Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Portland's main attractions

Working again today on the Proof Collection (unprocessed photo proof sheets with the associated negatives), I came across the folder labeled "China Delegation." Inside are photographs from several visits made to OHSU by Chinese scholars in 1979, 1985, and 1986, and by Japanese scholars in 1977. While 1986 seems like yesterday to antiques like myself, a look at the calendar reminds one that this was 2o years ago now.

What did our visitors do when they were in town? Sure, they spent some time in the University Hospital and out at the Primate Center. But how did faculty here show them a good time? The notes on back of some of the proof sheets reads like a modern-day tourist itinerary: Zoo. Powell's Books. Baseball game. River Cruise. Columbia Gorge Hotel. Shopping at Clackamas Town Center. And, as a finale, barbeque at Dave Witter's house. (Dave Witter was in hospital administration here from 1972 to 1987, and was both Hospital Director and Interim University President for a short while in 1987. You can check out his oral history interview to see whether he counts the 1985 barbeque as the turning point in his move up the hospital admin ladder.)

The 1985 Fujian delegation was apparently presented with an album upon their departure from our fair shores; I wonder if copies of a few of these same photos still grace the archives of some special collection there.

Certainly, were any of these scholars to revisit the city next year, the tram would be tops on the list of must-see attractions. Which reminds me: now is your chance to make a mark on history by naming the tram. City Commissioner Sam Adams has started a contest, and you have until the end of November to come up with the perfect moniker. Good luck!

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