FDW (Part IV) An “Intelligence” Friend and Go West Young Family…..

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and the video at the end of the post and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

Late last year, I decided to honor my Dad (and Mom) as Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.   The first post told about their courtship and marriage in New York City in the 1940’s and the start of a family in Long Island.   

This was followed in the second post by some details about moving to Philadelphia when I was one and subsequently to Madeira Ohio – a burb of Cincinnati on my fourth birthday.  We lived there for eight years until we moved to Oregon in 1960.

As I mentioned in the third installment, I grew up as a typical skinny, middle-class kid with an older sister and two younger brothers who were blessed with great parents. 

Other than getting raw sewage in our house when there was a substantial downpour and my one-time adventure in which I ill-advisedly “explored” the sanitary sewer with my wonderful best friend, Nelson “Nuthin” Kennedy in fifth grade – my life in Ohio was ideal.

As I mentioned in my last post, Nelson was a West Point grad – Class of ’70 and a key factor in my late brother, Garry, becoming a USMA grad in 1972.  Nelson went on to have a great 27-year career at Procter and Gamble – first as a production manager and then in quality assurance. (If you have questions, you can ask him about Pampers, Luvs, Tide, Cheer, Bold, Era and Gain….) 

And Nelson never was a person to sit idly by, so when he retired in 2002, he first started driving a school bus and then advanced to 18-wheelers for eight years until 2019.  Then “as a lark” he was hired part-time in a local Kroger store in the meat department – as I expected, he loves interacting with customers. 

(It also and brings back memories of his Senior Year at the Academy where he told the Plebes that they were “raw meat” – especially during Beast Barracks).

Rudy Rousseau and the Central Intelligence Agency

I digress for a bit, but I had another good friend who lived two houses away from us in Madeira – a very interesting story.  Rudy was two years older than I  (a classmate of my sister, Lynne) and a big kid.  We used to play baseball and were in a neighborhood chess club. 

We lost touch when I moved to Oregon although Nelson remembers him as a very good high school athlete – excelling in baseball and football. (“He didn’t have good eyesight and his glasses always steamed up under his helmet”….

Rudy Rousseau *1

(* External Photo Attribution at end of Post)

I didn’t think about Rudy until over forty years later – in 2004 while working at the Schwabe Williamson law firm in Portland.  Attorney, Fred Hitz, a Harvard Law grad, had managed the firm’s two-person Washington DC office.  He would periodically fly to Portland – most notably for firm retreats.

Before assuming that position, he worked two stints at the Central Intelligence Agency – the second one as Deputy Chief of Operations for Europe.  In between, he served with distinction in the Departments of State, Defense and Energy.

After he left the firm, he was appointed in 1990 as the first statutory Inspector General for the CIA by President Bush.  He left that post in 1998 and began a teaching career at the prestigious  Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law. 

In 2004, he wrote a fascinating book entitled The Great Game – The Myths and Reality of Espionage:

“In this fascinating analysis, Frederick Hitz…contrasts the writings of well-known authors of spy novels—classic and popular—with real-life espionage cases. Drawing on personal experience both as a participant in ‘the Great Game’ and as Inspector General, Hitz shows the remarkable degree to which truth is stranger than fiction.” (Amazon)

He also wrote another book in 2008 entitled Why Spy – Espionage in an Age of Uncertainty.

I had read his book and heard that Fred was coming to Portland and talked him into giving a presentation to the City Club of Portland.   I was privileged to introduce him and the crowd loved his narrative. 

Afterwards, we were having a beer and for some reason I can’t recall – whether it was talking about Ohio or I had heard that Rudy might be working at the CIA – I asked Fred if he knew Rudy.  His response was:

“Absolutely, I worked with him at the Agency and he is now the chief CIA Liaison to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has had a great career at the Agency since 1982.”

*4

I got Rudy’s contact information from Fred (can you imagine calling the CIA and just  asking to speak to an agent……?)   I then called Rudy and we planned to get together for a beer when I went to Washington DC on a forthcoming business trip. 

Over the phone, we reminisced a bit about growing up in Madeira. Unfortunately, his job took him out of town when I was there.  (He would have told me where he was traveling, but then he would have had to kill me…..)

In researching this post, I found out some more about my childhood neighbor and friend. Unfortunately, it included the fact that he passed away in 2018 at the age of 71.   But it’s worth noting his story. Like Nelson, Rudy had an impressive educational and career resume:  

Education:  Graduated from Ohio University’s Honors College (Ohio Fellow). After an internship in the Secretary of State’s office in Washington, he studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, spending a summer researching his master’s thesis in Ibadan, Nigeria.

He returned to Washington as a Congressional Fellow, completed his doctorate at the Fletcher School, and worked for Senator James Pearson of Kansas, drafting the Amateur Athletic Act.

Career:  From 1974 to 1981 he worked for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, handling foreign economic aid and traveling extensively in Asia, Africa, and Central America. In 1982, he accepted a position at the Central Intelligence Agency.

After 9/11, he served in the Counterterrorism Center, preparing the Agency’s response to the 9/11 Commission. Retiring from CIA in 2006, he taught in Georgetown University’s International Security Studies Program.

While searching for the 9/11 Commission testimony, I was fascinated to find a video on C-SPAN from the hearing in which Rudy, with five other CIA/FBI agents/execs, are grilled by the Commission on why their agencies had not been more proactive in anticipating this terrorist attack.

(His testimony comes at 2 hour, 3.5 minutes in.)   The  images below are from that hearing  https://www.c-span.org/person/?1010552/RudolphRousseau.

I have to admit that while the topic before the Commission was very serious and the questions grueling, I had to laugh at times remembering my youngest brother Rick’s early attempts to pronounce my buddy’s name.  Rick would say, “Is Wudy Wooso coming over today?”

Rudy, like Fred Hitz and Nelson Kennedy, all served their County well and I’m proud to know these patriots.

The Road Trip of a Lifetime!

It may be more interesting to consider one of my grade school friend’s career as a “spook” so to speak, but let’s get back to the primary topic – my Dad.  Both of my parents always tried to enhance our education with books

They gave us this set of the Great Books of the Western World – now in my home office (to the right of the VW Bus and clock and computer monitor in the photo below) when we were in high school.  (I still plan to read all fifty-four volumes although I have to admit that I’m struggling even trying to attempt Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War which is only in volume 6…..) And I’ve already mentioned my art school debacle at the Cincinnati Art Museum, as just two examples.

 And FDW was always a guy with big ideas so in the spring of 1959, he and Mom called a family meeting.  They revealed plans to go on a “camping” trip that summer using a new Nimrod tent trailer pulled by our VW Bus (with the airline seat belts Dad had installed before they were standard issue in cars). 

This was not going to be just a casual road trip, but one of ten + weeks, which would ultimately take two adults and four kids (and about 30 what was known then as AAA Trip-tiks and Travel Guides)  from Cincinnati, Ohio to Ames, Iowa – where Dad was born – over the Continental Divide with multiple-say stops in Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks.

We then journeyed on to the Pacific Northwest where we’d visit Seattle and Portland – one of the most meaningful stops on the escapade. Then down through the Redwoods to San Francisco and the Southwest to Mesa Verde and Grand Canyon National Parks, across the Central Plains and ultimately back to Cincinnati. 

And this trip lasted from mid-July until the end of September.  You can imagine how long it took us to climb to the summit of the highway through the Rockies in a 36-horse power micro-bus with a six-person family and gear for the entire trip stowed in the tent trailer. 

The family didn’t just roll through – we thoroughly explored the National Parks, for example a week at Rocky National Park and there were stops at virtually every “Hysterical” Marker” (as we named them midway through the trip) along the way. 

We kids would go to every Park Ranger briefing or campfire and pick-up brochures on which we would be quizzed by Frannie during the long and boring stretches of highway (and there was no screen time in that era)!  And FDW, who loved geology, would explain the formations and notable geological events which shaped the landscape.

In the next post, I will give some more details from the trip – like living through the Great Yellowstone Earthquake (7.3 magnitude), but whether it was enduring a tour of the Willa Cather Center in Red Cloud, Nebraska, going on an all-day horseback ride on Specimen Mountain in Rocky Mountain National Park or walking through the barren volcanic ash of Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho where my sister, Lynne, lost her lunch in a lava tube, we shared those adventures as a family. 

Note:  Volcanic ash consists of fragments of rock, mineral crystals, and volcanic glass, created during volcanic eruptions and measuring less than 2 mm.  One wonders if some geologist three-hundred years from now will find miniscule fragments of her crystallized taco vomit and wonder how and from what creature it emanated……  Lynne has kept her promise never to return to Craters of the Moon.

And none of us forgot riding the monorail at Disneyland, being enthralled with the grandeur of the Grand Canyon or the rich history of Mesa Verde National Park or traveling through the plains of Kansas on the way home.  We did all of that on that ten-week journey.

The ten-week journey (yellow highlight)

You might ask, “If you didn’t get back until the end of September, what about school?”   Well, that was the result of another family meeting which I will tell you about in the next FDW post.  Needless to say, there were some negotiations with the Madeira School District.

External Photo Attribution

*1  https://www.classcreator.com/Madeira-OH-1964/class_profile.cfm?member_id=2264492

*2  C-Span (https://www.c-span.org/person/?42877/FrederickPHitz)

*3  Wikimedia Commons  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RS3J6300_(6839437296).jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Author:  Miller Center – 13 Febuary 2007

*4  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Seal_of_the_Central_Intelligence_Agency.svg) This image is a work of a Central Intelligence Agency employee, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a Work of the United States Government, this image or media is in the public domain in the United States.   Author:  US Federal Government

*5  C-Span:  https://www.c-span.org/person/?1010552/RudolphRousseau

*6  Crytome:  http://cryptome.info/csp/spy004/spy004.htm

*7  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kombi_(4300860191).jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Diogo Rodrigues Gonçalves from São Bernardo do Campo, Brasil – 24 January, 2010.

*8  Wikimedia Commons – (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Family_camping_and_picnicking_at_John_Pennekamp_Coral_Reef_State_Park_(4876969528).jpg.)  This work is from the Florida Memory Project hosted at the State Archive of Florida, and is released to the public domain 

*9  https://history.nebraska.gov/visit/historic-sites

*10  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cratersofthemoon2.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: Marc Heiden – 8/08.

*11  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Symptoms-vomiting.jpg) This image is a work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, taken or made as part of an employee’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

FDW – Part III – Don’t Go with the Flow!

Brother Garry and FDW on Eastern Oregon Trip

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

In the first two segments about my Dad –  F. Duane Williams (FDW), I talked about how my parents met in New York City and then about our moves – first to Philadelphia and then to Madeira – a suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

The last post told some stories about Ohio which will help illustrate why he was such an outstanding person and role model as a Dad. https://thebeerchaser.com/2021/11/09/fdw-beerchaser-of-the-quarter-part-ii/

These continue below….:

The Trains

One of Dad’s best friends was a guy we called Uncle Charlie, who worked at Shillito’s Department Store – housed in a massive building in the heart of downtown Cincinnati which was also one of my Dad’s carpet sales accounts. Shillito’s was Cincinnati’s first department store – founded in 1830 and at one time, had sales exceeding those of its three largest competitors:

Shillito’s, in addition to being Cincinnati’s largest department store, was a landmark of the city, and one of the oldest in the country.” (The Department Store Museum blog)   (* See end of post for external photo attribution)

Charlie was a buyer for the Toy Department and one of the items he stocked (and got great pricing on) was Lionel Trains.   Both my Dad and Charlie loved these trains which were noted for their craftsmanship:

“Lionel trains have been produced since 1900, and their trains drew admiration from model railroaders around the world for the solidity of their construction and the authenticity of their detail.

During its peak years in the 1950s, the company sold $25 million worth of trains per year.[2] In 2006, Lionel’s electric train became the first electric toy inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.”

Like many single-family homes in Ohio, we had a large basement.  That’s where the laundry, freezer and my Dad’s carpet samples were stored. It was expansive, however, and there was still a lot of additional space. 

So FDW built a very large wood “train table” – the plywood top of which must have had the dimensions of ten feet by eight feet for the Lionel trains. 

He also built a second table with about the same dimensions for us to construct model airplanes and to play “war” with rubber soldiers – I remember it well.  We spent hours in the basement.  My Mom also used that table for crafts for the Cub Scout Den when Frannie served as Den Mother.

Every Christmas we would find  multiple Lionel engines, passenger and freight cars, cabooses, accessories and additional track under our tree to add to the already impressive collection.  Dad got more of a kick out of “Santa’s gift” than we did and Christmas day was always hours spent running the trains through their paces with him.  

We still have those trains in great condition – now stored in a storage unit with hopes of eventually putting them into use again.  Two of the images below are just a small portion of the inventory made a few years ago. (This led me to check out what exactly the “Electro Nuclear Devices” shown on the second page was – not as ominous as it sounds…..)

Basement Disruption….The “Flow”

Madeira, in the mid to late 1950’s, went through a growth spurt and the infrastructure was challenged to support new development.  The Madeira City Public Works and Engineering Departments did not adequately plan for it. 

It resulted in the storm sewers eventually being overwhelmed during severe storms and flowing into the sewer system.  (Maybe not correct from an engineering standpoint, but my recollection as an ten-year old…)

So after living in our house for about six years or so, a few times each year, our basement was inundated with raw sewage – from 3 to 10 inches deep throughout the entire space.  The implications from a health, property damage and livability standpoint were obvious although after the first few episodes, I’m sure that Dad put anything that would be damaged high enough to avoid the odiferous liquid sludge – not the case with appliances……

Rapid Growth Without Supporting Infrastructure *10

It was the result of a lot of new houses being built where the drains in their driveways flowed into the storm sewers – evidently without capacity.  If you read the first two blog posts, you saw that FDW was not one to sit passively by, nor were a number of our neighbors on Miami Avenue who experienced the same periodic “shit show” in which excrement in the basement was not an exciting or anticipated event.

But the Mayor and City Council at the time were not inclined to deal with it.  The solution would have cost the people in the houses contributing to the problem to pay for the upgrades required for the sewer system. 

Although the City was responsible for correcting the problem, this was not a popular political solution especially when it was only a relatively small group of residents adversely affected. (I also noticed that the Madeira Historical Society does not cover this in their chronology…)

Fruitless discussions with the City’s representatives after one of the worst slime sorties, saw FDW make his move – one I still remember.   Our entire family including the four kids age 2 to 8 and my mom along with a number of neighbors attended the City Council meeting where my Dad had signed up to testify.

He carried a very large shopping bag with him into the Council Chamber.  When it was his time to address the Council, Dad slowly walked up to the witness table with the bag and ceremoniously extricated a bucket. 

He sat there in silence for about 30 seconds allowing the pungent smell to circulate.  Before returning to his seat in the audience, he then said:

“I thought you should see and smell, first-hand, what we’ve had in our basement for the last three days.”  

One reason I remember this meeting over sixty years later is the stench from that bucket made a memorable impact on me and everybody at the meeting!   Mayor Patton stammered an apology and said that they would work for a solution.   (I don’t remember who came up and got the bucket and what they did with it.) 

In the end, while the City remedied the problem, my parents decided to buy a lot and build a house in Indian Hills – an adjacent community that was less developed.

“Nuthun” Kennedy

I was fortunate to have a number of friends from school and Scouts, but from first grade at Miami Hills Elementary (renamed Dupont Elementary after Principal John Dumont when I attended) until we moved after sixth grade, Nelson Kennedy was my best friend. I distinctly remember playing Home Run Derby in his back yard and riding bikes all around Madeira.

