30 May 2007

[pdx] R.I.P. The Tootsie Roll Cop

821 Anyone with a passing familiarity with Portland history needs to be aware of Bob Svilar. He was a Portland cop who had a sweet approach to handling people and situations.

Tootsie Rolls, to be exact. During the heady days of the mid 20th Century he was known as the Tootsie Roll Cop, and became known city-wide (gaining a reputation that exists to this day) for handing out Tootsie Rolls to anyone who asked for or looked like they needed one outside of the iconic Yaw's burger joint over in Hollywood (clicky the link for a page full of text and piccys, including Office Bob himself handing out TRs on the corner).

Yaw's was an essential part of Portland pop history, therefore, so was Officer Svilar (I'll admit, I don't know what rank in the PPD he eventually attained). We've heard stories, anecdotal (but most likely true) that he even gave TRs to suspects as they were being arrested; he even distributed them on-duty, it's said.

Yesterday, Margie the Maven at The Big O reported that the Tootsie Roll Cop has shuffled off this mortal coil (read it before it goes into the 14-day lockbox). This is especially poignant in as much as Margie tells us he was quite excited about the upcoming opening of Mark Lindsay's Rock & Roll Cafe over in Hollywood, which is going to feature the old Yaw's menu (one thing about the 50's-they never go out of style, do they?).

Sadly, there will be no Tootsie Roll Cop-retired or otherwise-handing out TRs to cruisers. But those were the days, weren't they?

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