Plaque, bench honoring Delbert Stanislowski's service to be dedicated at Veteran's Park May 3

by: SUBMITTED ARCHIVAL CLIPPING - This is the a photo from the front page of the Tualatin Times when Delbert Stanislowski announced his retirement in 1981.The Sons of the American Legion’s Police Chief “Stan the Man” Citizens Committee is kick-starting National Police Week early this year by inviting the community to come on May 3 at 2 p.m. to the Veterans’ Park in Old Town for a memorial dedication to former Police Chief Delbert “Stan the Man” Stanislowski and recognition of the local police force.

A bronze plaque and a park bench will be installed in a permanent home in the Veteran’s Park in Stan’s honor.

Who was “Stan the Man”?

Stan was and still is the sum of his “stories.” A former Army veteran and a Hillsboro police officer for 11 years before coming to Sherwood, he served as chief of police in Sherwood from 1965 through 1981.

His kindness, compassion and “thundering velvet hand” soon earned him the love and respect of all the citizens of Sherwood, and it didn’t take them long to start affectionately referring to him as “Stan the Man.”

Anywhere that people go today, if Stan’s name is mentioned, they will hear “Stan stories” that may make them laugh, cry and most certainly warm their hearts.

He was a character with character - a one-of-a-kind officer and the end of the small-town era of Sherwood, an era where a cop’s best approach was getting to know the citizens and dealing with teenagers by dumping their beer and taking them home to their biggest fear of all... their parents.

Embedded in Stan’s personal photo album is a recollection of the day the city hired him.

"They hired me on a Wednesday,” he wrote. “Nobody said anything. On Thursday, the Robin Hood Festival started. That scared the Lord out of me. I was ready to leave that night. They had a bunch of rowdies. They liked their beer."

Kelvin Staven and Darold Andrews remember the night Stan stopped them as they were speeding down the road, each with a bottle of beer. They quickly set the bottles down in the back seat and told Stan that it wasn’t their beer but that Darold’s brother had borrowed the car earlier that day.

All Stan said was, “Darold, the way you drive, that beer wouldn’t stand up for five seconds. Now open that trunk, hand over the rest of it, and get yourselves home right now.”

Annie Hardisty likes to tell the story of a Halloween night when Stan confiscated all their raw eggs. “Now what do you think you’re going to do with all those?” he asked. “I can’t think of anything good that can happen with those on a night like this. Give me those eggs, and go home and behave.”

Annie said, “There were so many times he just slapped our hands and sent us home when he could have made it a lot worse. He was such a good guy.”

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Delbert Stanislowski, referred to by many around town as 'Stan the Man,' served in the U.S. Army before later embarking on a career in law enforcement.

Stan, with his wife Lillian working as his secretary as well as mom to their three rowdy kids, Linda, Bob and Scott, was based out of a back room in their home until the Morback House (now the Heritage Center) became the Sherwood Police Station, City Hall and the library in the early ‘70s. Until that move, calls came in with one of two separate ring tones for the different phone lines, indicating a police call or home call.

‘One in a million’

Polly Blankenbaker, a lifelong Sherwood resident now on the board of the Sherwood Historical Society, worked with Stan in those cramped corners of the Morback House for many years. When she learned of the efforts to designate the plaque and bench in the park, her first words were, “It’s about time this town did something to honor Stan. He was one in a million.”

Sherwood resident Selma Broadhurst said, “We often referred to him as ‘St. Stan.’ He was a friend to everyone.”

Clyde List, a former Sherwood mayor, remembers the year when the Robin Hood parade consisted of Stan going down the street followed by two kids on tricycles. Some citizens remember a time when there was a jar set up at the Round Table, now Clancy’s, so people could contribute to Stan’s cigar fund until a disgruntled citizen soon put an end to that.

Other people, teenagers at the time, tell stories of Stan chasing them down alleyways trying to catch them and figure out what mischief they were up to.

The May 3 event in Veterans’ Park will include hotdogs provided by the Sons of the American Legion and treats by Sweet Story along with a presentation of the colors by the Sherwood Police Color Guard, music by the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue bagpipers, help from local Boy Scouts, a few words from Sherwood police officers, and some heartfelt comments from citizens.

Anyone who has a “Stan” story is invited to come and share it, and for those who would rather not speak in public, someone else will read the story for them if they submit it in writing.

But all residents, whether they knew Stan or not, are invited to this recognition of the current police force along with the memorial dedication to one of their own and his unique and timeless place in the history of Sherwood.

To go along with the event, the Sherwood Historical Society will feature an ongoing Police Memorabilia Exhibit with items donated by the police force, retired officers and Sherwood citizens.

Anyone willing to loan police memorabilia is asked to please contact the Sherwood Heritage Center at 503-624-1236 and leave a message if they have any items to be included in this exhibit; items may be dropped off Wednesdays or Sundays between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m.

Thanks all around

The Sons of the American Legion’s “Stan the Man” Citizen Committee owes special thanks to all those who finally made this happen, including City Manager Joe Gall; Chief of Police Jeff Groth; Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue bagpipers; Sherwood City Council President Linda Henderson; Bill Butterfield, who is the Sherwood City Council liaison to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; and an understanding Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Others include Mayor Bill Middleton, the Sherwood Historical Society, Darren Caniparoli of the Public Works Department; Kristen Switzer and Jennifer Ortiz, city event coordinators; LK by Design’s Leanna Knutson for the posters; Ray Pitz from the Sherwood Gazette; Jim Haynes, citizen volunteer; Sweet Story Bakery; It’s All Arranged Flowers; Sherwood Main Street; the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce, and countless hours (actually years) from the citizens committee spearheaded by the Sons of the American Legion, including Stan’s kids, Bob and Scott.

And the committee owes a special thank you to Ben Lapp of Accent Signs for the beautiful memorial plaque.

Stan, quoted in the Tigard Times upon his retirement, said, “I think (policemen) should approach anyone with the thought that it might be their first encounter with a policeman. If someone has a small problem, and they want to talk, I stay and talk with them. If I can’t help someone, I can at least tell them how to get help through an organization or something.”

These are words to live by and one of the reasons everyone loved “Stan the Man.”

If anyone wants to contribute to this event, donations may be made at any US Bank by making out checks to American Legion Auxiliary Unit 56, with the memo line, “Stan the Man donation.”

For more information, call Tess Kies at 503-516-7114.

Kies, who has lived in Sherwood for 33 years, is a member of and chaplain for the American Legion Auxiliary and represents the American Legion family in the Sherwood Chamber of Commerce; she also has been an Elk for the past eight years and is a member of Sherwood Main Street and the Friday Night Rat Pack. She previously served on the board of the Sherwood Historical Society and has been the chairwoman of many projects and fundraisers that have benefitted the community.

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