He gives me credit for introducing him to the Hardy Boy Novels in our second-grade book club and I will always be grateful to him for joining the Junior Choir at the First Presbyterian Church so I didn’t have to suffer alone. 

He had great parents and we often did overnighters.  His dad was was a manager for Ford Motor Co. and supervised production of automatic transmissions.  His mom worked raising the four Kennedy kids, Joe, Nelson, MaryAnn and Russell.

He was called “Nurthin” – not as a nickname, but because that’s how I pronounced his name when I lost my front teeth….  Nelson (later nicknamed both “Moose” because of his physical size and then “Nellie Bellie” because the jeep on the popular Roy Rogers’ TV Show had the moniker “Nelly Belle.” – It sold for $38,400  in 2018 according to this article.).

I will tell you more about Nelson and how we reconnected in later years, but first, back to our adventures in Madeira when we were in grade school.  One summer afternoon when we were in sixth grade, we (four of us – Nelson, Bob McBrearty, Gordon Williams and I) decided to take a short-cut to the High School where kids could jump on the trampoline under supervision.

After so many years, I don’t think I can pin the blame on any one of us, but we collectively decided to take a short cut when we came across a reasonably large storm sewer pipe that went in the same direction as MHS and had no grill or screen prohibiting entry. 

It did not occur to us that it was about 1/2 mile away and would require navigation through the conduit for that distance without any means of illumination.   There was no water and the illustration below shows about the approximate circumference going in although it was only a single outlet.

A viable short-cut to the High School gym? *13

It started off well.  Nelson and I were third and fourth in line and we walked through some junctions of pipe without even having to bend over much and got light from small outlet pipes that branched from the main line.  About fifteen minutes into our journey, the pipe started getting smaller, there were several branch junctions we had passed and there was a small stream of water that started flowing.  We were also lost…….

It didn’t take long for us to conclude that our plan was misguided (fortunately not fatally flawed…) and we decided to take one of the smaller branch pipes out to daylight – it appeared to be about 100 feet away.   

Filled with optimism we started crawling on our bellies (especially Nellie) through the approximately two and one-half foot diameter pipe to daylight.  (Nelson went first because he was the biggest and he told me as I was researching this post, that he thought otherwise we would have left him behind).

Nuthin had a good sense of humor and half-way out, he deadpanned, “I’m stuck!”    That would have been a real problem, but it was not the dilemma we faced when the four of us – fairly disheveled at that point – slowly and incrementally crawled out of the pipe into the backyard of a house on Miami Avenue – one in which a woman was watering her plants.   

She looked with astonishment and said as she walked hastily into her house, “I’m calling the Police.”   Even though I was only in sixth grade, I had the political savvy to understand the implications if the oldest son of the chief critic of Madeira’s sewer system was caught slinking through it’s pipes.  

We started running and hid in my house without seeing any flashing lights or hearing sirens speeding up Miami Ave to the scene of the “discharge.”   None of us had an appetite that night.  FDW, when he heard the story, shook his head, told us he was glad we were not harmed and again, asked if I had learned a lesson.

*14

West Point

I said goodbye to Nelson in 1961 and in the next post will relate through a twist of fate (and lawyers) how we were united forty-three years later in Oregon, but suffice to say that after sixth grade, Nelson and I lost contact.  I found out that he was a star athlete in high school – primarily basketball – an honor student and earned a cherished appointment to the US Military Academy at West Point.   

And Nelson Kennedy, besides being a wonderful best friend, was a key factor in my younger brother Garry’s decision to attend West Point in the class two years behind Nelson, after corresponding and then visiting him in my brother’s high school senior year.  Both Nelson and Garry served their country well while at the Academy and during their active duty in the Army.

While at West Point, Garry was a member of the West Point Glee Club and in a five-person vocal combo called The Headliners

The Headliners group of the United States Military Academy (West Point) Glee Club existed from 1965-84.” 

The Glee Club appeared periodically on network television on such shows as the Mike Douglas Show.   On one of the multiple appearances while Garry was a member of the Club, they did a simulation of the Dating Game with actress, Karen Valentine, who won on Emmy Award for her role on the comedy series Room 222.

Garry was one of three USMA cadets to attempt to be “the bachelor” selected by the actress, based on answers to her questions and he  “won” the contest – although unfortunately, no actual date with Valentine…..

You might surmise that Garry was doing his best to remedy the sullied reputation of his older brother (even before he garnered the nickname “Dirt.”)  The Glee Club also sang at the White House in 1972.  The picture shows Garry standing just to the left of President Nixon during a performance of the Headliners.

Garry called home while he was in the White House.  His conversation with my Mom went like this:

Garry – “Well, we just performed in Tricky Dick’s House.”

Frannie – “Garry, you probably shouldn’t say that.  They could be recording these phone calls.”

Garry – “Oh Mom, they would never make recordings of conversations in the White House!”

It is fitting to share these memories of Garry on the date of the 32th year commemorating his passing.  He left a lasting legacy for his integrity, compassion for others, sense of humor and intellect among other traits.

Stories of FDW – Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter to be continued……

External Photo Attribution

*1  Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Shillito_Company#/media/File:Shillito’s_Department_Store_View_1.JPG)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Joe D. Good – 28 September 2014.

*2  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Shillito_Company#/media/File:Shillitos_Logo.jpgThis logo image consists only of simple geometric shapes or text. It does not meet the threshold of originality needed for copyright protection, and is therefore in the public domain.

*3  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lionel_Corporation_Logo.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Zachary 578 -17 Febuary, 2015.

*4  Public Domain Wikimedia Cdommons (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Corporation#/media/File:Lionel_Trains_-_1929_advertisement.jpg)  Author:  Siriu_s 17 November 2016.

*5  Website (https://www.hobbylinc.com/diecast-model-airplanes)  HOBBYLINC.

*6 Ebay (https://www.ebay.com/itm/264762908178)

*7  Ebay (https://www.ebay.com/itm/352772578704

*8  – 9 (https://modeltrainmarket.com/collections/o-scale-model-collections/products/o-1-48-scale-electro-nuclear-devices-louis-marx-company-audio-engineer#6659610935395-1)

* 10  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Housing_subdivision#/media/File:Caudry_-_Lotissement_r%C3%A9cent.JPG) This work has been released into the public domain by its author, JÄNNICK Jérémy.  10 October, 2010.

* 11  Creative Commons  (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:34_Bucket.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Deklenam 14 October, 2020.

*12  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nellybelle_in_front_of_Christies_-_panoramio.jpg) Lcensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author:  hill10003  12 July 2010.

*13  Wikimedia Commons (sewer) (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wylot_kolektor%C3%B3w_burzowych_przy_mo%C5%9Bcie_poniatowskiego.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Panek 31 July, 2021.

*14  City of Madeira Ohio Website (https://www.madeiracity.com/government/departments/police/index.php

15  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mike_Douglas_1966.JPGThis work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1926 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice. Author: AFA-Ashley Famous Agency (management)

*16 Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Karen_Valentine#/media/File:Karen_Valentine_Lloyd_Haynes_Room_222_1970.JPGThis work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1926 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright noticeAuthor:  ABC Television.

FDW — Beerchaser of the Quarter – Part II

The Young Couple

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

Besides reviews of bars and breweries, each quarter I select an individual or group as my Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.  This “honoree” may or may not have anything to do with bars or beer, but have an interesting story.  Past designees have included war heroes, academicians, athletes, lawyers, musicians, media personalities and two Catholic priests.  My Dad, F. Duane Williams, is my latest Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.

For a complete list from the ten years of this blog see:  https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/12/13/beerchasers-of-the-quarter-who-what-why/

In the first post about my dad, Duane Williams (FDW) and his wife Frannie, I related how they met while working for American Airlines in New York City, got married, lived in Merrick, Long Island, New York and welcomed their first two children – Lynne and Don (now known as Thebeerchaser) before moving to a suburb of Philadelphia where their third child, Garry, was born.

On my forth birthday, we moved to Madeira, Ohio – a suburb of Cincinnati – where two years later, the fourth child, Rick, was born.   Thus began the ten-year Ohio chronicle of an active, middle-class family with the dad working as a salesman for Bigelow Carpets and the mom, working at home to raise four active kids.

A Strong Foundation

While we were young, our parents strived and sacrificed to both ground us and educate us to the world around us.  Tommy, a beautiful collie was our first dog, who eventually went to a farm – a real one not the proverbial one in the sky – because he chased cars down Miami Ave on which we lived.

We went to church at the Madeira First Presbyterian Church – only about five blocks away where I also went to kindergarten.  (The Church still sponsors a Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop).  All of us attended Miami Hills Grade School.  The first memory from that period is when I received a misguided accolade from my kindergarten teacher.   The conversation at home went like this:

Frannie:   Donald, we’re proud of you.  Your teacher, Mrs. Colter, told us how polite you are because you always remove your hat before you come into the room with the other children.  She said that you are the only boy that does that.

Don:  Mom, I hate that dumb hat.   The only reason I take it off is because I don’t want anyone else to make fun of me because of the way it looks.

Scouts

A key influence in all four kids’ lives was Scouts – Brownies for Lynne and Cub Scouts for the three boys.   And my parents were active participants – most notably, Frannie, who was the epitome of a Cub Scout Den Mother,  not one who just babysat while the young kids played games, but a teacher and mentor.

The two photos below from the Oregon City Enterprise Courier were not from Madeira, but after we moved to Oregon and Mom continued her Den Mother tradition – this time with Rick.  It shows her taking the den on a tour of the historic McLoughlin House.

America the Beautiful

One strong memory is from one of the quarterly Pack meetings – an evening affair where all the Dens in the Pack – kids and their parents – attended about a ninety minute celebration of Scouting and current activities.   At the beginning of each meeting one Den would be responsible for the opening ceremony and they were usually pretty perfunctory.

However, Frannie, going back to her American Airline days, resurrected some large photographic posters from an ad campaign highlighting the beauty of America.   As “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies” was played, the Cubs from our Den walked out one-by-one in sync with the lyrics, each carrying one of the posters as a large spotlight shined on the expansive sky, the amber grain field, the purple mountains and the alabaster cities, etc.

Even as a seven-year old, I still have a vivid memory of the crowd of about seventy-five sitting in stunned silence until the end of the patriotic song —– then a spontaneous standing ovation broke out and lasted for over a minute!

The Kite Contest

Dad was a very successful sales representative and enjoyed interacting with the people he met.  That said, he could have been an outstanding engineer, teacher, lawyer or newspaper reporter given his intellect, creativity and enthusiasm.

The first encounter I had with his engineering prowess was at the Annual Cub Scout Kite Contest.   This traditional event was a big deal and a lot of cubs and their dads built home-made kites which were entered in a fly-off at the football field of Madeira High School

Dad got the butcher paper, string, thin wooden dowels, balsa wood and then we cut a bunch of old sheets for the tail.   We were concerned because the day of the contest, there was a pretty strong wind.

No frill – homemade design *5

A whistle started and kites went up (not all of them….) and flew for fifteen minutes to see which one could fly the highest – they marked the string at the end whistle and measured once they were back in. 

Well, my kite took off like a bat from hell (even though I didn’t know what that expression meant at that age.)   It quickly soared yards ahead of any of the others and a small crowd gathered around to watch.  Dad stood beside me with a big smile on his face!

The fruits of my first victory in life.

In light of what they saw, the leaders decided that they did not need to measure – the winner was obvious and at the next Pack meeting I was presented with a baseball bat – the first place prize.

Thrilled with the result of the first contest, Dad decided that we would go bigger the next year and we built a “super-kite” in the garage that was at least four times bigger than the kite shown in the picture above.  The wooden cross-bracings on the back of the kite were elaborate and probably stuck out two-feet from the horizonal and vertical axis of the kite.   

We did not have the chance for a test flight and the kite was so big, we could not transport it in the car, so on the day of the contest, so we walked it about a mile down Miami Avenue to the football field.   It caused some major gawking along the way.

A Grand Experiment in Aeronautical Engineering…*6

A majority of the spectators gathered around our end of the contestants to see if this contraption would even get off the ground.   Well, it did and gained altitude very quickly.  Like the Wright Brothers’ flight at Kitty Hawk, however, it was short-lived, although lasting about ten times longer than the 3.5 first flight of the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk.  Our kite had a catastrophic end.

When it was about fifty yards up, a large wind gust blew in and the kite with a loud and sudden snap -clearly audible on the ground – folded in two (vertically) and nose dived into the end-zone of the Madeira Mustangs.

I looked over at FDW and he had the same smile as he did the year before when we won first place.

The VW Microbus

In subsequent posts, I will relate what an integral part the Volkswagen Micro-bus was to FDW’s work and recreation, but the story started in about 1953.  As related in History.com:

“In the 1950s, the Volkswagen arrived in the U.S., where the initial reception was tepid, due in part to the car’s historic Nazi connection…The micro-bus, with its boxy, utilitarian shape and rear engine, went into production. .”

Dad saw how the new vehicle could accommodate his carpet samples, his four kids, save a lot of money on gas and he loved the design including the engine in the rear.  It was only 36 horsepower and had no gas gauge.  (You flipped a lever to access a one-gallon reserve tank).  I remember discussing the VW with him years later and the conversation went like this:

FDW:  VW busses are so much safer with the rear engine.  If you get hit head on, you don’t have your engine pushing through into the passenger compartment.

Don:  “Yeah right, Dad.  If you get hit head on, it’s the other vehicle’s engine that’s going to be in your lap.”

Our red VW bus was one of the initial five in Cincinnati, Ohio and definitely the first one to have passenger seat belts.  American automakers didn’t begin including seat belts in their cars until 1960 and in 1968 the federal government mandated that all new cars include seat belts at all seating positions. (https://itstillruns.com/history-seat-belts-5110697.html).

Twenty-years later in Eastern Oregon

But as an example of Dad’s creativity and concern for the safety of his family, he contacted one of his former colleagues at American Airlines, purchased eight seat belts and installed the airplane restraints on our VW bus!

Activities as a Kid

Although I now realize the benefit, I sometimes would get mad about some of the efforts to expose us to culture.  For example, the three oldest all went to tap dance lessons which unfortunately had an annual recital.   It wouldn’t have been so bad, but they made us put on lipstick to look better in the bright lights.   I revolted in third grade and my dance career ended. 

Garry looks a lot happier in the photo below at this recital where they danced to “Me and My Teddy Bear.”

Party Wagon (what a dumb title!) was much better, but still very mundane.  Fifth and sixth graders could sign up for this weekend class where we were taught how to dance, the waltz, fox-trot, cha-cha-cha and jitterbug.  We would line up across from the girls and walk across the room and inquire “May I have this dance?”

I do have to admit that some of that stuck with me and made my two daughters a lot less embarrassed than they otherwise would have been at the traditional Father/Bride dance at their weddings.

*9

Another example was art school at the Cincinnati Art Museum.  Mom or Dad would drive us the 45-minutes into Cincinnati for this three-hour Saturday morning event.  Half of it would be painting or doing elementary art work and the other half would be watching movies about famous art notables.

I hated the art part because my artistic talent is about as good as my current skill on home improvement projects.  While the six months of this enlightening activity did not improve my ability to draw, it did teach me to be innovative (and possibly deceptive…).

They divided each class in half and the first group would go to the basement auditorium to see the movies while the second group undertook the creative pursuits.  I would leave my group after we saw the movie and hit the restroom.  As the other group walked to the auditorium I joined the tail end of that group and saw the movies again – thus avoiding watercolors and chalk.

Cincinnati Art Museum – Scene of the First Great Deception…*10

I guess I also learned a lot (and retained more than the other kids) about Rembrandt, Michelangelo and Picasso…..At the end of the six-month classes, I felt a little guilty and told Dad what I had done.   I can still remember the smile on his face as he asked me if I thought that was the right thing to do.

