Fun Fact #39. Fun Fact: What sort of Escort Service did Mike Ryerson start in 1975?

Fun Fact #39.  Fun Fact: What sort of Escort Service did Mike Ryerson start in 1975?

The Portland Police Were Displeased with Mike Ryerson’s Escort Service.

Mike Ryerson selling his famous photograph “Expose Yourself to Art” at Portland Saturday Market.

This “escort service” was organized by Mike Ryerson when he was a display manager for Montgomery Ward department store.  Seven NW Portland women had reported being raped, and the serial rapist was attacking nurses and women employed in local bars.   

The anti-rape escort services with six volunteers operated only one night Saturday November 22, 1975, escorting 25 women home.  Upon returning home that night Mike was intimidated by police, who were more interested in catching the rapist than keeping women safe.

The interactions with Portland Police changed Mike Ryersons life corse. Mike Ryerson eventually settled with the city.

In addition to working at Montgomery Ward, Mike worked for the community paper, keeping it afloat with income from the “Expose Yourself to Art” poster.  The Neighbor motto: “Know Your Neighborhood, Know Your Neighbor” publication was coined for Mike Ryerson by Bud Clark in 1977.  The same year Mike settled his lawsuit against the City of Portland for intimidation mostly associated with Officer Larry Kanzler’s “vile, threatening, obscene, and abusive language”.   The police officer had been reprimanded by then-police-sergeant, Tom Potter.   The officer was one of six that showed up at Ryerson’s house in the wee hours of the morning, and searched Mike Ryerson’s truck.  Before leaving they told Ryerson to stop being a do-gooder.   The police also started appearing outside at bars and social events that Mike attended.

Bud Clark and Tom Potter went on to be mayors of Portland

In 1979 Larry Kanzel was one of three officers to start a Horse Patrol in Portland.  He later retired in 2008 after serving as the Police Chief of Milwaukie, 

Mike Ryerson died January 6th 2015. He was active in the local activist group Don’t Shoot PDX because of his experience in the 1970s.