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OUT OF THE VAULT: Civic-minded tot gathers cache of trash

Published on November 18, 2017 3:00AM

Young sanitation tech Blair Ranslam shows off his hard work after collecting trash at the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds Nov. 20, 1969.

EO file photo

Young sanitation tech Blair Ranslam shows off his hard work after collecting trash at the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds Nov. 20, 1969.


Not everyone bemoaning the litter befouling the streets of Pendleton is a taxpaying grown-up. In 1969 an enterprising young man took the initiative to clean up one of Pendleton’s biggest tourist attractions — to the surprise of his father, who didn’t even know the boy was gone.

Blair Ranslam, a 3 1/2-year-old Pendleton boy, was spending Nov. 20, 1969, with his father Bob Ranslam, the manager of Pendleton Grain Growers’ feed and seed store on Southwest Dorion Avenue. Ducking his father’s watchful eye, Blair crossed busy Dorion and Court avenues and entered the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds, where he found a large plastic bag and filled it with trash.

Meanwhile, his father had finally noticed the boy was missing from the store, and Blair’s frantic parents began a search, then called the police. The boy was eventually found with his bag of litter and returned to PGG.

“The policeman came and said my daddy was looking for me,” Blair said, also remarking about the big bullets the officer carried.

“Lot of junk over there,” he said later.

When asked what he planned to do with the garbage he had collected, Blair said he planned to put it in a fireplace, but wasn’t sure where, since his family didn’t have one.

And where did the litter come from? “Some people came over there and throw it down. They should throw it in a garbage.”

Renee Struthers is the Community Records Editor for the East Oregonian. See the complete collection of Out of the Vault columns at eovault.blogspot.com



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