Upon Refection….

Perhaps we don’t fully realize the time and effort our parents spent on our behalf until we have our own kids.   Shuffling them to church choir practice, soccer games, scout meetings and engaging them about their experiences in these activities to see how things are going.  Even with four kids, my parents were always fully engaged in this regard.   

I’ll cover some of the highlights and why FDR and Frannie were such a great duo in future posts.

Cheers!

********

External Photo Attribution

*1 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_view_of_plane_propeller_and_clouds_from_window.jpg). Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

*2  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Grain-field.jpg) L   Author: Go2anna.

**3    Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rocky_Mountains.jpg  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: T Voelker – Winter 1994.

*4  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SanFrancisco_from_TwinPeaks_dusk_MC.jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.  Author: Christian Mehlführer, User:Chmehl – 27 October , 2006.

*5  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons: (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Origami_kite_base.svg) Author: Ftiercel.

*6  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fier_Drake_(1634_kite_woodcut).png 

* 7  *6  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kombi_(4300860191).jpg)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.  Author: Diogo Rodrigues Gonçalves from São Bernardo do Campo, Brasil – 24 January, 2010.

*8  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Airplane_seat_belt_2.jpg) Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.  Author:  Daniel Schwen – 2 August, 2007.

*9 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Phenakistoscope_3g07690d.gif)  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.  Eadweard Muybridge’s Phenakistoscope:  Urheber: Eadweard Muybridge, 1830-1904

*10 Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cincinnati_Art_Museum,_Eden_Park.jpg)  Llicensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.  Author: Greg Hume (Greg5030) –  21 January, 2008

Facebook Page – Madeira Silverwood Church (https://www.madeirachurch.org/community)  

 

FDW – Beerchaser of the Quarter – Part I

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this post through an e-mail, please visit the blog by clicking on the title above to see all of the photos and so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

“Home is the Hunter – Home from the Hills”

This phrase from Robert Louis Stevenson’s eight-line poem “Requiem” is inscribed on my dad’s headstone.   FDW, as we affectionately called him, was born Floyd Duane Williams on June 12, 1919 and was known as Duane during most of his life. 

That is until he acquired the acronym, FDW, as his moniker that we, his four kids bestowed when we were adults. (Stay tuned for the story.)  He signed letters, papers, etc. as F. Duane Williams

Born in Ames, Iowa to Floyd and Clara Williams, his father was an inspector for the US Postal Service and his mother – a girl raised on a cattle ranch in Sheridan, Wyoming, was a housewife as they moved to Grand Island, Nebraska and then Washington D.C. when his dad was transferred.

As you can see by these photos, Dad was a photogenic toddler and a tyke as a little kid.

Why am I dedicating a blog post(s) to my Dad (also my mom, Frannie)?  Those who follow Thebeerchaser, know that periodically I select an individual or group that may or may not have anything to do with beer or bars to feature as my Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.  The criteria is that they have made a contribution to society and have an interesting story.

They have included veterans and war heroes, authors, athletes, media personalities, academicians, lawyers and groups such as the 1967 Oregon State Giant Killer Football Team and the crew of the USS Constitution

Twice, I have featured my own family – Janet my wife – the only Beerchaser-of-the-Year and my brother Retired Navy Captain Rick Williams — Beerchaser-of-the Quarter | Thebeerchaser, for his outstanding career in the US Navy.  (Click on the links to view the posts.)

For a complete list of the BOQ’s for the last ten years, check out the following link: https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/12/13/beerchasers-of-the-quarter-who-what-why/

The pandemic, however, has been a time for reflection as well as going through old files and photos.  It made me realize what an impact my Dad and Mom had on the lives of our family and their communities.   The heartache of losing both of them at a young age (54 and 62 respectively) was offset, to some extent, by the fact that our memories of them are images of of vitality and humanity which characterized both of their lives and their marriage.

So in some of the next few posts, I’m going to relate the story of this remarkable man and woman.

Flashing Forward a Bit

After the family moved to Oregon in 1962, Dad was constantly captivated by Oregon’s natural beauty and adopted the phrase “spirit of high adventure” when we explored the coast, the Cascades and especially Central and Eastern Oregon.   

As far as the pursuit of wild game, he went hunting only a few times with friends who were carpet dealers from John Day on his sales territory for Mohawk Carpets.   I went with him on one of these ventures when I was in high school and as we were walked along the streams and through the forest, he would explain the geological formations – not the best strategy for bagging a deer.   

The Spirit of High Adventure!

Dad also was perpetually on the hunt for additional knowledge and creative approaches whether it be science – especially the environment – history or politics.  And from the time he attended college at George Washington University until the time of his death – far too soon at the age of 55 – he stalked the fair and virtuous course of action. 

Often this pursuit in civic and community work was time consuming and arduous including tirelessly working to pass school levy and bond elections in Oregon City. 

And speaking of George Washington University, it was there that he joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity and he met Don Wilburn, who became his best friend and after whom I’m named.  After graduation, Don was commissioned in the Army Air Corps and was killed in WW II when his plane crashed.  And both my younger brother, Rick and I kept the SAE legacy going at Oregon State University.

Another great SAE connection which proved to be fortuitous for our family, occurred shortly after Dad moved to Oregon in 1962 before the rest of the family moved out West.  He needed an attorney for family and business and picked a young lawyer from Oregon City.  By coincidence that lawyer, Don Bowerman, also happened to be an SAE (and Beaver football player) from Oregon State University.

Don had (and is still practicing) an outstanding career as a trial lawyer and in professional activities including serving as an officer in local bar and Oregon State Bar boards and as Chairman of the Professional Liability Fund of the Oregon State Bar.  He is a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

An outstanding lawyer and friend of the Williams family

He has been a great friend and advocate for the family.   Recently, when we were reminiscing about my Dad, I remembered how FDW helped the SAE’s when I was at OSU including getting them a great deal on new carpet for the House.   

Don stated, “Your Dad was the most effective and enthusiastic OSU/SAE alum on the planet.”  (It’s this kind of effusive understatement which made me enjoy working with lawyers for thirty-five years during my career!)

Early Career and Frances Barry

Dad moved to New York City and started work for American Airlines in Manhattan. His first meeting with my mom, Frannie (Frances Barry), was essentially a collision in their office building.  She was carrying some papers coming out a door that he was going in and they collided with papers flying everywhere. 

He asked her for a date and the rest is history.  They married in 1943 in the Church of St. Kevin in Flushing, New York – she the youngest of five girls in a Catholic family who resided in Bayside, Long Island.   Her parents had immigrated from Poland.   Dad was required to take classes so they could get married in the church and his theological discussions/debates with the priest lengthened the class time considerably.

Not to be maudlin in this post, but the inscription on my Mom’s gravestone is “She Walks in Beauty.”  It’s from Lord Byron’s poem of the same name and the last stanza is apt:

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
 

The poem conveys the experience of encountering sublime beauty in another person.  One can see Frannie’s physical beauty from the photos, but her entire persona radiated warmth and kindness.

She walks in beauty.

New York Life and Civic Activism

The young couple established their home in Merrick, Long Island where Lynne was born in 1946 and Don in 1948.   Dad loved Big Band music and they danced to the Glenn Miller Band at the Glen Island Casino: (*External photo attribution at the end of the post)

“One of the most enchanting dining-and-dancing rendezvous in this part of the country is the Glen Island Casino, overlooking Long Island Sound at New Rochelle. For many years the handsome two-story structure, perched majestically among the stately trees that dress the small island, has issued its yearly call to romance, and the youngsters and oldsters have responded with almost equal enthusiasm.”

They became friends with Paula Kelly and the Modernaires who performed there. 

From reviewing papers and records in his files, it was here that FDW started his civic activism which continued through the remainder of his life.   And he was not just involved, he was usually looked to as a leader in these endeavors.

I could find no details, but based on the letterhead below from the files, Dad was the Treasurer of the “Assessed Valuation Protest Committee of the Eastern Queens Civic Council.”

As another example, he was President of the newly formed “Lost Community Civic Association” that was evidently formed over issues of government boundaries and jurisdiction.   According to an article in the January 16, 1947 edition of the Long Island Daily Press (founded in 1821 and published until 1977):

“(The group) reported that they were slightly confused by the fact that their mail comes from the New Hyde Park Post Office, police protection from Bayside Precinct and fire protection from Queens Village.”

The problem was also covered in the November 29, 1946 edition of the Queens County Times (Published from 1913 until 1975 and which you could procure for two cents in 1946….) which quoted Dad and reported:

“The similarity of ‘crying in the wilderness’ may be pessimistic to many of Queen’s County residents, in a borough of over a million population.   But, to the families who have established their homes in a snug corner of Queens fringing on the border of Nassau County, it almost is like an ‘island’ apart:  confused as to its community status.”

Queens, the largest borough of the City of New York, is adjacent to the borough of Brooklyn on the western end of Long Island.

Dad was quoted in the Long Island Daily Press article:

“We’ve spent months trying to dope out where we are…what this section is called. We haven’t been able to find out anything so we might as well face it. We’re lost!  We will keep the name for a year.  By that time, we may have a better name.”

Well, evidently FDW was wrong and while I could not find details on the history, the name stuck.  According to the current list of civic organizations for New York City, “The Lost Community Civic Association holds its meetings on the second Wednesday of the month, excluding July and August.”   

There is also a small triangular park named “The Lost Community Civic Association Triangle” still maintained by the City of New York City Parks Department.

The family, now with two kids, moved to Media, Pennsylvania – a suburb of Philadelphia in 1949, when I was one.  Dad went to work as a sales rep. for Bigelow Carpets and our brother, Garry was born in 1950.  

7313 Miami Ave.  Madeira, Ohio

We moved to Madeira, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati on May 4, 1952.  I know that date because we took an American Airlines flight.  Because it was my birthday, I got to sit on the lap of the lead stewardess as we landed in Cincy.  (I figured that lovely young woman is now in her mid nineties if she is still alive!)

Stay tuned for the impact FDW had on his family and community in Ohio in the next segment.  If you are interested in viewing the second segment of this story, click on the following link:  https://thebeerchaser.com/2021/11/09/fdw-beerchaser-of-the-quarter-part-ii/

External Photo Attribution

*1  Wikimedia Commons (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glen_Island_Casino_jeh.jpg) Licensed and made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.  Author: Jim.henderson  14 July, 2011.

*2.  (https://www.amazon.com/Orchestra-Live-Glen-Island-Casino/dp/B009H43Y3K)

*3   Wikimedia Commons – Public Domain – (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Kelly_(singer)#:~:text=By%20CBS%20Radio/CBS%20Photo%20-) This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in the United States between 1926 and 1977, inclusive, without a copyright notice.  Source: CBS Radio 1951.

*4 (https://www.google.com/maps/place/7313+Miami+Ave,+Cincinnati,+OH+45243/@39.1941026,-84.3627391,3a,75y,280.83h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sLgAVgCwMuAFfjGlHwr_)

Lawyers Continued: Summer Associates – Part I

In an August 2020 blog post I did an initial tribute to attorneys naming them Beerchaser-of-the – Quarter – Part I.   This was based on my forty years working with them – not as a lawyer, but as a legal manager.  After working with lawyers at both Clackamas County and the Oregon State Bar, the last twenty-five years of my career were spent at the Northwest Regional law firm, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt.

259913_192824340769353_4183453_n

While first serving as Business Manager, I retired after twelve years as the Chief Operating Officer of this 150 lawyer firm headquartered in Portland, Oregon which then had four branch offices, the primary one being in Seattle. (Oh yes, for awhile, we also had a lobbyist in Washington, DC. as well.) My beerchasing hobby started in August 2011, eight months after I retired.

Herding

Herding Cats – A retirement present – Look at the label on the bottles!

While most people really like their own lawyer, the group as a whole, seldom receives accolades and is often subject to stereo-typical and often pejorative labels.  

As is true in any profession, I know that a number of attorneys are egotistical jerks, flaunt the ethics of the profession and would not be good drinking companions.  That said, my 40+ years working with lawyers in three different organizations were rewarding and an opportunity to interact with ethical, smart, dedicated advocates who have amazing work ethics and elevated senses of humor.  Many cherished friendships resulted.

Wikipedia - Public Domain

“It is the trade of lawyers to question everything, yield nothing and talk by the hour.” *1

(*1  Attribution for the photos not taken by Don Williams is at the end of this post.)

Below, you will glean some information about the amazing backgrounds, and without exaggeration, the incredible talents and abilities of the law students who would seek employment at Schwabe and other firms during the summers of their first two years at law school.  While we also hired both new lawyers and lateral attorneys who hadn’t gone through the summer associate program, it was the best source of new lawyers.

If they performed well during those summers and had positive personal interactions with attorneys and staff, they would be offered a job at the firm when they graduated contingent on their passage of the State Bar in their jurisdiction.

Competition among law firms was intense for the best students as these were the future of the firm.   And the law students also went into overdrive to get a cherished clerkship. A small number would eventually make it to partner – usually after about seven years – and others would enhance the economics of the firm and be esteemed colleagues until they moved on.  And while everyone worked hard, Schwabe was a very collegial firm with a great culture.

During the 1970’s and until economics and the changing practice of law dictated otherwise, we recruited by sending two of our lawyers to the top law schools to interview prospects on campus.  Most, besides Stanford, were on the east coast including the Ivy League Schools, the University of Virginia and the University of Michigan (shown in the photo above).

If they were selected and chose our firm, the law students would spend the next one or two summers in Portland or Seattle demonstrating that they could explain the nuances of such stimulating topics as the Rule of Perpetuities or the five factors considered under the Daubert Standard, work well with others and that they had the personality and drive to ultimately bring in new clients.

For the most part, we ended this expensive east coast recruiting  practice in the first decade of the new millennium, realizing that most of the top students at these schools would take clerkships at the Wall Street firms or the mega-firms on the east coast where beginning associates who essentially had very limited experience would be making well over $100,000 per year (+ bonuses) even then!

Concurrently, we realized that those who excelled at good law schools in the Northwest might not have the sterling academic pedigree, but were just as smart and motivated as Ivy League stock.  Besides, they often had relationships with people on the West Coast that could become good clients.

These “kids” had a good situation.  Once they got to the firm, they were wined and dined at lunch and dinner, participated in lawyer-league athletics, got a lot of hands-on mentoring and attended professional sporting events and concerts where they had great tickets.   They were also paid extremely well for their efforts which did not require inordinate working hours.  (They would encounter these if they became associates……)

Before they arrived, we had them complete detailed questionnaires on their interests, experience, talents, etc. – information which probably didn’t arise in the personal interviews on campus where they were selected.  This was so the people at the firm would be able to get acquainted more quickly.  When they arrived in early June, we also gave them an all-day orientation about what to expect and tips on how to be successful.

Based on assertion in the memorable epigraph by eighteenth century English essayist and poet, Charles Lamb, at the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird, I decided that for my thirty minute orientation spiel, rather than bore them talking about firm Management, I’d tell them a little about their summer associate colleagues – their lives and activities outside of law school and before they decided on that academic route.

 

Charles Lamb

Lawyers, I suppose, were children once. *8

Who were these elite students sitting beside them (or on video link from Seattle) and what made them interesting and worth joining at a bar after work for a pint of IPA?  For many years during the heyday of legal economics, we would hire about fifteen clerks each summer.

Most of these wiz-kids did very well and unlike at some big firms where they would cull substantially, Schwabe made associate offers to about 85% of its summer clerks and our acceptance rate was very high.  (It should be added that law would be a second career for a number of these individuals or they had worked for a period between college and law school.)

