September 1, 2017
Fifty years ago today I walked into Charlie Swan’s office located above Flying Realty in Vale. I was dressed in a rather dapper suit wearing a white shirt with a skinny tie, which was the fashion in 1967. I told him I was ready to go to work and we began practicing law together as Swan & Butler.
I had completed moving Sandy and our three sons from Eugene into the Quisenberry house next door to Bob Harrod on Clark Street. Jared was then about two weeks old. I didn’t know whether I had passed the Oregon Bar exam or not but I did know that I was unemployed and had a wife and three children. We had a little money left from the sale of our home at 863 E. 22nd St. in Eugene. We had used a bunch of it to buy some furniture and appliances and to move to Vale. I hoped we could survive until I could start making some money from the law practice.
Charlie and I agreed that whatever money we made from this new law firm, we would split it equally, half and half. He and I visited about some legal matters that he was working on and I think our first “new” client was a lady wanting a divorce. Even though I had graduated from law school and taken the Oregon Bar exam, I had absolutely no idea how to practice law. Charlie had to mentor me every step of the way.
It was a couple of weeks or so later that someone mentioned to me that the Bar exam results were in the Portland Oregonian newspaper that morning. I ran down to the drug store and bought an Oregonian. I searched through it until I found the list, ran my finger down the list until I found my name. I don’t recall that I was particularly surprised that I had passed as I hadn’t given any thought to what would happen if I didn’t pass. I just knew it couldn’t happen because I needed to take care of my family.
To me, it doesn’t seem like it was all that long ago this all happened. Fifty years have flown by and many changes have taken place. Lots of water, good and bad, has flown under the bridge and here we are, two old people with lots of health issues but happy and still in love. We consider our family as our greatest accomplishment and treasure. We thank our Heavenly Father daily for each of our posterity and we pray for their happiness and success.
Bob and Sandy
The Malheur Enterprise Newspaper published the following story about Bob Butler, Charlie Swan, and Cliff Looney...