Auditor’s Office, 1970

Auditor’s office employees at a staff party, 1970.

City of Portland (OR) Archives, Auditor’s Office Going Away Party, 2012-30, 1970.

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23 thoughts on “Auditor’s Office, 1970

  1. Pervy man on the right.
    Assuming he has a left arm, we today wonder where’s his left hand ?

  2. Love the little camera the one woman has in her hands – loaded with a cartridge and the cube flipped after the film was advanced…. indoor parties meant you needed a stash of those cubes!

  3. “Mildred”, when you’re facing someone, their hand and arm on the right is actually their LEFT arm and hand. Inquiring minds….

  4. I’ve done a little sleuthing in The Oregonian for 1970, using “city auditor” as my search phrase. From what I’ve seen there, I believe the thin older man in the center back was James I. Hamill, who was sworn in as Portland’s city auditor in August, 1970 after the sudden death of the previous auditor, Ray Smith.

    Smith had run unopposed for a fourth term as city auditor in May, 1970, but was hospitalized with bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract in three months later, dying there on August 15. Hamill was chosen to fill the vacancy until a special election was held on November 3, when George Yerkovich won the election, defeating 12 other candidates. A photo of Yerkovich appears in the November 4 paper, and I believe he is the man whose hand rests on the shoulder of the woman whose eyes are closed in our photo today. I’m thinking that this “going away party” must have been for the temporary auditor, Hamill.

    —— 1970 Oregonian Citations: Ray Smith’s election: May 28, p. 35; Smith’s hospitalization: August 13, p. 30; Smith’s death: August 16, p. 41; Hamill’s appointment (with photo): August 24, p. 49; Yerkovich’s win (with photo): November 4, p.82

  5. Every picture tells a story and this one is no exception. I would guess this to be the office retirement party for the woman with glasses wearing the ribboned corsage. I see she got a candle but we can’t see her other gift(s) that some people are looking at.

    The metal desks and desk blotters, paperwork sorting trays, ashtrays, and dial push-button telephones look very sparse by today’s standards. Office record storage space is no longer the big concern that it was then, today record space is on a disk in a computer somewhere. These people shared the physical plane with their records all around them.

    I wonder if the Asian woman whose shoulder is being touched from behind by a male manager, has her eyes shut because she’s just been singled out as the retiree’s replacement or because this touch was unwelcome and she dare not say anything about it. She looks most uncomfortable.

    The January 1970 calendar hanging behind the office counter reminds me of my first date with a high school sweetheart – dance in the gym on the night of the 23rd.

  6. The Pittmon wall map illustrates the areas that were within the city limits of Portland in 1970. The areas North of Columbia Blvd. like Hayden Island, PDX Airport, parts of the Cully neighborhood, and generally East of 82nd Ave. were in unincorporated Multnomah County, and were annexed in the 1980’s.

    The flash attached to the camera were called “flashcubes” and I think they were made by Sylvania for Kodak.

  7. “The girls at the office.” But better described as the women that got the job done and made things work, while the men took all the credit. But a change was coming . . . . . .

  8. wploulorenziprince — You are undoubtedly right in your guess about the reason for the party. I rescind my guess! I guess I was too focused on the “men in charge.” Thanks!

  9. City auditor Ray Smith the man on the far right was photographed with his office staff and was shown in the VP photo on January 14, 2020.

  10. Dennis — I just took a look at the January 14, 2020 VP photo and although it is labeled Ray Smith, I think that was in error. Take a look at the Oregonian photos of Smith (August 16, 1970 p. 41) and Yerkovich (November 4, 1970, p. 40). Fred Leeson today identified the man on the far right as Yerkovich, a conclusion I had come to independently while looking at the Historical Oregonian. You are so good at newspaper research; I’d be really interested in what you say after you see those pictures.

  11. I have a Portland Pitman map like that one on the wall. Mine is from 1953 and doesn’t have those large numbers. It is also much more tan. But otherwise looks almost exactly the same. Very cool to see a ‘new’ one.

  12. Liz— I took a look at the Oregonian for August 16, 1970 P. 41 but saw no photo, but did see a photo on Page 24 for this date, and did locate the November 4, 1970 photo and I still believe that Ray Smith is the man in the VP January 2020 and today’s photo.
    The January 14, 2020 VP photo was from 1969 and today’s photo was from January 1970 which would be months before George Yerkovich was elected city auditor.

    The Oregonian photo of George Yerkovich shows that he was wearing glasses, and the Oregon Journal on November 20, 1970 p. 8 has a photo of him being sworn in as city auditor and it looks like he is wearing glasses, but the reproduction of the photo is not the best.
    The Oregon Journal published a photo of Ray Smith on August, 17, 1970 p. 17 which I believe is the man in both VP Photos.

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