(Note:  With the pandemic, most of the summer associate programs were temporarily discontinued and before that, law firm economics significantly reduced the number of summer clerks in many firms to single digits.)

Below, I have combined the data on the summer associate classes at Schwabe for a three-year span (2005 and 2007-8.  I either lost the file for 2006 or they were a boring class.)  I think this will demonstrate the exceptional nature of these young students. 

I have to add, that based on their accomplishments, while one might expect them to be very confident and brash, they as a group, were almost without exception, well-rounded, modest and very personable.

Languages besides English

Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, Hindi, Korean, Russian, Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, Persian (just learning….), Basque and Pig Latin (we loved this guy!).

Previous summer jobs or occupations

Waiter/waitress, receptionist, paralegal, English teacher, reporter (once interviewed Toni Braxton and Santana), AV technician, college admission counselor, life insurance sales (80-hour weeks for twelve weeks with top sales awards), risk analyst, consultant, co-director of Victoria Secret store.

Manager, engineer, barista, quality assurance analyst (in a waste treatment plant?!), UPS worker, chauffer, church youth director, customs broker, computer network engineer, manager of a wilderness backpacking firm, semi-pro football player, survey researcher (tracked Wisconsin vendors who sold tobacco to minors), Russian interpreter (dealt with international trade and environmental matters), high school vice principal of discipline and supervision, business manager at Party City.

High school chemistry teacher, credit risk analyst, personal banker, grass seed farmer, jewelry salesperson, drugstore clerk, general manager of Fun-time Fireworks, fire prevention specialist (coordinated Smokey the Bear appearances).  Fortunately, there were no sparks and we did not have to mediate any disputes between the fire prevention specialist and the manager of the fireworks operation.  

This post is getting too long and the other categories for which I have data were also very interesting and I’ll cover these in my next post.  So stay tune.  They include sports in which they participated, hobbies and interests, past volunteer or civic activities, education besides law school and foods they liked – or wanted to avoid.  Remember, they got to dine out just about every day because it was a good chance for our lawyers to meet them and see how they acted in an informal setting.  

I want to conclude this post, however, with a letter from one law school student – not from the summer associate program but who applied for a job upon his future graduation from law school.   

He was from a very good law school in the Midwest and his letter was unforgettable – at least to me – which is why I’ve kept it in my archives for thirty years.  The internet is a marvelous research tool and I have to admit that I did a successful search for the author of this missive.

I’ve decided to black out his name and most of the details although my instinct is that this guy just had a dry sense of humor and was trying to remedy an embarrassing error with jocularity.  Unfortunately, he did not get hired.   

That said, he’s done well during the ensuing years.  After graduating from law school and passing the state and federal bars, he’s had an impressive career in legal education, legal professional associations and a stint as consultant for an international mega-firm.  He currently works at a university on the east coast.

After consulting with some of my attorney friends, I may actually call the guy, introduce myself and just ask him how this happened and his thoughts about this long-ago missive.   If he’s like most of the lawyers I know, he would laugh about it and we might ultimately end up having a beer together at some point.

Law clerk letter 1

Bad judgement or a dry sense of humor?

Photo Attributions

*1.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – Lady Justice 

*2.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – University of Michigan Law School

*3.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – PacWest Center 

*4. Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.- US Bank Centre Seattle – Author: Cumulus Cloud – 8/1/2008

*5.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – Willamette University College of Law

*6.  Wikimedia Commons – Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0Lewis and Clark Law School – Author: lbcstud – 6/3/2014

*7.  Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0University of Washington Law School – Author: Joe Mabel – 8/11/2009

*8.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – English Essayist and Poet Charles Lamb

*9.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – Smokey the Bear

*10.  Public Domain – Wikimedia Commons – Fireworks show

On Veterans and Lawyers….

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  Since this is a long post, if you are seeing it through an e-mail, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking on the title above so the narrative is not clipped or shortened.)

Based on the tyranny of the urgent as well as the unique challenges presented in 2020, we may tend to overlook our traditional commemoration of individuals and groups on Veterans’ Day.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic, experienced raging wildfires throughout the West, encountered protests and riots over the issue of social and racial injustice, witnessed businesses floundering or ceasing operation and endured divisive political campaigns culminating in one of the closest and most contentious elections in many years.   Oh yes – and now we face the ever-present dilemma of how, with many gyms still closed, to get back in shape and lose the poundage gained snacking during the lockdowns.

We cannot, however, forget those who had a profound impact on preserving our freedom –  our Veterans.  In this Beerchaser post, I’ll attempt to reinforce the importance of taking time during Veterans’ Day on November 11th to hail their dedication, sacrifice and patriotism.

A poster from 2013

In a recent post, based on my forty years of working with them, I named lawyers –  as a group -as my Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter.   Now I know some of you may think that the recent post-election turnout of lawyers exceeded the turnout of voters, but they are critical to preserving the Rule of Law – a foundation of our system of justice.

And below, I will single out a few of them – some who have previously garnered the “honor” of Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, but should also be recognized for their distinguished service in the Armed Forces.  In closing, I name a few others who should also be saluted on this day.

The headline and narrative below first appeared as an opinion piece in my local newspaper in 1998.  It was inspired by an event at the law firm where I worked for twenty-five years – the last thirteen as the Chief Operating Officer.

A number of times in the past, I have asserted why Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt is an outstanding firm – not only for its superb lawyers and support personnel, but also its culture, commitment to civic engagement and community service. The event below is just one example of how Schwabe distinguishes itself and I want to share it again.

(The following was originally published in the West Linn Tidings in November, 1968.)

“Vets Stories Awe Law Firm, Honor Holiday”

Joe Willis

Joe Willis is a senior partner in the Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt law firm based in Portland, Oregon.  Joe was an E-5 (petty officer second class) in the Navy quite a few years in the past.

A few months ago, he sent an e-mail to everyone in the firm.  Joe asked military veterans to e-mail him back, indicating the branch of service and some details about when and where they served.  Those of us who responded promptly forgot about his unusual electronic request.

But Joe didn’t forget.  He felt that Veterans’ Day is now largely taken for granted.  Joe wanted his law firm to think about what it signifies.  On November 14th, he sent another e-mail with the invitation below inviting everyone to a social function honoring the men and women in the firm who are veterans.

Most people in the firm attended – many out of curiosity.  Willis made a few opening remarks (after all, he’s trial lawyer…) and then asked three of the firms named partners to relate stories about their military service.  We heard:

John Schwabe – After he graduated from college, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and then completed officer training. He endured beach landings and the battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Saipan. For his service, he was awarded a Silver Star, five Bronze Stars and a Presidential Citation for Valor.

John told about coming ashore in the Battle of Tarawa as a Marine Corps officer.  Of the twenty-two men in his amphibious vehicle, only four survived – one of them received the Medal of Honor posthumously.  

John Schwabe was known for his humility and modesty and Joe had at one time asked him why he volunteered to go back on the last two of his four campaigns and John told him simply, “Because it had to be done.”

Wendell Wyatt – This former Oregon Congressman told about flying reconnaissance missions as a Marine Corps aviator in the South Pacific from 1942-46.

Marine aviator, Congressman and lawyer

Wayne Williamson – He related an exciting and somewhat humorous tale about when he was a Naval officer during World War II.  While his ship was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, the Germans surrendered to the Allies.   Without much warning, a German U-Boat surfaced near them evidently to surrender.

German SS – “Surface and Surrender??

Armed to the hilt including a pistol, grenades and a submachine gun he didn’t know how to operate, he and his party boarded the sub.  They descended the ladder to take command of the vessel, which was a problem because no one in the submarine could speak English and none in the boarding party knew any German.

As everyone in the firm listened attentively, Wayne told how as he looked at all the German sailors surrounding them, he “got the giggles” at the absurdity of the situation.

The hour passed 5 0’clock, as the lawyers continued their stories.  No one left.  Everyone, but especially the young people, listened with rapt attention.  Joe Willis distributed a large sheet of paper with a chart he made giving each veteran’s, branch of service, rank or rating and duty stations.

US Army Intelligence and Security Command logo

Attorney, Jack Faust, who served in Army counter-intelligence, walked in wearing his kaki tunic (several sizes too small, which was probably why he didn’t wear the pants).

On display in the conference room was a pith helmet one of the soldiers had worn on active duty, along with some photos of people who were in the room, but “hard to recognize” from the photos taken years before.  People cheered as the veterans finished their stories.

That morning as I drove in, I bemoaned the fact that the firm was not closed to commemorate the holiday unlike government offices, schools and banks.  When I went home that night, I thought it had been the most memorable Veterans’ Day I could remember.  Each person who attended had been enriched by the experience.

Thanks Joe.  Well done.  Mission accomplished!

Well, that’s the Schwabe story, but there are some additional individuals who I want to salute on this Veterans’ Day – mostly lawyers, but also some friends and relatives:

Former Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter

(To see the full story of each BOQ including the full text of the medal commendations for Blakely, Bomarito and Lawrence, click on the link over their names below)

Jack Faust

Jack Faust – US Army –  He served in Army intelligence and counterintelligence during the Korean War.  From 1953-55 as a Special Agent in the US Army Counterintelligence Corps – detachment Far East Command, he was stationed in Korea, Japan and China.  Jack is a retired Portland attorney and the former moderator of the Town Hall public affairs television program.

Jud Blakely – USMC After graduating from Oregon State University in 1965, where he served as Student Body President, Jud was commissioned as a USMC 2nd Lt.

He spent a total of 13 months in combat ops in Viet Nam as an infantry platoon leader with India Co., 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines.

He received two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. His purple hearts were for a punji-stake puncture in his knee and shrapnel wounds in his forehead from a midnight mortar attack during the monsoons on the southern edge of the DMZ.

Jud writes and consults from his home in Alabama.

Doug Bomarito – USN – a good friend of Jud Blakely, Doug graduated from the US Naval Academy.  As a Navy Ensign, he initially was on a destroyer, but in 1969 volunteered for Patrol Boats River (PBR), which patrolled in the hostile rivers and canals.

Lt. jg. Bomarito

He served as a patrol officer for a number of PBRs attached to a River Division near the Cambodian border by the Gulf of Thailand.  It was, to say the least, hazardous duty.

February 23, 1970, on his 75th combat mission, the boat on which he was directing tactics and another for which he had responsibility, were ambushed by the North Vietnamese.

During a severe fire-fight, Doug and two of the crew were wounded and eventually medevacked to hospitals, but not before Doug completed his mission.  He received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his heroism.

He is now a Portland lawyer.  Bomarito was a key player in developing, designing and funding the Viet Nam Veterans of Oregon Living Memorial. (see below)

The “grown-up versions of Blakely and Bomarito

Jim Westwood

Jim Westwood – USN This now semi-retired Oregon appellate lawyer in the ’60’s was the Captain of the legendary Portland State College Bowl Team which made headlines for its victories on national television.

After graduation from PSU and before law school at  Columbia University, he was commissioned in the Navy and served as a Naval Intelligence Officer for several years.  Because of his superior language skills, he spent a year learning Thai – an extremely difficult language to master.

Steve Lawrence – US Army Steve is a retired lawyer and until recently, the two-term Mayor of the Dalles, Oregon went to Boise Jr. College after graduating from The Dalles High School, but enlisted in 1967.  He was selected for Officer Candidate School, was commissioned and then commanded an infantry platoon in Viet Nam.

While a Second Lieutenant, Steve recalled several “serious helicopter events” including two crashes nearby during fire-fights, and an Army pilot who made three passes firing on Steve’s troops and wounding half of his squad before the chopper was called off by radio.

His Silver Star was awarded for action in combat in July 1968 and Bronze Star for “his display of personal bravery and devotion to duty” in February 1969.  His Bronze Star has an Oak Leaf Cluster because he received a second one for meritorious service while still in Viet Nam.

The Late Colonel Terry “Spike” McKinsey – USMC Ret. – I first met this Gladstone, Oregon native who was to become a legendary jet pilot when we were shipmates on a Navy destroyer (USS John R. Craig DD 885) on our 3/c midshipman summer training cruise when I was in NROTC at Oregon State and he was at the Naval Academy.

Terry took his commission in the Marine Corps and after his eighteen-year career in the active military where he earned the nickname “Spike” because of his tendency to come in for “hard landings,” he flew for the Oregon Air National Guard.  As a result of his charismatic leadership skills, he became the Base Commander from 1985 to 1989.  He then flew as Assistant Chief Pilot for Horizon Airlines.

Spike passed away in 2019 and this excerpt from his obituary written by a USNA classmate sums up his character:

“During his 72 years, Spike’s undeniable strength, unconditional kindness, and unquestionable integrity made a lasting impact on his friends, colleagues, and family….. Spike lived a life true to his values. He stood for what is right and didn’t hesitate to step in when he saw injustice in action.”

Proudly on display at The Dirty Shame

John Runkle  US Army –  He joined the Army in 1980 and was ordered to Jump School at Fort Benning, Georgia.  John became a Paratrooper with the 509th Airborne Combat Team, was shipped to Europe and graduated from the French Commando School. 

He also earned Spanish Jump Wings.  The big guy made a total of 53 jumps.

He served as a member of an Army Service component command of United States Africa Command, which although based in Italy, primarily operated in Africa.  His last billet was as an instructor at Fort Benning.

John is now the owner of the Dirty Shame Saloon and the Yaak River Lodge in Yaak, Montana.  I met him on my 2019 Montana road trip and “The Shame” was the most interesting and my favorite of any of the 400 watering holes I’ve reviewed since starting I started Beerchasing in 2011.

Thebeerchaser giving John two bottles of Benedictine Beer in 2019

Don (NROTC) Garry (USMA West Point) Rick (NROTC)

Captain Rick Williams USN Ret. – Although all three of the Williams boys served in the military, our youngest brother had a long and distinguished Navy career.

After graduation and commissioning from the NROTC program at Oregon State, he became a Navy hard-hat diver and then commanded a deep submergence vehicle (USS Sea Cliff DSV 4) including a dive to 20,000 feet in the Middle American Trench off Guatemala.

On his “journey” he went to Nuclear Power School after an interview with the late Admiral Hyman Rickover.  He retired as the Skipper of the USS Spadefish SSN 668 – a Sturgeon Class attack submarine.

And while mentioning submarines, I don’t want to forget our brother-in-law, Dave Booher, a retired teacher and school administrator.

Dave served as a sonarman on two Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines for five nuclear deterrent patrols and was aboard the diesel boat USS Dogfish – it was older than the Beerchaser, having been launched in 1944!.

Dale Harlan

Dale Harlan – US ArmySoon after the attack on Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941, he volunteered for the U.S. Army and was sent overseas. Dale was awarded two battle stars and the Air Medal for service in the Central Pacific. Subsequently, he volunteered for the Parachute Infantry and was assigned to Company E, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles).

Dale received two battle stars in Europe, two Presidential Unit Citations, and a Purple Heart. He was severely wounded in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium in January 1945.

He passed away in 2017 and had a distinguished career as a lawyer and elected official besides a life-long commitment to charitable and civic activities.  Dale Harlan is the epitome of those in the Greatest Generation and was a wonderful friend.

But my final recognition on this Veteran’s Day goes to two members of the military who gave the last full measure of devotion to their country:

Captain Donald Wilburn

Don Wilburn – US Army Air Corps – Captain Donald E. Wilburn was my dad’s best friend and SAE fraternity brother at George Washington University.  Don was a pilot in the Army Air Corps and died during World War II. I’m honored to be named after him (Donald Wilburn Williams)

Gary Kestler – US Marine Corps – Gary Kestler was my best friend at Oregon City High School and enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1967.  He was killed by enemy rifle fire while on patrol in Quang Tri Province in Viet Nam on May 28, 1968.  In high school, Gary was a student leader, a multi-sport athlete and a friend to all.

