Randall Kester, 1956-57
I have very little recollection of the MBA staff or facilities at that time. It was a very small operation, and I am not sure we even had an office or staff, apart form the offices of the board members.
The only ones I remember on the board were Herb Anderson and Don Richardson. I doubt that there were any women or minorities on the board at that time.
Events of interest
This was fairly soon after the end of World War II, and the MBA had been instrumental in starting continuing legal education classes in the late 40s, which the Oregon State Bar took over in the 50s. I was on the first CLE committee and have written about that in the OSB Litigation Journal.
I recall there was some controversy about the administration of the Multnomah County Law Library while Fred Salway was the librarian.
Community service I'm not sure when the Law Day observance started (it may have been later), but the MBA provided Law Day speakers for various organizations. Other than that, I don't recall any community service. We had a committee that reviewed candidates for judicial appointments when the governor requested.
Principal challengesI don't recall any particular challenges at that time. The MBA was a very modest operation and didn't have much of a program, as far as I can remember.
Funniest presidential momentsThere was no one funniest thing, but there was a general emphasis to bring "fun" into our hard work for the MBA. It was the belief of our board that we were spending a lot of time together, working hard, and that we should have fun among ourselves. We accomplished this through treats at the Oregon Coast, dinners as a group, and dinners with other bar-related groups.
Proudest presidential momentMy proudest moment, and also the most surprising, was probably this: In December, 1956, Hon. Walter Tooze died while he was an associate justice on the Oregon Supreme Court. As president of the MBA, I called Hugh Barzee, who was legal counsel to Governor Elmo Smith, and offered the service of the MBA Committee on Judicial Selection if the governor wanted it. Hugh's response was "Why don't we submit your name?" Naturally, I couldn't object, so he did, and in due course I was appointed to fill the vacancy.
Memorable charactersLawyers in general who were memorable characters during that time include: Robert Maguire, Roy Shields, Walter Cosgrave, Duane Vergeer, Charles Hart, Manley Strayer, Eugene Oppenheimer, Ralph King, Rupert Bullivant, Moe Tonkon, Al Hampson, James Dezendorf, Arthur Moulton, Bill Lord, Nels Peterson, Lou Recken, Frank Senn, B.A. Green, Burl Green, Jim Landye, Berkeley (Bud) Lent, William Bristol, James Bain, Frank Pozzi, Leo Levenson, Cliff Powers, Tom Ryan, Wes Franklin, Robert E. Jones, Paul Harris, Martin Hawkins, James Crawford, Frank Lonergan, Charles Redding, Lamar Tooze, Walter Tooze, Ed Hicks, Tom Tongue, Bill Davis, and no doubt many others who don't now come to mind.
MBA then versus nowThe MBA in the early 50s was a very small operation, with meager resources, few programs and little activity of the kind that is now taken for granted. In fact, if the many present activities of the MBA had been proposed then, they would probably have been rejected out of hand. We've come a long way since then!