Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Honoring Dotter's Penguins

A Neighborhood Effort in Honor of Penguin's Visit

Who would have thought that the Peninsula neighborhood would even remember the penguins. For a short time, in 1957, the penguins took up residence at the Peninsula Park pool while the Portland Zoo built a new penguin habitat.

In 2010, I posted the story of the lucky penguins who got to swim in the pool at Portland's first community center. Unfortunately, many fell ill and many died. But one lucky fella, Hector, got to go home News Years Eve with the reknowned Charles Dotter, the father of interventional radiology. Dotter and his wife entertained this unlikely guest and with a few days of a little loving care, Hector's health returned. You can read the whole story in that post.

To my surprise, I recieved an email with a couple of interesting photographs attached just last week from Kristi Donohue who lives in the Peninsula neighborhood. She wrote, "The kids, and adults of all ages help keep the memory of the penguins alive on the corner of Borthwick and Dekum, one block north of the Peninsula Pool!"

Street painting of a penguin. In this photograph, Donohue's grandson proudly poses with the painting.

In my response, I expressed a wish for more details; Donahue's second email arrived with this information: "My neighbor Celine initiated the idea with the help of City Repair. We formed a group, and decided that the penguins were a perfect theme. I did some research, quickly put together a design and it was voted in by the neighbors. It has been a source of pride and unity, connecting the past with our community today. We first painted it in 2006. We repaint every year."

Well, as you can imagine, I couldn't have been more pleased. The legacy of the penguins lives on, as does the story of Dotter and Hector.

Thank you Kristi, Celine and everyone else from the neighborhood who took part in creating this beautiful work of art for us all to enjoy. And a special thanks to Kristi who sent the photos and the story.

Go on... drive by and see it.

1 comment:

Chris Shaffer said...

City Repair sponsors the intersection painting program in Portland. Most of the street paintings are renewed each year during the Village Building Convergence events.