So what are a just a few things we can do this Veterans’ Day to pay homage to those who served:

  • Show the flag at your personal residence.
  • Call a veteran(s) and thank him or her for their service.
  • Raise a mug and make a personal toast to those currently serving.
  • Send a check to the Viet Nam Veteran’s of Oregon Memorial Fund (VNVOMF) to honor all of our Viet Nam Veterans.  Send to:
Doug Bomarito, Attorney at Law
Past Chairman and President
7157 S.W. Beveland Street
Tigard, OR 97223
(503) 223-8285

Cheers to our Veterans!

2020 Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter Update

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Well Beerchasers, I’m still waiting to get back to reviewing bars and breweries, but since that is on hold, I’m trying to provide some other insights.  My next post will be on a number of Montana watering holes that I visited last summer.  Due to the number visited (49) on a 15-day road trip, I’ve only written up several so far.   So stay tuned for some good history on Montana bars.

Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter – Update

The Dude on his Mount Everest summit climb in 2012

Two of the past Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter, Craig-the Dude- Hanneman and Steve Lawrence should be recognized again for recent achievements and accolades.

Steve Lawrence

While that may be hard to understand given their past exploits, it’s true.

Jan and Jack at their home in Sisters, Oregon

So far, there are three BOQ’s in 2020, including a married couple – Jack and Jan McGowan who were co-recipients in February, for their outstanding and long-term commitment to SOLV (Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism) from the ’90’s until their retirement in 2008.

Former Oregon State Beaver football wingback and receiver Billy Main, a member of the legendary 1967 Giant Killers Team, was named in May.

It took Thebeerchaser two posts to fully cover his football and Navy ROTC stories while in college and then his successful hospitality industry career.

And the most recent BOQ label was for a groupLawyers.  That’s right – I relate my observations after working with them for forty years in three different organizations – the last twenty-five at a great law firm of 140 lawyers – Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt – where I retired in 2011.

I respect the members of this profession and enjoyed the interaction with this talented and competitive group. In future posts, I’ll continue this narrative as I have a great number of stories that I find very entertaining and think you might also.

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/08/31/beerchasers-of-the-quarter-lawyers-part-1/

Update on Previous BOQ “Honorees”

Craig “The Dude” Hanneman

Transitioned from fullback to defensive tackle

My SAE fraternity brother at Oregon State who graduated in 1971, was a Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter in 2012.   This former high school fullback who transitioned to defensive tackle at OSU, was voted captain and MVP of the Beaver team his senior year and named a Second-Team All-American and First-Team Pac-8 Team

He then played for four seasons in the NFL including two years for the Pittsburgh Steelers and two for the Patriots, when a catastrophic leg injury ended his NFL career.

After a successful career in the timber industry and local politics, Craig is now retired but when he was about 50, he either ignored or confirmed the assertion of singer, David Lee Roth:

“I guarantee you will find no reasonable man on top of big mountains.” 

Fellow Everest climbers, Mike and Heidi with Craig

He started mountain climbing in the late ’90’s, and in 2012, became the first former NFL or NBA player to successfully summit Mt. EverestKerry Eggers, who has been named Oregon Sportswriter of the Year six times, wrote two wonderful articles on Crag’s story in the Portland Tribune in 2019.  https://pamplinmedia.com/pt/12-sports/446236-359995-mountaineer-craig-hanneman-takes-on-als

The next year (2013) Dude and four of his friends Ran with the Bulls in Pamplona (Below left to right Hanneman, Scott Freeburn, Mark Dippel, Jim Sherbert and Bob Jossis.)

Pamplona in 2013

But his sense of adventure was not stifled and even with significant injuries sustained when he fell into a crevasse and was buried in the snow for forty-five minutes before rescue on Mt. Jefferson in 2013, climbing continued.  In 2019 at age 70, he became one of only about 500 people in the world and probably the oldest of those, to have completed The Seven Summits – the highest mountain on each continent.

Oregon Sports Hall of Fame – To the surprise of no one who has followed athletics in Oregon, he was named to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in August this year.  He will be formally inducted into the Multi-Sports category i.e. Football and Mountain Climbing.  This supplements his prior admission to the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Besides Price’s Tavern in Corvallis during college days, Craig and our SAE brothers have been on many Beerchasing expeditions together in recent years including several at the Gemini Pub in Lake Oswego.

The Dude and I did a toast recently to retired Professor Dr. Edward G. McGrath, who died in March 2019 at the age of 101 in California.

In 1970, Dr. McGrath had an upper-division political science seminar in which Craig and teammate, Mark Dippel, a starting guard on the OSU Football Team and I, joined about seven other students.

Cheers to Ed!

The Dude, “Dip” and I sat in the first of two short rows and to the good professor’s astonishment, those two would chew tobacco while he lectured.

Professor McGrath, who was my advisor, always glared at me (rather than the two big lineman) because I walked into class with the “chewers” and they were about twice as big as he was.

At least he appreciated the fact that they used a pot-pie tin for the residue……..We laughed that he reached that ripe old age before passing – I was always convinced that he was going to have a heart attack during those classes.

Congratulations to Craig Hanneman.  He is without question one of the most outstanding human beings Thebeerchaser has had the privilege of meeting even with his somewhat morbid fascination with the word “ubiquitous” and Dean Martin tunes which I had to endure in college.  He is a man of great character, family values and humility.

Steve Lawrence – Lawyer, Mayor and Author

This 2014 Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter has also had several careers.  After college, he distinguished himself for his service as an Army officer in Viet Nam where he commanded an infantry platoon. 

The Bronze Star with Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster and the Silver Star

He was subsequently awarded two Bronze Stars and a Silver Star in 1968 and 1969 for heroism during enemy action. (To  see the wording on the citations, click on the link above.)

After graduating from law school and passing the Oregon State Bar exam in 1978, he had a long career as a successful lawyer in private practice before retiring to his home town – The Dalles on the Columbia River.

Lt. Lawrence at ease

Steve graduated from high school in the ’60’s and married his high school sweetheart, Donna but not until 2008!   It’s an interesting story set forth in Thebeerchaser post you can see through the link above.

His next “career” was one of notable public service and little compensation.  Steve served as Mayor of The Dalles for two terms from 2012 to 2018.  The picture below is when Jud Blakely – another former Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter and also a Bronze Star winner for action in Viet Nam (along with receiving two Purple Hearts) and I joined him to visit some watering holes in The Dalles while Steve was successfully running a mayoral re-election campaign in 2015.

Blakely on the right, points to the incumbent….

Steve’s insight and actions promoting economic development in The Dalles were notable.  He also served for twenty-five years on the Board of United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and SW Washington including three terms as President.

But this man of many talents demonstrated those again.  He added “novelist” to the list in 2013 with the publication of his first book –  First Light – A Novel of Close Combat in Viet Nam  – that was forty-four years after he returned from Vietnam.

“Based on my own experience and notes kept in a journal, it literally took 44 years for me to know what I wanted to write. Over the years, I would write about singular events, put the writing into its own folder and stack it with others in my file cabinet. When I retired at age 62, determined to write, I gathered all those folders and finished the book.”

Steve was not done writing, however, and early this summer, he published a sequel entitled Amotan Field, which is now available at Amazon.

As Steve stated, in part:

After First Light, I wanted to write a novel about a skeleton that was unearthed in The Dalles, Oregon by a sewer construction crew. Considering many possible stories, it occurred to me this was an opportunity to answer the question asked; what happened after First Light…..

The story is intended to be a story of redemption. Redemption for a returning soldier dealing with the aftermath of combat. Redemption for a WWII soldier who was denied a medal because the truth of his bravery was buried by a terrible accident. He was killed by friendly fire. He was a member of the Celilo/Wyam tribe.

The backstory of Amotan Field is the history of the Indian community, which had lived and thrived along the Columbia River for thousands of years, shoved aside in the 1850’s by pioneers, missionaries and the military, promises made and broken and complicit racism which has continued.”

Will be ready to raise a mug….

So check out both of the Mayor’s books and if you get up to The Dalles, invite him to have a beer.  He knows some good establishments in his city and had a role in getting many of them up and running. (He might even buy your pint for coming to his city!)

The Next Honoree…

Followers of this blog will enjoy the story of my next Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter. 

Fr. Martin

In 2017, I told the story of Fr. Martin Grassel.  He’s a monk at the Mount Angel Abbey who also happens to be the Head Brewer at the wonderful Benedictine Brewery – one of three in the US owned and operated by Benedictine Monks.

And I will soon share the fascinating journey of another man of the cloth.

I have only known Fr. Chuck Wood for about eighteen months since I have had the pleasure of serving on the Abbey Foundation of Oregon Board with him

Fr. Chuck Wood

After studying at Mount Angel Seminary, Fr. Chuck went on to get his Master’s at the University of Notre Dame.  He is now the Pastor at St. Wencelaus Parish in Scapoose, Oregon and has a wonderful sense of humor and warm personality.  His story will captivate you.  Stay tuned.

 

Cheers!

 

 

Beerchasers of the Quarter – Lawyers – Part 1

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WHY LAWYERS?

Each quarter Thebeerchaser names an individual or group that may or may not have anything to do with beer or bars, but in my humble opinion, has made a contribution to society and have an interesting story to tell.

The 1967 Giant Killers – worthy of merit!

Very few of the “honorees” have been groups, but the few named are deserving.  For example, the 1967 Oregon State Giant Killer Football Team and the Crew of the USS Constitution for their 1798-99 war cruise.

Old Ironsides

Both showed teamwork resulting in outstanding accomplishments. (Click on the links above to see these posts.)

So why would I name lawyers?   While most people really like their own lawyer, the group as a whole, seldom receives accolades and is often subject to stero-typical and often pejorative labels.

As is true in any profession, I know that a number of the attorneys in the US are egotistical jerks, flaunt the ethics of the profession and would not be good drinking companions.  That said, my 40+ years working with lawyers in three different organizations were rewarding and an opportunity to interact  with ethical, smart, dedicated advocates who have amazing work ethics and elevated senses of humor (as I think you will see in this and following posts).

Did I encounter some that tipped the asshole scale heavily?  DA!  But they will not be named in my narratives and were a notable exception.

As background, I spent the majority  (25 years – from 1985 to 2010) in the same law firm Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt – the last twelve as the Chief Operating Officer.

Herding Cats Wine – a retirement gift from the firm in 2011

I couldn’t have picked a firm with a better culture  and outstanding colleagues ranging from support staff to secretaries,  to paralegals to managers to attorneys – both associates and partners.  It was a transparent and a team-oriented environment – not the case in some firms of similar size.  I often described my job as communicating orally and in writing with skilled professionals who made their living attacking and analyzing what other people say and write.

When I retired from Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt (SWW) in mid-2010, it had about 140 lawyers and about 150 additional personnel  in five Northwest offices including its anchor office in Portland, Oregon .  SWW, for many years, was in the top 50 large employers in the State in the annual survey of good places to work as rated by employees and tabulated by The Oregonian.

But before I present some evidence backing up my positive comments about both attorneys and the SWW  firm culture, let me try to describe my version of the lawyer personality while reminding those who look askance upon the profession as a whole, of Charles Dickens’ observation:

“If there were not bad people, there would be no good lawyers.”

Where competition is at the zenith

Competitive –This trait is not only for litigators where it is a dominant gene, but most lawyers based on the functions of their jobs and how they are evaluated.

Perhaps my favorite example is the Wall Street lawyer some years ago who flew from JFK in New York City to LA International and billed time during the flight so he could set a record for his firm for billing over 24 hours in a single day!

In law firms where statistics play a major – and unfortunately, sometimes the only – criteria for compensation and promotion, it’s natural that there is internal competition for future raises and year-end bonuses – a standard practice in most law firms.

Professional Courtesy??  Eat-what-you-Kill does not promote teamwork…!

However, some firms have an “eat what you kill” system based totally on the income each timekeeper collects which heightens the intra-firm rivalry.  Let’s look at a quote from the protagonist in John Grisham’s novel, The Street Lawyer

“All right. I admit it – those decreases each year hurt my feelings.  Money’s the big scorecard in this kind of life; there’s no winning percentage, no runs batted in.  It’s always struck me as meaningful how we refer to the percentage of firm income we’re awarded as ‘points.’

Your partners tell you each year what they think you’re worth.  By now, I can live without everything the marginal dollar buys except for the self-esteem.”

At SWW, the compensation system was “open” i.e. lawyers knew what their colleagues made and received in bonuses.  And each month-end everyone saw the various statistics – hours worked and billed plus amount collected.   Compensation at SWW, was both objective – stats based – but also subjective – factors including marketing, firm leadership and activities, and mentoring.  This mitigated the internal competition.   And when I say “internal competition” – that not only references within the firm, but inside the lawyer’s own head.

Love of the Language – Regardless of the practice specialty, a lawyer must have an elevated grasp of the nuances of the language and pay attention to detail.  While some  contemporary legal communication is less formal, it was always interesting when terms such as “heretofore,” “therein,” “pursuant,” “to wit” and “thenceforth” were common in pleadings, briefs and even routine correspondence.

Now while some would suggest this formal written and oral discourse was stilted, it provided a certain eloquence and grace for those involved.  Take, for example, this paragraph from a lawsuit filed after the Octoberfest Celebration Mount Angel Oregon – known, not only for great German sausage and singing which makes even karaoke sound pretty good, but voluminous consumption of Thebeerchaser’s favorite beverage.

The Octoberfest

Annual celebration highlighting beer, sausage and “interaction.”

In this lawsuit in the early ‘90’s, a Portland resident filed a $53,220 lawsuit against the Mount Angel Octoberfest claiming the portable toilet he entered was pushed over by unruly patrons.  His lawyer claimed:

“Intimately mixed with the contents thereof….

“Plaintiff was violently thrown about inside said portable toilet, became intimately mixed with the contents thereof and sustained a fracture of his right wrist as well as other contusions and abrasions.”

Unfortunately, I could not determine the result of this lawsuit and assume – just like the contents of the overturned chamber – it settled. 

Thus, a jury never had to contemplate either culpability or damages as a group exercise – one which might have proven to be an odorous task figuratively speaking.

Bad Frog Beer

In a recent post, I related how, in a lapse of judgment lamented by my wife, I attempted to supplement my young daughter’s wonderful and robust frog collection with an empty bottle with the label of Bad Frog Beer I got on a business trip to Chicago.

A wonderful frog collection before Bad Frog Beer idea….

The logo was so popular, the demand for Bad Frog merchandise was massive and Bad Frog Brewing expanded to twenty-five states in 1995.   Because the controversial logo, however, the beer was banned in eight of those states. Legal challenges resulted because of the frog’s none-too-subtle extension of its middle digit.

Liquor commissions in multiple states banned the beer.  Eventually the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the New York State Liquor Authority‘s ban on selling Bad Frog Beer in an interesting and extremely entertaining  First Amendment case, to wit: –  Bad Frog Brewery, Inc. v. New York State Liquor Authority 134 F.3d 87 (1998).

You can read the entire opinion, but my favorite footnote shows another example of the succinct and compelling argument for the ban by citing the Liquor Authority lawyer’s indignant but gentile objection:

“……(The logo) is patently offensive and presumably a suggestion to have intercourse with oneself.”

Note:  Lawyers have traditionally been addressed in correspondence or pleadings as “Esquire” –a label attached to their surname after earning their license to practice, including female lawyers.   This term goes back to the fifteenth century in England referring to the landed gentry or males of higher social rank.

