMori’s and Garcia’s and was St. Paul Park mayor from 1991-2003, had never been asked to be grand marshal of the Heritage Days parade.
Things are about to be set right because when the parade starts on Saturday, Aug. 18, Mullan, will be leading it as grand marshal.
Mullan is not very good at retirement. When he retired from the police department, he kept his annual job as an officer at the State Fair, a job he had for 36 years until last year.
He also tends bar at Mancini’s. He thinks about quitting, after he and his wife, Hannah, married 50 years, make their annual winter trip to Arizona in their motor home. Usually, it’s for two months, and then he’s back at his Mancini’s job.
Being among people and chatting about anything they want to talk about is what Mullan is good at.
“I don’t fish,” he said. During the 10 years Mullan had a weekend cabin, he never bought a fishing license. He doesn’t golf or hunt.
There are a lot of people from St. Paul Park and Newport who spend the winters in Arizona, Mullan said, and Hannah wants to stay there for four months.
“Maybe, I give up the job next year,” he said in an interview at the recent National Night Out in Heritage Park.
Even though he’s been retired from the police department for 13 years, he still cares about the image of law enforcement. Having officers and firefighters at the park helps kids have a positive view of public safety, he said.
When new officers are hired in Newport or St. Paul Park, Mullan gives them sage advice including: Don’t worry about school because half the stuff you learn you won’t need; treat others the way you want to be treated; and don’t tell those who run the department how to do their job, they’ve got people who already know how to do that.
Raised on the east side of St. Paul, Mullan graduated from Harding High School.
Shortly after he and Hannah were married, the couple owned a pizza restaurant.
They moved to Newport in 1969 and Mullen was an over-the-road truck driver.
Hannah was the first woman elected to the Newport City Council but resigned when the couple moved to St. Paul Park in 1977.
The Mullans have three sons and two daughters, who all live in the area, and five grandchildren.