This letter appeared in The Oregonian Nov. 3, 1982, two months before Tom McCall's passing: "My 15-year-old daughter, Elena, was struck by an automobile and suffered multiple fractures of the leg and pelvis. She will be confined in the hospital for many weeks. However, a great humanitarian who also is extremely ill, took time to send her a card and a box of candy. Former Gov. Tom McCall could see beyond his own suffering and make a younger very happy. She will never forget his kindness, and neither will I. I now fully understand why the people of Oregon have the same respect for McCall that his fellow governors had for him when he served in that office.--David F. Cargo, Portland
It’s hard to disagree with a newspaper editorial when it’s generally positive to your viewpoint, but I have to register a respectful dissent to the Bend Bulletin’s editorial this past week opposing our group’s effort to put the proposal for Tom McCall Day on the ballot. They agree that McCall was an influential Oregonian and very well may deserve a day in his honor, but this isn’t the way to do it, because the ballot “provide(s) a place for Oregonians to decide important questions about life in Oregon. It’s where voters have rejected moves to restrict abortions and approved others to raise income taxes, for example. Adding a memorial petition to the mix ignores the seriousness of the whole process.” To the contrary, I would declare that raising awareness of the need for and value of civic engagement is the bedrock on which our democracy is built. Tom McCall was an eloquent and visionary leader, but if this was all about memorializing him and Oregon’s past, then I wouldn’t be putting the time in energy into it than I am. Tom had a memorable way with words, and a statement he made near the end of his life in an interview with Studs Terkel sums up what our effort is all about. He said, “Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say ‘This is my community, and it’s my responsibility to make it better.’” Encouraging more Oregonians to make that declaration is indeed worthy of a line on next November’s ballot.--Bill Hall
I would love to see a Tom McCall day in Oregon. He was my hero.
I idolized Tom McCall as a child. My father used to quote him---"Go ahead and visit, but then, go home." My brothers and I roamed the southern Oregon beaches growing up. We watched a group of Californian tourists leave their cans behind once, on the beach. Made us mad, being young, and Tom McCall being our hero, at least mine. So we boxed up two cans and sent them off the Governor of California, and included a letter stating we have a bottle bill here in Oregon, and respect for our beaches, and that we had seen Californians dump cans on an Oregon beach which was not acceptable in Oregon. We asked the governor of California to tell residents there to not litter when they came to Oregon.
I wrote Tom McCall a fan letter in 1972 and I got a reply, a letter I have kept. Attached is a photo of that letter.
My address is not blacked out on the actual letter, only for the internet. I had posted it on my blog (www.catwomanflix.blogspot.com) awhile back.
I wanted Tom McCall to be president. I figured he'd make things better. He was a larger than life figure when I was young and his ideology and courage caught my young soul afire.
This photo on our Facebook page inspired this tribute from Richard Zettervall of Creswell: "This is how I remember Gov. McCall. He was an avid Outdoorsman who cared deeply about preserving the unique environment that is Oregon. I remember him spearheading the drive to clean up the Willamette River, and return the Salmon and Steelhead runs in the Willamette. I was a young man when I had the honor of meeting and shaking the hand of Gov. McCall at a Park along the banks of the Willamette River in Salem. I was there as a member of the NW Steelheader's when we were in support of the Willamette River clean-up as well as the drive to make Steelhead an Official Game Fish in the State of Oregon. Both issues were successful and Steelhead are now a Game fish in Oregon, making it illegal to have Steelhead taken by any Commercial Fisheries, ie: Columbia River Gillnets. That memory of meeting Governor McCall in person, was and still is a wonderful memory that I truly treasure."
We made The Oregonian again! Please help spread the word and build momentum about this effort to honor Oregon's greatest governor by paying it forward! http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2013/11/tom_mccall_admirers_need_a_few.html
http://www.ktvz.com/news/tom-mccall-kids-celebrate-namesakes-100th-birthday/-/413192/22435738/-/3ida5dz/-/index.html A great story; wouldn't it be wonderful if every child attending school in Oregon had this opportunity?
Richard Chambers, left, exemplifies Tom McCall's statement about heroes being people who say "this is my community and it's my responsibility to make it better." Although Tom McCall became the public voice of the bottle bill and signed it into law in 1971, it was Richard Chambers who became frustrated over seeing litter despoiling the landscapes he loved to hike across. It was Richard Chambers who read a newspaper article about a proposed bottle bill in Canada who picked up the phone, called his state representative and got the ball rolling for this innovative idea. The story of Richard Chambers and the bottle bill is told in greater detail in Brent Walth's outstanding McCall biography, Fire at Eden's Gate.