While it may seem cool for a freemason even these days, I’m glad that this practice has largely diminished and is now more of a formality or courtesy except in some states.

This article in Abovethelaw.com entitled ”Get Over Yourself and Stop Calling Yourself Equire,” suggests that the label seems pompous, especially when used to refer to oneself.  And since a lot of plumbers now have higher hourly rates than lawyers, perhaps they should add an honorific to their last names.

Creatively Aggressive – There are numerous examples of this dominant gene in attorneys, but two of my favorites both involved Oregon lawyers.  While not condoning the rationale of the lawyers below, it does serve to illustrate the creativity and eagerness to advocate their position.

Beyond Rational??

Envision, if you will, cruising along Highway 26 through Oregon’s Coast Range following a line of cars behind a motor home on a mountain pass.   A late-model BMW with a single occupant passes the line of cars.

After the summit on level terrain, you pass the BMW which has been pulled over by an Oregon State Trooper.

The driver was a lawyer from a large Portland firm (not Schwabe…) who, in his court appearance, argued against the speeding ticket for going 76 mph in a 55 mph zone.

He stated that he had no idea he was traveling  that fast  – the blame should be placed on the manufacturer for his sedan’s superb handling characteristics.   He supported his contention with a PowerPoint presentation and testimony from a mechanic.

I don’t know if he also tried to use some of BMW’s slogans as further vindication, but maybe he should have considered these actual BMW mottos:

“BMW – Beyond Rational!”

“Motion is our Muse”

Heads-up Display vs Speeding Ticket?   Passion Wins!”

“BMW – More Smiles per Hour”

Well, perhaps the judge was not persuaded because he fined the lawyer $182  admonishing him that he was not only speeding, but ignored the risk of hitting wildlife that frequently cross the road.  It could have been worse.  At least he did not pass a cop chasing a speeder……

Immunity?

Somewhat more brazen was this 2006 incident, described in an Oregonian story, involving a prominent Portland attorney, active in civic activities and then chair of his political party in Oregon.  He also happened to serve as a Senior Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oregon.

Said AAG was westbound in the afternoon on Interstate 84 driving behind a Sheriff Deputy’s marked vehicle.  The deputy was driving 75 mph and noticed a vehicle following him.  Upon increasing his speed to 88 mph with the vehicle still following closely, the deputy cited the driver for speeding.

Culpable??

The errant driver asserted that because he was following the deputy, he wasn’t looking at his speedometer assuming the officer was obeying the speed limit and stated in a letter to the Court:

“I therefore had no basis to know my speed, having simply assumed I was within the limits on the basis of the actions of the officer who subsequently cited me for doing precisely what he was doing.”

Note:  Lawyer Jack Faust, a SWW lawyer who before his retirement (see below) was one of the most respected appellate lawyers in the State, jokingly (I think…) commented to me that the lawyer could have improved his negotiating position if he had made a citizen’s arrest on the deputy for speeding.

I mention later in this post, a lawyerly trait of wanting to have the last word and this is a good example.  Just in case, the judge didn’t buy his initial defense, the lawyer further cited:

“…. a state statute that he said gives him immunity (emphasis added) from prosecution outside of Marion County (in which the State Capital is located) for anything done arising out of his work as a Justice Department Employee.”

In this instance, he was returning from Pendleton in Eastern Oregon to Portland for a meeting on a case he was handling.   Well, not only did the judge not accept this rationale, but neither did the lawyer’s boss.   Attorney General Hardy Myers, through another Deputy AG, suggested that the AAG was not authorized to represent to the Court that his interpretation is that of the AG’s office and further:

“In fact, DOJ disagrees with both of your interpretations of ORS 464.530….The Attorney General does not believe that any part of the state law cited immunizes the department’s employees from prosecution for traffic offenses.”

The offender did get a break in that the citing officer lowered the speed of the violation to 75 mph – a $97 fine instead of the $145 for traveling 88 mph – not because he was an AAG but “since he was cooperative and apologetic.”   The lawyer paid the fine and decided not to further contest the ticket.   With this type of immunity, even a vaccine might not have saved him.

Integrity and Ethics – One can cite numerous instances in the last several years and use an historical perspective dating back to Watergate of high profile attorneys shamelessly, not only flaunting the Rules of Professional Conduct governing lawyers, but serving prison sentences for violating the criminal codes.

Through my experience with hundreds of lawyers, first working at the Oregon State Bar and then at a private law firm, I witnessed men and women who had immense respect for the Canons governing their behavior and when in doubt, sought  advice to ensure they complied.  And I might add, that the rules regarding conflict of interest in the legal profession are more stringent than those in professions such as Accounting and Real Estate.

During the pandemic, I have used the time freed up from Beerchasing to enhance my knowledge through reading and online resources such as podcasts.   One of the best which reinforces my premise about integrity of the profession is “The Oath” – an exceptional podcast by Washington DC. attorney Chuck Rosenberg.

Rosenberg – A standard worth emulating

His career is the epitome of dedicated public service and integrity as are the subjects of his fascinating interviews in each podcast, many of whom are attorneys who spent a major part of their careers in government service.

These include Maya Wiley, Joyce Vance, Barbara McQuade, Jeremy Bash, and Rob Spencer.  While these are not household names, Chuck interviewing skills are superb and the stories compelling – especially at a time when the Rule of Law is the subject of intense debate.  I strongly recommend that you check out this online series.

Chuck Rosenberg  graduated from Tufts University, received his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University and then his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1990 – one of the nation’s top law schools.  He then worked in numerous Department of Justice positions, Counsel to the Director of the FBI, Counsel to the Attorney General  and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General.

After service as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, he later served as Chief of Staff to the Director of the FBI (2013-15).  He was the lead trial lawyer in federal prosecutions involving espionage, kidnapping, murder, crimes against children and complex financial fraud cases. (Wikipedia)  As stated by former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch:

“Throughout his distinguished career in law enforcement and public service, Chuck has earned the trust and the praise of his colleagues at every level.  He has proven himself as an exceptional leader, a skilled problem-solver, and a consummate public servant of unshakable integrity.

And he has demonstrated, time and again, his deep and unwavering commitment not only to the women and men who secure our nation, but to the fundamental values that animate their service.”

While serving as the Acting Drug Enforcement Administrator, he resigned as a matter of principle based on his objection to communication from the White House and was praised by media including the Wall Street Journal for his integrity in taking this action.

Since that time, he has served as a legal analyst in cable news and counsel at a private law firm in Washington DC.

Need to Have the Last Word –  Over my forty years working with lawyers, I learned that one way to garner their respect was to respond emphatically and with confidence in any (or every) kind of debate whether it was in conversation or electronically.

I learned, however, that even if I prevailed in substance, I should expect, and to some extent, encourage the lawyer to have the last word.  It was a good method to save further time deliberating and allow a win–win result.

My favorite example occurred with one of SWW’s very good lawyers from our Vancouver Office who was on his sabbatical in Italy with his wife.  This counselor  was very active in professional and civic activities and served on the Washington State Board of Governors.

He and his wife were walking up to the entrance of an exclusive restaurant – we’ll say it was in Rome – and out comes a group of several people led by a distinguished looking gentleman in an impeccably-tailored  suit.  Obviously, I wasn’t a witness, but I was told that the conversation went essentially like this as he and his wife passed the group and he addressed the guy in the lead:

Lawyer Hi. I know I’ve seen you before.  Are you from the Pacific Northwest?

Stranger No.

LawyerWow!  I know I’ve seen you before.   Are you involved with the Vancouver, Washington Chamber of Commerce?

Stranger No.

Lawyer:  This is just puzzling to me because I’m positive I’ve seen you before.   Did you have any  dealings with the Washington State Bar Association?

I’m Tony Bennett!

Stranger:  No……. I’m Tony Bennett 

LawyerOh my God.  You’re right!! (emphasis added)

Did NOT leave his heart in Vancouver, Washington

 

 

 

 

A Firm Foundation Built on a Great Culture

I’ll show you numerous examples in future Beerchaser posts, but I believe that Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt has an outstanding, and possibly unique, culture in which a robust organizational sense of humor was a hallmark.  This is not to suggest, however, that SWW lawyers were cavalier and didn’t regard their work very seriously.

SWW lawyers work on matters in every legal practice area except criminal law and domestic relations.   The transactions in real estate, business and corporate law, tax and real estate involve substantial amounts and high stakes issues.   The outcome of litigation ranging from medical malpractice to product liability, admiralty to patent issues has a profound impact on personal lives and the future of businesses ranging from small enterprises to huge corporations.

But the enhanced camaraderie and light-hearted jousting just made it a better place to work.  And it was not just one group of professionals.  The jovial atmosphere, although subtle, was evident through all job classifications and demographics in a diverse organization.

New lawyers have amazing academic credentials and life experiences, but they learn not to take themselves too seriously and those that succeed see that besides putting in often unreasonable working hours, availing themselves of continuing legal education and promoting the SWW client service ethic, they’ll have a more enjoyable tenure at the firm if they adapt to this culture.

In closing, I demonstrate how Senior Partners, set an example.   Below are some of the hundreds of anecdotes residing in my files that deserve to be shared and I will relate in future blog posts.

A Faustian Tale

As mentioned above, Jack Faust had a sterling reputation as an Oregon appellate lawyer after remarkable law school years in which he served as Editor-in-Chief of the University of Oregon Law School Law Review and received the Order of the Coif – the highest honor for law students.

Jack also had a second career where he made his mark in broadcasting.  For many years while still having a busy law practice, he was the moderator of a public affairs program – Town Hall.   It received many honors including those from UPI and the National Association of Television Program Executives for Outstanding Public Affairs Program in the Nation.

Moderating the award-winning Town Hall Program

Faust is a former military counter-intelligence officer and he and his wife have traveled the world.  His civic and professional activities are too numerous to mention, but led to him receiving Portland’s First Citizen Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the Anti-Defamation League among others.

I named Jack as Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter in 2014 (click on the link and you can see his full story) but he and his family have also been some of the most loyal Beerchasers since 2011.  Now you might expect someone with such a resume to have an elevated ego, but Jack retained his humility from law school as you can in the picture below:

Your Honor, May I approach the beer??”

He is also a great example of SWW’s wit.  In 1999, the firm changed it’s dress code for lawyers.  I might add that when I joined the firm in 1985, when one went into the office even on Saturday mornings, a number of the older lawyers would have on sports coats and ties.

When it became acceptable – even encouraged – by a new firm policy for lawyers to shed their coats and ties – first on Fridays and subsequently, every day unless they had a client meeting or a court appearance, it was a big adjustment.  So everybody got a kick out of Faust’s email to the firm:

“At the risk of the usual barrage of abuse – please spell my name right in your responses – I report the following:  This morning dressed in ‘business casual’ per SWW Reg. 1-901A(1)(c)(ii), I had just parked my car in the Pac West Center garage and deposited my keys in the box by the parking attendant’s station.  

A fancy car rolled up with a well-dressed woman at the wheel.  She asked me, ‘Do I park it myself or will you park it for me?’  I was about to tell her that I am a lawyer, not a parking attendant, but I was afraid my mother would find out.  It would kill her!

I often took advantage of Faust’s stage presence and the firm’s appreciation of creativity in my presentations at the Firm Retreats.   When giving an update on financial matters and the state of the firm, I would always sprinkle in some humor – in this case with videos – one of which is an outtake – in which you will see Faust and another one of my favorite partners, Carson Bowler, mock the SWW dress code.

 

 

Captain of Vandelay Industries

Followers of this blog might conclude that Bowler has an uncanny  resemblance to one of the former Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter, Art Vandelay.

PS:  Dave Kopilak, referenced in the video is a brilliant former SWW lawyer who was the primary drafter of the successful Oregon ballot measure to legalize marijuana and now has his own firm – Emerge Law Group.  He took pride in his approach to casual wear.

Dave Kopilak looking pretty good….

Stay tuned for future posts where I will expand on my premise about the elevated wit of lawyers and some great stories.

In Memoriam

Those in the Portland legal community were saddened by the passing of Susan Hammer in late August.  She was one of Oregons’ most respected lawyers and mediators.

I first met Susan when we served on the Board of Governors for the Portland City Club and her civic and charitable activities were of such magnitude that we used to kid her to which she would respond, “I guess I’m just a girl with poor refusal skills!”  And not only was she on such boards as Planned Parenthood, Willamette University, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Literary Arts, she was in leadership roles and knew how to raise money.

Before forming her own mediation firm, she was a partner at the Stoel Rives Firm and received numerous honors for her legal skill and dedication to the profession.  Notwithstanding her civic activities and professional work, family and friends were always a paramount priority.   We will truly miss this remarkable woman.

The Oregon State Giant Killers and Billy Main – Part II

Note:  If you are reading this on your mobile device, click on the title above so that you will see all of the images in the proper format.

In the first post on the story of the newest Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, I related how Billy “Rabbit” Main, who had his sights set on playing college football for the California Golden Bears, ended up instead as an Oregon State Beaver and member of the 1967 OSU Giant Killer Team.

He was a starting wingback from 1967 to 1969 for the Beavs and their beloved coach, Dee Andros – The Great Pumpkin – whose 5’10’ frame carried 310 pounds.

The first blog post highlights Billy’s outstanding football career – not only as a running back, but a pass catcher, blocker, kick-off return specialist and even holder on PATs and field goals.

Rabbit – not just a runner but a pass catcher – one of eight against the Dawgs in 1969….

The prior post also features a tribute Billy wrote for Duane “Thumper” Barton, his football teammate, our shipmate in the Navy ROTC program at OSU and my SAE fraternity brother.

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/05/11/tucker-william-billy-main-beerchaser-of-the-quarter/

But as I mentioned in the first post, Billy wanted to emphasize the team aspect rather than his own story – a key attribute of the members of that team:

“Don, please make sure you focus on my other teammates as we go forward.  I remain to this day, in awe of many of them; Jesse (Lewis), Dude (Hanneman), Enyart, Preece, Foote, Vanderbundt, Houser, Didion…the list goes on and on.”

And if you want to learn more about the Giant Killers, check out the wonderful, comprehensive narrative with great pictures and historical documents developed by OSU alum and long-time friend of Billy Main’s – Jud Blakley.    https://www.oregonst67giantkillers.com/

Jud as Student Body President at OSU

Beaver alums remember these years as part of the rich tradition of Oregon State Football including the Civil War Game with the University of Oregon – it goes back 126 years to 1894.

 

 

 

 

Thebeerchaser also covered this story in May, 2018 at https://thebeerchaser.com/2018/05/20/the-1967-osu-giant-killers-beerchasers-of-the-quarter-part-i/      .

Gone But Not Forgotten

So, we will start by remembering the fifteen players and coaches from the 1967 team – including Coach Andros who passed away in 2003 at the age of 79 – who are deceased but still remembered in the hearts and minds of their teammates – brothers – who defeated two nationally ranked top ten teams (No. 2 – Purdue and No. 1 – USC) and tied the number two team (UCLA) .

“In a four-week period, the Beavers became the only team to ever go undefeated against three top two teams in one season since the inception of the AP Poll, earning the nickname ‘Giant Killers.”

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Oregon_State_Beavers_football_team

Players

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coaches

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides instilling the commitment to team, Dee Andros also demanded individual accountability. This was a key factor contributing to their success on the gridiron and also why so many of the members of those teams went on to meaningful careers after graduation.

