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Jude Graham resigns as director of OHC

Departure ends six active years dedicated to Lake Oswego history

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Jude Graham came up with a variety of historic activities in her six years at the Oswego Heritage Council.After a six-year tenure dedicated to producing everything from water ski shows to cook books, Jude Graham has resigned as executive director of the Oswego Heritage Council.

Graham’s resignation became effective as of Monday, and it was followed by a Tuesday meeting of the board of the OHC to determine what course of action to take in the wake of her departure. Appreciation was expressed for what Graham accomplished in her years at the OHC.

“Jude’s dedication, commitment and hard work are greatly appreciated by the board of the OHC,” board president Scott Havens said.

In making her announcement, Graham said she had been dedicated to preserving and enlivening Lake Oswego’s history. The Graham era at the OHC was a record of lively accomplishments.

One of her most popular efforts was expanding the annual Collector Car and Classic Boat Show by bringing in such features as PT 658, the last surviving PT boat from World War II, which attracted a veteran crew and also veterans who wanted to ride on the boat.

Graham also added a water ski show that sought to bring back the time when Lake Oswego was major showcase for water skiing in the 1950s. Performers included the Polka Dot Express, a team of vintage beauties in polka dot swim suits, and blasts from the past like Gary Lord, the water skiing comedy bunny rabbit.

Oswego Heritage House was kept humming with activity, with monthly themes such as Lake Oswego’s cowboy past, Lucy the Ghost and Native Americans and a monthly lecture series on the first Wednesday of every month. For Lake Oswego’s Centennial in 2010, Graham assembled a company of historical re-enactors that made history come alive for youngsters. Along with Joan Griffis, Graham conceived the idea of a historical cookbook full of classic recipes called “Cooking Up Oswego Memories” in 2011.

A project of lasting value initiated by Graham was a series of taped interviews of Lake Oswego senior citizens, which will be stored at the Heritage House.

Now the search is on for a new executive director.

“We’re not very far yet, but we’ll get there,” OHC board member Bonnie Trumbull said. “We’re still in the adjustment stage.”

Meanwhile, the Heritage House will remain an active place. Havens said the council is still dedicated to assuring and promoting the preservation of Lake Oswego’s history and culture.

“We want to encourage people to come to the museum,” Trumbull said.

Coming up on Saturday is one of the OHC’s major programs of the year, the annual Historic Home Tour.

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