On Tuesday, May 23, 1978 Governor Dixy Lee Ray came to Walla Walla where she had a town hall meeting in the evening. In the afternoon she toured the Washington State Penitentiary. Her comments to the press after the tour were upbeat. Privately she was appalled. Despite a special housecleaning for her tour, Governor Ray thought conditions at the prison were slovenly and that the inmates had far too much freedom. It’s probably not a coincidence that Douglas Vinzant – who was simultaneously both penitentiary superintendent and state prisons director – announced the next day that he would name a successor as superintendent and move to Olympia to serve as the full-time director of the DSHS division of adult corrections.

Doug Vinzant to Governor Ray's right. Newly appointed Assoc. Superintend Larry Kincheloe in the right foreground

Doug Vinzant to the Governor’s right. Behind Vinzant (with the bold tie) is state senator Hubert Donohue. Newly appointed Associate Superintendent Larry Kincheloe is in the right foreground.

Gov Ray tour 2

Superintendent Douglas Vinzant escorting Governor Ray past the Vocational School. Walla Walla Union-Bulletin photographer Ethan Hoffman in the foreground on the right.

Gov Ray tour 3

Senator Donohue behind Governor Ray’s right shoulder. Jim Thatcher on the right behind Vinzant. The taller man in the back between Governor Ray and Vinzant is then acting Secretary of DSHS, Jerry Thomas.

Gov Ray tour 4

Governor Ray in the Washington State Penitentiary Motorcycle Association (AKA “the Bikers”) clubhouse. Governor Ray’s sister to her right. Photographer Ethan Hoffman (kneeling) in the foreground shooting a picture.

Gov Ray tour 5

Vinzant making a point with Senator Donohue while the governor looks on. Newly elected union president, Parley Edwards, behind Senator Donohue.