He illustrated this accountability with a narrative entitled “Man in the Glass” which you see below. This was a poem originally entitled “The Guy in the Glass” written by Peter Dale Wimbrow in 1934 – an American composer, radio artist and writer.  The Great Pumpkin’s version is slightly different and reads:

The late Coach Dee Andros (19– 200 “The Man in the Glass”

Billy Main – Part II — After College

As I mentioned above, Billy, did want to focus on himself in this or the previous blog post and I’ve tried to honor that request.  Nevertheless, he is an integral part of the overall story of the Giant Killers.  So I asked GK historical expert and Main’s friend, Blakely, for his advice in structuring the posts. Jud e-mailed me the following:

Oregon Sports Hall of Fame member, Dr. Bob Gill, Blakely and Main outside the Angry Beaver in 2018

“Don, the Giant Killers did what they did because they were ‘All for One and One for All.’ They may not have all ‘liked’ each other but they sure as hell all did love each other. And so, no member of that brotherhood will single himself out for acclaim or for attention.

Steve Preece – Fox

The GKs had leaders on both sides of the ball – Preece was alpha leader on offense. Steve will never endorse that.  He will name other guys whose leadership was essential. 

Same on defense –  Lewis, Sandstrom, Easley––each of them will name other guys. Like them, Main will deflect and Main will diminish his role.  Do not buy it.  Tell the story.” 

Jess “Froggie” Lewis – Giant Killer and always to be remembered for “the tackle” of O..J. Simpson

Therefore, read on:

Besides football, Billy was also enrolled in the two-year Navy ROTC program.  I would see Billy in the Navy Armory because both of us were in NROTC.  He was in the two-year program and one-year ahead of me.

After playing Rook football in 1965, he was red-shirted the next year and when his military deferment was eventually continued because of NROTC, it enabled him to play in the 1969 season.  He was then scheduled to report for Navy flight school in the spring of 1970.

Billy said: “Between NROTC, football and regular academics, those were the most intense two years of my life.”  

One benefit of NROTC which he used for both work and leisure for many years afterwards, was getting his pilot’s license at the nearby Albany Airport – the Navy paid all of it.  “I love to fly and I flew for over 25 years – over 2,000 hours logged.” 

The account below of his college experience as a midshipman below is interesting and worth reading, as is the Appendix at the end of this post – a remarkable and entertaining account of the culmination of summer training at the end of his junior year at the Naval Air Station – Pensacola.

“As I look back, 50 years ago to the 1960’s, I can say with total clarity and perspective that the Vietnam War was probably the single factor that most affected my life, the career path I chose, and the quality of life I enjoyed.

My draft board was in Richmond and at that time the Army desperately needed recruits to replenish the pipeline of daily fatalities in Vietnam. I was a sophomore at OSU and was redshirted in 1966 because of Bob Grim, from Red Bluff, maybe Oregon State’s greatest wingback, my mentor, and a spectacular athlete and role model.

Bob Grim

Then one day I received my induction notice from the Richmond draft board, and my life changed forever. I had one week to respond, and was expected to report at Ford Ord, CA. at some point. My OSU football career was over. I called my Pop and he suggested I talk to the Navy ROTC. 

The CO there in Corvallis was a Navy Captain named John Hitchcock, who, as fate would have it, was a huge football fan.  In a matter of days, I took the oath and joined the Navy ROTC program, allowing me to graduate in 1970 as an Ensign, subject to (2) summer camps in Los Angeles and later, Florida. I could continue playing football.

After taking the proverbial oath and effectively ducking the Richmond draft board, ROTC classes represented one 3-hour college-credit class a week and it quickly became serious business. I was very impressed with the organization, the structure, and the discipline, which was completely aligned with my experiences in football, from High School through college

Current-day Oregon State NROTC middies drilling

We had drill one day a week for 3 hours, in full uniform. I remember vividly marching with my weapon around Gill Coliseum parking lot adjacent to the football players’ entrance.

I’d finish drill around 3PM, and then go to football practice.   I was one of a few players in ROTC – Tight-end, Nick Rogers, was in the Army ROTC with a similar draft board story, so we were able to commiserate. (Duane Barton and Rus Jordan were also NROTC and played football.)

Eventually, the day when all the 50+ ROTC members at OSU were called in to a meeting room to declare their preference.   My time to declare arrived and my subconscious mind overwhelmed my conscious mind!  Without realizing it, I said, ‘aviation.” To this day, I cannot reconcile how it happened.  For the record, Pop (who served in World War II on the USS Porterfield) was pleased with my choice and I think he was proud as hell of me.

NROTC Armory at Oregon State

When we went to Pensacola the next summer, there were 15 midshipman in our aviation cohort. We were then asked by the US Marine Corps Gunny Sergeant, who was our “shepherd” during that training, to declare what division of aviation we preferred – Fixed Wing, Helicopters or Jets.

Fixed-wing preference

Thinking fast, I preferred Fixed Wing (propellers) like the E-2 radar picket planes. Jets, of course were sexy and being a ‘jet jockey’ was appealing. (The later movie “Top Gun” with Tom Cruise brought back many memories of my summer cruise as a Midshipman on the aircraft carrier, USS Lexington)

So, the Gunny says…’How many of you opt for Jet’s?’  9 hands go up enthusiastically.   Next, ‘How many of want Fixed Wing?’  6 more hands go up enthusiastically – mine included.   Finally, ‘How many of you opt for helicopters?’  No hands go up.

(Remember, the Vietnam War was losing a lot of US helicopters on an ongoing basis and horrible stories were circulating about POW pilots being tortured by the Viet Cong.  One of the 15 in our group – Bill Scott – actually flew in Vietnam and he is a good friend to this day.)

Then the Gunny smiled broadly, and said the words I will never forget:  ‘Well, gentlemen, you are all officially going Helicopters, that’s where the action is.’  And my life changed forever.   As we filed out of the room, stunned and disillusioned, the Gunny said…’Welcome to the US Navy, gentlemen!'”

“You will go helicopters. And you will enjoy it!”

After the 1969 football season ended, Billy took a number of courses in upper level economics and graduated with an Econ degree which he said had an impact for the rest of his life.

To fulfill his military obligation for NROTC, he was set to go to Navy Flight School back in Pensacola and prepared to serve six years as a Navy pilot after commissioning.  But the winding down phase of the Viet Nam War in 1970, meant the Navy’s need for pilots was significantly less.  His dream was to fly and when given the option to serve aboard a ship or return to civilian life, he chose the latter and the remainder of his service obligation was waived.

Based on his athletic achievements at OSU, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and went to training camp in the fall of 1970.  They wanted him to play running back and wide receiver and he made it to the last cut. 

He then was a member of the taxi squad for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League for two weeks but was never activated – also not enamored with the $12,500 annual salary.   Main also felt that he’d been a football player long enough and retired even before his NFL career got going.

When he returned to Corvallis, reality set in.   He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do with the rest of his life, but needed a job to eat and pay the rent.   Fortunately, Kenny Ross, the owner of the fabled Beaver Hut – the favorite watering hole of many OSU students and especially athletes (Still operating for take-out orders and growlers) hired him – as a night janitor or “swamper” where he cleaned the Hut between midnight and 4 AM each morning.

Still operating on NW 16th Street in Corvallis

After a while he started bartending and really enjoyed it and thought, “This could be a great business.”   But he didn’t want to work for anybody else, so he returned to his home state. 

Main’s mixologist skills were refined in San Francisco.   He planned a bar in Chico.  The idea was to create the Beaver Hut concept for the students at Cal. State University – Chico.

A Corvallis concept in Chico?

Unfortunately, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union did not want to see another bar in the city and one near the college campus – even one owned by an All-Pac 8 football player and opposed the license.  It was never opened.  Main was not one to give up easily, however and Jud Blakely continues the story:

“Soon enough (1973), he opened his own seafood place in Half Moon Bay named The Shorebird and made a big success of that venture, and was off and running in the world of food…this time with no blockers out front clearing the way.”

This successful venture led to another establishment named The Sandpiper in Chico, which he opened in 1979 and sold in 1986.  Billy then opened his hospitality consulting firm, Bill Main and Associates and Blakely continues the career story:

“Sought after for his advice in the hospitality (ie, food and drink) business, The Rabbit is sought after, too, as an expert witness when the owners of a restaurant—or restaurant chain—get tangled up in a dispute that lands in court where millions of dollars and countless jobs are at stake.  His diagnosis of the issues is highly prized and reflects the impeccable arc of his long career.” 

Consultant and expert witness

And as you might expect based on his upbringing, Billy was also a family man.  He married Nancy in 1992, a registered nurse with a Masters Degree, and while he was managing restaurants and consulting, she was working as a pediatric RN and teaching nursing at the college level.

Jud Blakely with granddaughter, Nylah Rose

Consistent with the previous years you’ve read about, nothing was ever dull or routine in Tucker’s William (Billy) Main’s life and I’ll wind down the story with a final quote from Martin Jud Blakely:

“Billy “The Rabbit” Main – #22 in your program but #1 in being a great and unwavering friend of so many—was the cover boy for Street & Smith’s 1969 West Coast football preview.  He was second-team as a Pac 8 all-star, a record-setter on the field…and then (one remarkable day in 1995 (when he was 44 years old and his wife was 42) they became the parents of triplets (WHAT!)”

Sierra Exif JPEG

Nancy, passed away from cancer in 2010, but they raised a wonderful (and great looking as you can see below) family.   The triplets are now 24 and all are embarked on promising careers.

Jack Main – second from right – on break from Special Forces training with colleagues

His son, Jack, graduated from the US Naval Academy and is now in Special Forces training.  Daughter, Kim, is following in her mom’s footsteps and is scheduled to graduate from Azusa Pacific University in nursing and will be commissioned as a Navy nurse.

And son, Steve, is following his dad’s footsteps while living in San Francisco.  He went to bartending school and now has a great job in a San Francisco restaurant and bar.  Billy stated, “He’s an idea generator and has a passion for process.   He can be a great success in that industry.”

Steve, Kim and Jack Main

And so Beerchaser followers, this ends my characterization of the Billy Main story and the continuing legacy of the 1967 Oregon State Giant Killers.  But stay tuned, there are a lot more wonderful stories surrounding this fabled team you can read about in future posts of Thebeerchaser.

Appendix – “Nine Yards and In!”

My first summer camp as an ROTC Midshipman was at UCLA in Los Angeles, the summer of 1967. There were about 60 of us from all over the western US universities. Duane Barton (nickname Thumper) was my OSU football teammate and was also going Naval Aviation.

Thumper – Naval aviation colleague

He was #2 fullback behind Bill Enyart, (Buffalo) and a real character. That 10-week summer in Los Angles was heavily classroom and PT oriented and was intended to fast-track flight school.

Flight School was normally 18 months in Pensacola, but the US was losing pilots in Vietnam so fast that the Naval Aviation ‘new pilot pipeline’ had to be accelerated while still allowing the NROTC guys to stay in school and complete their degrees.

One particular event that summer sticks vividly in my mind. We were assembled on the football practice field and told to ‘pair off’ by weight. We were assembled in a long line, smallest guys first. Then a Gunny went down the line, asked each candidate their weight, and then re-ordered accordingly.

After this process was completed, I found myself, at 190 lbs, being #59. The biggest guy, at 230, was last. He was a big baby-faced guy from the University of Washington, I think, and a very nice guy named Kyle.

All of the 2-man teams were then paired off in the end zone. The Gunny then instructed us on how to do the ‘battlefield carry’ – meaning, placing a wounded man over your shoulders, cross wise, and carrying him to the medic.

I began to sense a ‘feeling’ among the candidates that resulted in them staring at me…and then I understood…I would be carrying a guy 45 pounds heavier that I was. Now the ‘battlefield carry’ was 100 yards, from one end zone to the other.

My stomach turned, and I felt a bit light-headed with all the candidates looking at me curiously. So, it started, one pair at a time, with everyone yelling and cheering; the emotion was palpable. Finally, my turn came. Being last, I looked down the field, 100 yards away, and saw all my fellow midshipmen lined up anxiously awaiting – watching me carry a guy 100 yards that was much bigger than I was.

Nine Yards and In??

As 1 of 3 college football players of the ’60’s, I can honestly say that we were somewhat of an anomaly and that the other midshipmen were very supportive of us (both) playing football and being in the aviation program.  The adrenaline rush I had was reminiscent of the rush I always had standing in the end zone, waiting for an opening kick-off, in front of a stadium filled with 50,000 people.

So, I threw Kyle over my shoulders, and started the slow jog towards the other end zone. I have never felt more physically challenged, and after 50 yards I was afraid I was going to collapse. I kept readjusting Kyle slightly to balance the weight on my lower body. After 80 yards I started feeling light-headed but kept going, my vision blurring, heart pounding, and breath gasping. The other midshipmen were yelling and cheering me on, but that was just a blur in my mind.

At 90 yards I remember stumbling and Kyle and I went down fairly hard, hitting the turf, my breath gasping. I remember thinking “don’t quit” but realized I was too spent to ever get Kyle back on my shoulders, so I quickly grabbed him by the wrists and dragged him the last 10 yards across the goal line on his back. Then I collapsed to a knee, gasping for breath, with dozens of my fellow midshipman around me.

Gunny – “Gentlemen, what say you about Mr. Main?”

Then the Gunny assembled us all together and informed the group that they had all passed the exercise except me. Technically, I had failed…it was 100 yards, not 90 yards. He then said…’gentlemen, with a your approval, I will ‘pass’ Mr. Main for this component of the exercise….only if you all agree’…there was a huge roar of agreement by the midshipmen, and dozens of guys slapped me on the back as if I had just returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

During my time at Oregon State, during the season, we had a ritual called ‘9 yards and in’ which simulated the red zone game specific circumstances. Needless to say, that term always had special significance to me based on my Navy experience dragging poor Kyle the last 9 yards

Training for the Buddy Carry!

 

Tucker William (Billy) Main – Beerchaser of the Quarter

The 1967 Oregon State Beaver Giant Killer Player Recognition Awardees – “Brothers and Timeless”

Rest in Peace – Duane “Thumper” Barton

After the initial publication I am adding to this post.  I am saddened to report that my fraternity brother and member of the 1967 Beaver Giant Killer Team, Duane “Thumper” Barton, passed away at the age of 73 on May 14th from Alzheimers Disease.

Duane played fullback and his brother, Gary, later played quarterback for the Beavers. They were star multi-sport athletes at Baker High School and both graduated from OSU as did their younger brother, Ronnie.   Duane was enrolled in the Navy ROTC program and flew for the Navy after commissioning and then had a career as a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

Gary and Duane, besides being great athletes, had wonderful voices and were key members of the SAE team that won or placed highly in the annual Inter-fraternity Council Sing for several years.

Duane and Gary – first row – second and third from right at the IFC sing.

Gary stated that memorials for Duane can be made on behalf of the National Alzheimer’s Association.

Our newest Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, Billy Main, was not only a football teammate, but both were enrolled in the aviation division of NROTC and got their private pilot licenses while in college.

Billy (Rabbit) wrote this this tribute to “Thumper” yesterday and it eloquently conveys why Duane was loved by his teammates.

Duane Barton was the back-up fullback to Bill Enyart in 1967 and 1968. He knew Buff well in that they were roommates when the team traveled.

He was physically very different: Enyart was 6’4, 235 Duane was 5’8 and 210. Duane came from Baker, Oregon and was one of the great players from eastern Oregon that were part of that GK team

He was nicknamed “Thumper” ‘…..the provenance of that nickname is unknown

Duane was the purest essence of the spirit and ethos of those teams…TEAM

He was a skilled and proficient runner and blocker, and had Buff gotten injured, we lost very little. Absent Bill Enyart, Duane was a solid replacement in the backfield. Under different circumstances, he would have probably had a more extensive football career. He was loved and respected by all of his teammates.

My real friendship with Thumper was grounded in the US Navy ROTC Flight Program in which we were both enrolled. As I remember, there were the only 3 members of the GK team roster in the Navy at that time. (Rus Jordan was the other.)

