Lent Day Thirty-Four
Monday, April 7, 2014 – How I came to know Phil Porter. As you recall, just as I was about to give up hope of finding my desired 35 mm slides, Karen Y and I hit the Kodak Kodachrome mother lode. Michael the Vendor was obviously tired and wanted to get rid of a bunch of items. Especially, a plastic yellow crate filled with assorted papers and albums with more papers. When asked the source of the documents, Michael said he purchased most of the items we were interested in at an estate sale. He continued by saying he tried to contact any surviving heirs and was unable to make contact. So just who was Phil Porter? He was every one’s father who survived the Great Depression of the 1930’s and saved every document that was ever sent him if he achieved something. He graduated from Tulsa High School, Tulsa, OK, in 1933. He was salutatorian and I can read his salutatory address to his classmates later. Yes it is included and neatly typed. He attended Princeton as an undergrad. There are a handful of antiwar flyers calling for a peace demonstration to oppose the war. The date on the flyer is April 12, 1936. This was a protest against United State involvement in Hitler and Europe. However, Mr. Porter obviously changed his mind after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and entered the Navy Reserve in 1942 and served as an Ensign. This is from a document signed by the Secretary of the Navy. Upon his return, he attended graduate school and The University of Oklahoma where the graduated as a petroleum engineer. This is where the story gets interesting. Phil Porter was an international petroleum engineer. There are papers, business cards and documents from the Soviet Union, South America, the Middle East and other parts of the world. These range from photographs of Prime Ministers to a daily log of what oil related activities were being done that day. There is a document from The White House with Harry Truman’s signature. There is a newspaper clipping of the Porters who were in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and opened their hotel door to see the Soviet Troops invading the country. And the Porters of Dallas were prominent. There are several membership certificates from The Dallas Petroleum Club. This is just a sampling of one scrapbook with a handwritten page taped to the front that reads: PHIL PORTER Moments in his Life and Career 1915 to 1993. Quick viewings of the slides reveal that Phil Porter was a pretty good photographer too. So here’s to Phil Porter – a most interesting person. If there are any heirs out there, I have your stuff.