11 thoughts on “Unthank Park, 1971

  1. Brian, I looked for Ron Herndon in the Historical Oregonian and found hundreds of references, but no photos of him as a young man. Going out to the web in general, I did a search for and found one picture of him in 1982. It’s at:

    “The description of the photo says: Ron Herndon, stands on a desk at a School Board protest against the closure of Harriet Tubman Middle School, March 30, 1982. Photographed by Steve Nehl. Oregon Historical Society Research Library, Oregon Journal Collection”

    The 1982 photo doesn’t seem as if it’s showing the man we see here in 1971, but take a look and see what you think. I realize it’s a decade later.

  2. Wow! I didn’t realize when I typed in the URL for where that photo is on the web, it would show the photo itself. For those who want the URL, it’s an https:// followed by flashalert.net/id/OHS/110955

  3. I was still living in California at this time so I don’t really know why this middle school was being closed. However, I do know that there was a rash of school closures in California that left many school properties derelict and vacant with the passage of Proposition 13.

    I don’t think photos of two people should be posted on VP without the names of these people being included; after all the person who took the photograph was obligated to get these people’s permission in the first place.

  4. From Wiki ” Unthank co-founded the Urban League of Portland in 1945, and served as president of the Portland NAACP chapter. Unthank moved with his family to the Irvington neighborhood in 1952. After suffering years of harassment living in Westmoreland. He was named Oregon Doctor of the Year in 1958. Four years later, he was named Citizen of the Year by the Portland Chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
    Unthank retired from medical practice in 1970, and served as a medical consultant for the Oregon Workmen’s Compensation Board from 1970 until 1976.[3] He died on September 20, 1977. ”
    I had the pleasure of knowing both his son “Dee” and his grandson Pete both of which have passed.
    Did I ever tell you about the date I had with a gorgeous women in Unthank park? What a magnificent creature, a real swinger like in the photo above.

  5. @wploulorenziprince “after all the person who took the photograph was obligated to get these people’s permission in the first place”

    That’s not my understanding. You seem to think the photo was taken for publication. It might have easily been taken by a friend and at some point just ended up in the archives. Even if it was taken by a stranger but not meant for publication you don’t have to get permission if the photo is taken in a public place. See also: every smart phone photo and video shot in the last week.

  6. Earlier today, I checked the other VP posts mentioning Unthank Park, and found that almost all of the pictures they show are from 1971, as is today’s photo. I also found something in June 18, 1969 issue of The Oregonian, a reminder that the past is prologue.

    Unthank Park was dedicated in May, 1969. A month after its dedication, Ron Granberry, director of the new park, and others including the mayor’s police-community relations assistant, held a meeting.

    “Among complaints lodged by the group in individual comments were: That police have put themselves in the position of provoking clashes with black persons; that some policemen have removed their badges during disturbances; and that excessive force has been displayed by police riding three and four in a car…. Granberry suggested that some sort of enclosure could be placed around the covered basketball court at Unthank Park to make it suitable for night-time dancing.

    “He and the others seemed to favor more outdoor dances, without city policemen present, as a means of providing recreation in Albina after dark. Several such dances were held last year, with members of the black community policing their own event.”
    —Oregonian, June 18, 1969, p. 3

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