Duane and I learned to fly together at the Corvallis airport. We also were in the summer Navy summer camps in Los Angles and Pensacola. We were together on Aircraft Carriers that summer: the USS Randolph and the USS Lexington.

During that summer in Pensacola and when we had a few days leave, Thumper suggested we jump a freight train and see where it was going. He was always pushing to try something new. (I talked him out of it)

USS Lexington (CV-2)

He was a skilled pilot and eventually flew on active duty, followed by a career with Alaska Airines.  Thumper had an outrageous sense of humor and was constantly pinching your ass when you weren’t looking, then laughing like hell.        RIP, Thumper

Gary Barton gave this account of how Duane got his nickname:

“The Thumper nickname came from the Disney movie Bambi.  If you recall there was a cute little cottontail named Thumper living in Bambi’s forest.   Among the burly football jocks at OSU, Duane was like their Thumper, both in size and perhaps even more so in personality.  (However, he also gave one a memorable ‘thump’ when he hit you on the football field….)

******

Some readers might ask, “Why don’t you stick to the bar and brewery reviews on your blog and what’s this Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter?”   The response – pretty easy.   I have loved writing about the history, bartenders, regulars and distinguishing characteristics of each of the 375 watering holes I’ve visited and reviewed since starting Thebeerchaser in August, 2011.

The memories cheer me up during this lockdown and make me yearn for the safe reopening of these establishments.  And all of them deserve and need our patronage and support.  That said, another joy derived from this hobby is telling the story of some remarkable individuals or groups – most of whom I’ve known personally or met through this blog.

Attorney Jack Faust

These former Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter, besides their memorable stories, have contributed to society through their heroism, athletic achievements, civic work, dedication to their careers or otherwise.   All of them possess either a great sense of humor or noteworthy personal traits that have made them or would make them great Beerchasing companions.

Rugger, Rafter, Rider and Lawyer, Jay Waldron

I’ve highlighted my former law firm colleagues like Jack Faust and Jay Waldron.

The Godfather – Dwight Jaynes

Then there’s NW media personalities such as Amy Faust and Dwight (The Godfather Jaynes) and SOLV co-directors Jack and Jan McGowan. 

The list also includes military veterans with exemplary service to their country like the late Col. Terry McKinsey (USMC Ret.), Viet Nam era heroes such as Doug Bomarito, Steve Lawrence and Jud Blakely and my brother Capt. Rick Williams (USN Ret.).

The late Retired Colonel Terry “Spike” McKinsey

There’s even the legendary crew of the USS Constitution for their 1798 War Cruise and for you Seinfeld fans, don’t forget the “celebrated” corporate tycoon, Art Vandelay.

Art Vandelay – A Legend in Latex….

Click on the links over the names to see the individual stories noted here or on the tab “Beerchasers-of-the-Quarter” right below the blog header above.

2020’s Second Quarter “Honoree”

The newest BOQ has something in common with one of the former – Craig – The Dude – Hanneman.  Both were Pac Eight Football stars for the Oregon State Beavers under legendary coach, Dee Andros.

The Dude – on the right during the Everest climb

The Dude achieved new heights in 2012, when he became the first former NFL or NBA player to successfully scale Mt. Everest.

Since in 1967, freshmen did not play on the varsity, Craig was on the Rook Team while Billy Main was a key figure in the renowned OSU Giant Killers team – one of the most fabled stories in the annals of NCAA Football history.

As an OSU sophomore, I had the thrill of seeing the Beavs beat an OJ Simpson – led USC Team 3 to 0 when the Trojans were rated No. 1 in the nation.

Bye – Bye,  OJ…

But that was only a small part of the overall narrative – notice the moniker is Killers rather than the singular.

The full story can be seen by either reading my blog post in which I paid tribute to that team’s achievements

https://thebeerchaser.com/2018/05/20/the-1967-osu-giant-killers-beerchasers-of-the-quarter-part-i/

Or you can read another former OSU alum and Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter, the aforementioned, Jud Blakely, who put together a wonderful website which would make any sports historian tip his or her hat.

The picture at the left is Blakely receiving his 1967 promotion to Captain and the Bronze Star for valor in Viet Nam from General Garretson, Deputy Commandant of USMC and on the right is Col. Bronars’, Jud’s CO during his first six months in Vietnam..

https://www.oregonst67giantkillers.com/

“Tucker William (Billy)”

Billy Main made his mark at Oregon State through his athletic achievements and his other activities.  He also had a very successful career in the hospitality industry (which started as a “swamper” or night-time janitor at the Beaver Hut – a legendary watering hole for OSU students.)  But how did he get to Corvallis from his roots outside San Francisco in Lafayette, California?

Billy was named after his Uncle Bill who played for the Cal Golden Bears and went to the 1948 Rose Bowl under College Hall of Fame Coach Pappy Waldorf.   His dad also played football for Cal.   Waldorf coached at Cal from 1947 through 1956.

Legendary Coach Pappy Waldorf

The 1946 team of his predecessor went 2 and 7 and Waldorf’s first year, the Golden Bears compiled a 9 and 1 and lost only to USC.  The next two years, his teams went to the Rose Bowl and although losing both times, the turnaround was remarkable.

Memorial Stadium at University of California

He started the tradition of commenting on the game and complimenting the crowd for their support after every home game in the balcony over the northwest gate of the stadium. He continued this tradition through his last home game in 1956.

Billy was an excellent high school athlete playing basketball and football and for the first seventeen years of his life, there was no doubt in his mind that his college home and athletics would be at Berkeley.

“I played basketball like I did football,” Billy told me.  “I was always the first guy to foul out, but they always had me guard the other team’s best player.”

His desire was to go to Cal when he graduated from Del Valle High School in Walnut Creek in 1965, and Jim “Truck” Cullom the Offensive Line Coach recruited him.   Cullom had played football at Cal and remembered Billy’s dad and uncle.

However, the Cal Athletic Dept. advised him to go to junior college first because his grades didn’t meet the standard. (Actually, he met the criteria for an exception, but Cal. messed it up – something they undoubtedly bemoaned from 1967-69.)  His dad told him to look at other college options, so he made a trip up to Pullman to check out Washington State.

Coach Paul Valenti

Fortunately for the Oregon State Beavers:

Main’s basketball coach, Doug Pederson was a friend of Oregon State Basketball Coach, Paul Valenti, that contact got the Beavers in the door.”   (They both played basketball for OSU in 1942)     (The Civil War Rivalry by Kerry Eggers. Page 237.)

Assistant Football Coach Sam Boghosian showed up at one of Billy’s basketball practices.  “I saw this fierce looking guy looking at me practice from across the gym,” Billy said.

A visit in the gym from Assistant OSU Coach Sam Boghosian

Dee Andros had been an Assistant Football Coach at Cal and started his tenure as Head Football Coach at Oregon State in 1965, where he became known as “The Great Pumpkin.” (He was 5’10 and weighed over 300 pounds.)

Boghosian came to the Main’s house to recruit him for the Beavers.  Billy then took a Greyhound Bus up to Corvallis.   “Wayne Valley, a tackle on the team showed me around campus and I really liked it.”

A great read by Kerry Eggers

Another quote from Kerry Eggers, wonderful book The Civil War Rivalry demonstrates the respect and love Andros’ players had for their coach.

(Eggers, an OSU alum, was a columnist in Portland for 45-years, is the author of six books and a five-time winner of the Oregon Sportswriter of the Year Award.  Any OSU or U of O fan should read this book!)

“‘I sat down with the Great Pumpkin, and it was one of those moments,’ recalled Main…..’We chatted about my pop who was on a destroyer in World War II.’  Dee said, ‘Billy we want you to come to Oregon State.  I committed on the spot. The Pumpkin had a special gift.  He inspired us in that it is difficult to define.  It was magic.'”  (Page 237)

Main was red-shirted for the 1966 season – with a November birthday, he was young and they wanted him to use the extra season to “bulk-up” and help the scout team scrimmage against the Varsity during practice.   Billy also explained:

 “I was a sophomore and was red-shirted  because of Bob Grim, from Red Bluff, maybe Oregon States greatest wingback, my mentor, and a spectacular athlete and role model.”

Bob Grim – mentor and role model

But the year of the Giant Killers in 1967 has to be the most memorable.  Quarterback Steve Preece and Billy were fraternity brothers and best friends at the Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji)  house, but the entire  team was an extremely close knit group.

Fox and Rabbit – Fiji Fraternity house at OSU

According to Preece, “Dee convinced us that we’d only win if we were a group playing as one…Everybody believed it.” (Eggers – The Civil War Rivalry – Page 195)

The option – Preece and Main – frat bros and teammates..

That team attitude was deeply ingrained and made a lifelong impression.   In one of the last e-mails we exchanged for my research for this post.

Ingrained a Team Attitude

Billy wrote:

“Don, please make sure you focus on my other teammates as we go forward.  I remain to this day, in awe of many of them; Jesse (Lewis), Dude (Hanneman), Preece, Foote, Vanderbundt, Houser, Didion…the list goes on and on.”

(Note:  This request is honored if you view my past post about The Giant Killers and will be the case as future posts on Thebeerchaser will continue the story of the Beavers of that era.  That said, this post is primarily about Billy Main and you will understand why as you continue reading.)

Jud Blakely – At Dee Andros’ parents’ gravesite in Oklahoma in 2005

Based on his extensive knowledge of the Giant Killer Team, I asked Jud Blakely to write a few paragraphs about Billy and the team.

Jud first met Main in 2003 when Blakely was considering writing a screen play on the Giant Killers and he used Billy as a resource.  A long-time friendship developed which continues as evidenced by our trip to Corvallis in 2018.

“Okay, so, Bill Main…who entered this world listed as Tucker W. Main…and…you guessed it; the W. stands for “William. Then William made the predictable journey to being ‘Bill’ before it made the slightly less predictable journey to being “Billy”…and Billy Main is how Tucker’s vintage pals know him and address him.

By “vintage pals,” I mean legends in their own right such as Steve Preece, Jon Sandstrom, Mike Foote, Tom Greerty, Jess Lewis, Gary Houser, Louis Armstrong, Bobby Mayes, Mel Easley, and the Rest-In-Peace squad of Bill Enyart, Roger Cantlon, Donnie Summers, John Didion, etc.  Thing is, though, they mostly called him “Rabbit”…and (mostly) they had nicknames, too…

…and so, Preece was “Fox”…Cantlon was “Deer”…Sandstrom was “Grape Eyes”…Bill Enyart was always “Buff” and never “Earthquake,” and on and on.  This was the nature of OSU’s 1967 Giant-Killer football team that caught lightning in a bottle…the fabled and legendary squad on which Billy “Rabbit” Main electrified fans as a star wingback when he was but 18 years old.

(Billy got the name “Rabbit” and Preece got the nicknames “Fox” from their fraternity brother Jeff Wissler.)

Blakely continues about his friendship with Main:

“Bottom line—I’m blessed to be one of Billy Main’s 14 thousand-2 hundred (and 52) friends…

but

I’m estimating here because the count goes up every week.  When it comes to friendship, Billy Main is, like, nearly the size of a South-Pacific atoll that morphed into a nation.  The reason he’s so rich in friends?  It’s as simple as hearing, ‘Hey, I’m thinkin’ about you. ‘How are you?'”

(Note:  I asked my friend of fifty years, Blakely to write a short paragraph or two to use in the posts about Billy.  You will see from this post and the next that’s comparable to asking him to read and summarize a magazine article resulting in him sending a synopsis of Winston Churchill’s six-volume The Second World War.  What he wrote was eloquent and with feeling, but when I kidded him about the length, he responded, “Once I got going, I was too lazy to stop.”)

Janet Williams and Larry and Mariellen Rich in 2019. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in  2019

I was the beneficiary of friendship and living with eleven of the members of the team during the Giant Killer era in the SAE House at OSU.  They included my 1970 classmates, defensive back starters, Larry Rich and Don Whitney.

Other SAE’s footballers during those years were Craig Hanneman, Jim Scheele, Chris Wahle, Clyde Smith, Don Welch, Jim Blackford, Roger Cantlon and Gary and Duane Barton.  They were not only great athletes but outstanding individuals.

Oregon Alpha Chapter of SAE in 1967

Billy’s solid family roots which were a key to his character can be demonstrated by this story on radio broadcasts while he played for OSU.  He told me:

“They didn’t broadcast OSU games in Lafayette, so my Pop and mom drove up I-5 to Etna, California (near Weed) several times each season .  Pops went into the radio station which didn’t carry the games either and asked the manager, ‘Where’s your tower?’  It was up in the Siskiyou Mountains near the Oregon/California border.   They drove up high enough to get the KEX broadcast from Portland and had picnic lunches while they listened to the game.”

At 5′ 11″ and weighing 188 pounds when he was a freshman, Billy was not a big guy compared to his many, if not most of his teammates, but he had a reputation for being a  fierce competitor.  (“I was born in November so was always smaller than my teammates in school which helped shape my attitude.”)

One of Main’s eight catches against the Huskies.

In the Andros Power T Offense, he was a running back and wide receiver who was named to the Coaches’ Second Pac-8 Second Team.  Notwithstanding his size, he was also a skilled blocking back for his fullback Buffalo Bill Enyart. 

A true utility man, Main even was the holder for field goals and extra points for part of the 1968 season.

He became holder, when safety Larry Rich was converted to the kicker after the regular kicker, Mike Haggard was injured. Starting in the Washington game, this newly initiated duo went 5 for 5 in PAT’s in the Beaver victory.

Newly converted holder and kicker, Rich and Mains

Kerry Eggers relates an incident in his book during the 1968 Civil War game with Oregon to show Rabbit’s toughness. The Beavs won that home game 41 to 14 at Parker Stadium.

In the Civil War the year before at Autzen, the Giant Killers, who were nationally ranked, had to make a fourth quarter comeback to beat the Ducks who went into the game with a 2 and 8 record.  Billy Main said of the ’68 game:

“‘We’d remembered what happened (in the Civil War) the year before when we had our heads up our ass and almost lost.   Everybody was ready before the game. You could feel it….’

Fox calling a play

Oregon was poised to “take out” Preece on Oregon State’s patented option play.  Preece had broken a shoulder the previous season, and opponents that year took shots at it.  Early in the game, U of O defensive end, Dennis Gassner cold-cocked him.  Main saw it.

“Billy told me, ‘Run that play again,'” Preece recalled.  “I ran it again and Main goes flying by me and hits (Gassner) so hard I thought he was going to kill him.  He’s standing over him screaming, ‘Don’t touch my quarterback again.”  (Civil War Rivalry – Page 196)

Eggers: Award-winning reporter and author (and OSU alum…)

Given the scenario above, one has to chuckle at Billy’s description of his demeanor in the continuing description of this incident in Kerry Eggers’s book:

“’We had a slight altercation,’ Main acknowledged.  ‘I was uncharacteristically agitated – I was more of a lover than a fighter (emphasis supplied) – and Gassner was pushing because Fox (Preece) has the marginal shoulder. 

It came close to shoving with lots of mouth.  I was ready for a dust-up.  But we were seriously restricted by the Pumpkin’s code of behavior – no fighting, just do your job.”

Main – the portrait of a Lover – not a Fighter….!

So Beerchaser followers, you have the first part of the Tucker W. Main story.  Stay tuned for the next post and the story of Rabbit’s naval service, return to Corvallis and subsequent career and family life.  You can see it at:

https://thebeerchaser.com/2020/05/25/the-oregon-state-giant-killers-and-billy-main-part-ii/

Giant Killer Duane Barton