Yesterday, we received a fantastic new piece of tramiana for our collections. Dr. Donald Houghton, faculty member here in OHSU's Pathology Department, donated original artwork for an editorial cartoon on the tram, originally published in the Portland Tribune.
The caption poses a question: "Q: How do you deal with an 800-pound gorilla? A: Give him everything he wants!" A gorilla labeled as "OHSU" plays with the lever operating a small red tram, while from a window in a house down the hill a voice cries out "EGADS! Are they still messing with monkeys?!!"
The cartoon is from 2001, which indicates that the controversy began early and has continued almost unabated until the present day. With the tram opening scheduled for next month, it remains to be seen whether the beauty of the design, the economy of the mechanism, and the sheer thrill of the ride will be enough to win the hearts and minds of city residents.
In full color, framed and mounted, the image is display ready. Perhaps it would be best hung inside the tram's upper terminus, the 9th floor of the Peter O. Kohler Pavilion...?
Incidentally, the cartoon originally ran on September 11, 2001.