Fun Fact #43 What street in NW Portland should be renamed for John Callahan?

Many of the businesses Mike Ryerson identified in this map have closed, but Urban Outfitters is still there in the old Packard Building.

What street in NW Portland should be renamed for John Callahan?

There is no wrong answer to the Fun Fact #43 question as long as you listed an existing street in NW Portland! We propose that the block-long stretch of Westover Road between NW 23rd Place and NW 23rd Avenue be renamed “Callahan Street”. This would help maintain the alphabet experience along NW 23rd (Couch is the “C” street of the Alphabet District, renamed for Captain Couch in 1891, but it doesn’t intersect NW 23rd.)

John Callahan on the #53 (NW 23rd Line) bus. Courtesy The Neighbor (August 1984, p. 5); the photographer is presumed to be Janet Mandaville, who wrote “Under that blazing hair is a fertile and versatile mind, brewing ideas from the slightly off-color and iconic to the absurd and contradictory.”

Cartoon satirist John Callahan with his shocking red hair was the only contributor to the Willamette Week who was never edited. That does not mean that his cartoons (which first appeared in the PSU Vanguard) were not controversial—they challenged political correctness and forced viewers to re-evaluate their perception of the disabled community. Callahan, a cartoonist, artist, and musician who became a quadriplegic in an auto accident at 21, wanted people to stop walking on egg shells and start cracking eggs.

On July 19, 2018 join us at at The Legacy Good Samaritan Park (NW 21st & Lovejoy) for a free concert from 6pm-8pm.  The Callahan Garden is linked to the park, explore the neighborhood with us on a tour this summer.


Premiere of Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot. Gus Van Sant and Callahan family members at Cinema 21, June 12, 2018. Courtesy Norman Gholston.
) Callahan’s pen-and-ink drawing, loving placed by his friend, contemporary artist Martha Wurzelcher, in her garden across from Slabtown New Seasons in full public view.