Warren Unna (1923-2017)
Over drinks at Warren’s cottage, I discovered that we had a mutual friend. Lew Butler who was my Peace Corps Director in Malaya (later Malaysia) from 1963 to 1965 had been a neighbor of his in San Francisco.
He delighted telling about the time that the police were called to Collington because of him. It happened this way. A cranky lady in an electric wheel chair, came to his table for two in Collington’s dining room and asked if she could sit with him. He said “No”. She then rammed his table and this began a confrontation. She called the police. The police dismissed the case.
Warren admitted to having a little temper. Early in our Collington tenure, Pat and I were sitting in the Ivy Bar with a man who was reading the New York Times. Warren, at that time unknown to us, rolled in with his rollator (walker with a seat), yelled at the man “you are not to remove the newspaper from the Library”. Warren grabbed the paper, rolled it up and hits the offender with enough force that he fell back on his rollator. Warren gathered up his dignity and with righteous anger, left.
It was later reported that the man whose name I don’t remember, was once thrown out of Collington for pinching women’s butts. He was later allowed to move back in, promising to change. He either changed or he pinched the butts of women who didn’t mind.
Warren was an important journalist, first as the Washington Post correspondent in India who later became Washington correspondent for the Statesman, an English-language newspaper based in Kolkata.
Warren’s first and last posts to the Washington Post are framed in Collington’s Library and are on the wall by the check-out desk. They were given to Barbara Fairchild, Librarian, at Warren’s memorial service by Warren’s lawyer. The first “Ike’s Return as Hero Has Familiar Ring” was dated November 17, 1952. The last was a book review of Forty Days by Bob Simon with the title “Staying Sane in Saddam’s Prison”.
During his career, some of the people that he interviewed were Indian Prime Minister; Jawaharial, the King of Bhutan; President Lee Kuan Yew of the Republic of Singapore; daughter of a Japanese Prime Minister; Madame Chiang Kai-shek; Sukarno of Indonesia and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, among others.
He died Feb. 9, 2017 at a Collington. He was 93. His attorney turned over all of his belongings to the Opportunities Outlet (OO) – thrift shop. After the sale of his belongings, OO was able to make a sizeable donation to Collington’s Residents Association for the running of all of the Association’s many activities.