Audrey McCall. Rest in peace.

Audrey McCall, the former first lady of Oregon, has passed away. She was 92.

The Oregonian notes that she was a quiet, but critical, part of the Governor Tom McCall's success:

McCall was the state's first lady from 1967 to 1975, a time when the state became famous for its social and environmental innovation, much of it cheered on by a governor who has gained almost mythic status in the decades following his death in 1983. ...

The daughter of an eastern Washington grocer, Audrey McCall gained a reputation as the reserved but influential wife of one of Oregon's most colorful leaders. Although she curried a public image as a devoted homemaker -- "I do all the cooking," she told a reporter in 1974 -- she played a crucial behind-the-scenes role as one of her husband's closest confidants and advisers.

"We can safely say the governor owes the success he had to his wife, who managed his time and his affairs and was probably his sharpest critic," said Tad McCall, [her son]. "She really helped him to be who he was."

But she didn't live in the past. Rather, she actively participated in Oregon politics - protecting and building upon Governor McCall's legacy.

She sought to carry on his legacy, lending her name and fundraising skills to candidates of both parties and to causes that were important to her, particularly ones aimed at protecting the strict statewide land-use laws that Tom McCall had been so instrumental in passing. ...

In recent years, she was active in a number of statewide ballot measures, including one that would have expanded the Bottle Bill -- it failed -- and one that required a portion of state lottery profits to be spent on state parks and salmon protection -- it passed.

She was a party to a lawsuit that upended Ballot Measure 7, a 2000 property-rights measure that weakened the strict land-use laws that Gov. Tom McCall helped establish.

Discuss.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Audrey was a treasure. We'll miss her dearly. I'm glad she lived through the passage of Measure 49, and saw that Oregon's land use legacy lives again.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Evan, you are so right!

    The night Measure 49 passed, I said "somewhere, Tom McCall is smiling".

  • (Show?)

    Well said, well said...

  • Paul (unverified)
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    The 1982 KATU documentary, "A Nice Place To Visit...The Legacy of Tom McCall" begins with an on screen quote from the former (now late) governor.
    It reads, For Audrey McCall. A fount of common sense. There wasn't a decision she wasn't in on.... Tom McCall

  • paul (unverified)
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    Jack Lemmon, the actor, was a big McCall fan and considered a movie about his life. But in the Reagan era, Hollywood well, didn't want to offend the White House. McCall and Reagan clashed, often, at Western Governors Conferences. In fact at one conference McCall told national and local reporters that California was getting way more federal money from the Nixon Administration than it was entitled to because Nixon wanted to keep Reagan happy. McCall asserted if Reagan was not happy with Nixon it could have hurt his re-election chance. An angry Reagan denied the charge the next day and told McCall, "Damn it Tom, Dick Nixon and I are the best of friends." Some months later syndicated columnist Jack Anderson looked into McCall's charges and found "the disproportion" of federal monies alloted to California was in the range of 600-million dollars. These are 1970's dollars. There was another reason Hollywood was NOT wildly enthusiastic about a movie about McCall. I was told by one of Lemmon's assitants there was absolutely ZERO evidence of any sort of marital infidelity with the McCall's (quite the opposite)and that fact reduced the "sale power" of the movie. "For Hollywood you gotta have some sex and scandal somewhere," she noted, and there isn't evidence of any of that."

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I would like to hear one of the property rights lobby rationalize how it is that Oregon is different than the rest of the US, if not for our strict land use laws. They always say changes won't affect the quality of life. So why is it like it is in the first place?

    Do you usually hold debates, extending a century, with folks that have no rational position? This is just another example of how all you need is money to be represented in this country. There is not one shred of rational argument to support their contentions, yet they always have a voice. Best democracy money can buy.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    The 1982 KATU documentary, "A Nice Place To Visit...The Legacy of Tom McCall" begins with an on screen quote from the former (now late) governor.

    Oh, yeah, also RIP the KATU that would carry that piece. Here's a interesting gut check. How many minutes did the piece run for? How many minutes of continuous broadcasting of news would it take for today's KATU to cover the same amount of content? I'll bet it's close to a full week.

    Better yet, find the probable OHSU story on the same tape, compare it with the last one run and marvel at the difference/pandering in attitude!

    Of course that's back in the heady days of liberty when ABC broadcast football on Monday night. Now it's kultural propaganda; you have to pay for the football.

  • paul (unverified)
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    "A Nice Place To Visit...The Legacy of Tom McCall" ran 58-minutes and change. There were 2-30-sec PP&L spots urging energy conservation in the doc! It was also provided to ABC affiliates in Medford and Eugene which ran it as well as their affiliates in Coos Bay and Roseburg and maybe K-Falls. The Sunday after the 1982 November election, after voters defeated a ballot measure to TOTALLY blow out land use planning, the piece, by order of the KATU GM was repeated in the 6PM "Town Hall" time slot. The audio was reworked to put certain elements in the past tense, noting voters HAD defeated the measure. The original of course couldn't say one way or another.
    The reason the KATU GM ordered the doc re-broadcast that Sunday was that before the election, supporters of getting rid of land use planning had a vicious face-to-face meeting with the GM. This was a highly respected citizen of the Portland community. Yeah, when was the last time a TV GM in Portland was respected by the community?
    Anyway these less-than-polite folks also made a direct threat that they would ask the FCC to give them equal time. The documentary fully explored land use and the controversy surrounding it so in fact, they had NO leg to stand on. The GM kept his cool in the meeting but once the measure was defeated...heh heh, wel, we all love payback, don't we? OPB also repeated the doc on the Tuesday or Wednesday before McCall's death. On Saturday, January 8th (the day McCall died) just before the local news, KATU repeated the documentary again, I think at 5PM.
    The rest of Zarathustra's comments are confusing and am totally uncertain as to what the comments mean...so, sorry I can't respond as I don't understand the referrence to OHSU or anything else.

  • paul (unverified)
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    To set the chronology and avoid confusion, the McCall doc first aired on KATU 9-7-82, was repeated that November after voters rejected repeal of a land use planning laws ballot measure. McCall died Saturday 1-08-83.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    I had the chance to meet Audrey McCall at the 1998 Pacific University Tom McCall Forum at the Schnitzer (Most of you probably are familiar with this great annual debate that recently featured John Bolton and Lee Hamilton). I was with the late great Oregon liberal lion Monroe Sweetland, and Mrs McCall told Monroe how nice it was to have him back in OR from CA. Mrs McCall by that point had become very supportive of Democratic candidates and causes, and was an active supporter of John Kitzhaber in 1994 and '98. She was very warm and engaging and did so much to carry on the McCall legacy after her husband's death.

  • Grant Schott (unverified)
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    By the way, does anyone have access to the KATU McCall documentary?

  • paul (unverified)
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    I do

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