By Maquette Reeverts | Alberta Art Works
Hard work, dedication, perseverance and integrity. The story of Floyd N. Booker Sr. is now in visual form on the northeast corner of 17th Avenue and Alberta Street.
After being discharged from the U.S. Army, Floyd came to Portland in 1943. He worked for Union Pacific Railroad for 18 years and became union shop steward before starting his own business.
Floyd came to own the building on 17th and Alberta that houses his business. Courtesy Janitorial Services is one of the oldest African American owned businesses in Portland.
Campo is an artist who has lived in the neighborhood for over four years. “The side wall on 17th Avenue was getting hit with graffiti regularly so last September I introduced myself to Ron [Booker, Floyd’s son and Courtesy Janitorial owner] and Marnella [Mosley, office manager] and offered them some relief with a mural,” he reported.
Originally from Ohio, Campo runs the small business Hand Brand Book Company, specializing in marbled notebooks and wallets, among other goods.
Provided with a couple of black and white photos, Campo used his favorite medium, spray paint, to create the portrait of Booker with an image of a photo of him with three other men in Vanport.
Symbolism tells the rest of Floyd’s story. A lantern shining through the night highlights his commitment to keeping the light on at home for his six children, represented by six beads below.
A lighted candle burns to signify Floyd’s work ethic of toiling into the night. A scale shows the balance he kept between his work and family commitments, especially as his family grew.
Campo is now turning his attention to another of Alberta Street’s walls. The northeast corner of 18th Avenue will soon have a new mural to cover the consistent tagging on the old Solae’s brick wall.
As a nod to the bar, the subject will be a jazz trumpeter amid a swirling background resonate of the artist’s marbling work.
CNA respects the views and beliefs of all Concordians, and their cultures and faiths. The views expressed by this writer do not necessarily reflect the views of CNA.
Michel Reeverts, aka Maquette , holds a master of arts degree in art education, serves Alberta Art Works as director and Alberta Street Gallery as a board member. She is also a practicing artist. Contact her at Maquette@AlbertaArtWorks.org.