Israel Naman, ’38
Posted on August 31, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I’ve been hearing rumors recently that our brutal heat wave might break soon. It’s been miserable. But as bad as it’s been, it could have been worse. Imagine what it was like here before air conditioning! I’ve been thinking about this most of the summer, after something unexpected showed up in my campus mailbox. Erik Knezevich, one of our great project managers in FE&P, ran across this and had the good judgement to send it to me:
One of the things I love best about my job is the mysterious nature of what survives and what perishes. Somehow–I’m certain with no planning at all–a single copy of a 1955 report on options for air conditioning the campus rested safely in some file cabinet or desk drawer, only to rise to someone’s notice during an office relocation in 2011. It feels nearly mystical to me. I’m left with no alternative but to pay close attention when it falls into my hands.
And the effort, of course, is worthwhile. There are several interesting things about this study, but for now I’ll just stick to the basics. It was undertaken by Herbert Allen, who was then chairman of the Rice Board’s Building and Grounds committee, with help from an advisory group. At the time, very little of the campus was air conditioned, and that mostly with window units. The report suggested several alternatives and the most aggressive one–the construction of a new central heating and air conditioning plant–was approved by the board in July, 1955. The new science buildings were about to be built and they decided to begin there. Next would come the new girl’s dormitory and the four dining halls. This began what would be a long, slow process — I’m not sure when the men’s dorms finally got AC, but I’ll bet it was significantly later.
It seems that most of the heavy lifting in this study was done by a member of the advisory group, a Rice alum named Israel A. Naman, a mechanical engineer from the class of 1938. A little investigation reveals that he was an amazing guy, both a wonderful man and something of an air conditioning genius, a member of the College of Fellows of the American Society of Heating, refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers and the designer of the air conditioning system for the Astrodome. He was awarded the Rice Outstanding Engineering Alumnus award in 1987, so his picture is up on the wall in Duncan.
There should be a special Rice Hall of Awesome for people like this.
Bonus fact: I posted this from an airplane. In the sky!
The 1939 Rice Owl Poll, plus some surprising titillation
Posted on August 30, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I had a few minutes this afternoon to look through the 1939 and 1940 issues of the Rice Owl, the humor magazine that evolved into a predecessor of the Sallyport. I couldn’t find the results from the men’s poll–they may not have been published or they may have been in an issue that isn’t in our collection. (There are only a couple of these, all from 1939.) However, I did find an article in the October 1940 issue about the results of a poll of Rice women that asked roughly the same questions. It’s interesting enough for me to post the whole thing here. As usual, click to enlarge.
(And no, I don’t know why the middle one is already bigger. That’s not my department.)
Bonus: As I was reading these magazines, I found myself staring at the cigarette ads. In particular, the Old Gold cigarette ads. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so surprised by this, but I was. Yikes! They are an eyeful. Here’s one that gets my point across without being too obscene for a family blog. If you want to see the ones I rejected, you’re on your own.
A funny little snapshot of campus life, circa 1939
Posted on August 29, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I ran across this today, in a guy’s scrapbook. He graduated in 1940 and this was probably circulated sometime during his junior year. Click on it to read. Click twice if your eyes are bad. The first line made me snort with laughter. I was also interested that he didn’t answer all the questions, but kind of went out of his way to declare his opposition to jitterbugging.
In 1939, the Rice Owl was a campus magazine. They seem to have been the ones doing the polling. If I have time tomorrow, I’ll check whether the results were published.
Bonus: Earlier this summer I put up a picture of workers putting in the new floor of Autry Court.
I have it from a generally reliable source that part of the old floor has been recycled and put into service on the walls of the new student Coffee House in the RMC. I went and had a look and although they’ve changed the color and fancied it up a little, it sure looks like it to me. I think that’s pretty ingenious.
Friday Afternoon Follies: Suffragette edition
Posted on August 26, 2011 by Melissa Kean
Zoom in and check out the banner on the young woman in the tree. Votes for Women! (I’m still not totally convinced this was a good idea.)
They are all members of Rice’s first graduating class, I believe. The one in the tree is in fact the first woman to graduate from Rice, Hattie Lel Red. Her diploma hangs on a wall in the back room of the Woodson. On the left is Ruth Robinson, who would marry Rice faculty member Joseph Pound of the Mechanical Engineering Department after graduation. I’m not sure of the name of the young lady on the right, but the one in the middle, who’s sort of yucking it up, is one of the famous Waggaman sisters. I think it’s Adele. (I’ll talk more about the Waggamans later. They were really something.) I wonder if they had been at a demonstration–they certainly seem to be having a good time.
Again with the ironwork, plus Norman Hackerman with a spring in his step
Posted on August 25, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I had kind of a rough day today–plumbing issues at home and a class to get to tonight–so I don’t have a whole lot to say. But it gives me a chance to put up another picture of my beloved decorative ironwork! I was looking for a good picture of Norman Hackerman a couple days ago. It happens that for whatever reason we have a lot of photos of Norman and Gene, his wife, to choose from. I easily found one that suited my purposes and then kept looking. I came across this, which must have been taken just as he arrived at Rice:
Click on it a couple of times to get a good look at both the beautiful ironwork and at Norman. As I said, it had to have been taken quite soon after his arrival in 1970, because that ironwork was removed in the renovation that began almost immediately. I had to zoom in myself to be sure it was him. He looks so young! (He must have been in his late 50s.)
A Roof for Rice Stadium?
Posted on August 25, 2011 by Melissa Kean
Earlier this summer I had a nice visit in the Woodson with a couple of loyal readers. One of them, Leonard Lane, ’74, took an interest in something in a display case and astutely suggested that I write a post about it. What he noticed was this:
It’s a 1966 sketch from the McGinty Partnership for a proposed cover for the stadium–not a roof, exactly, but something more like an umbrella or canopy, with the plastic covers suspended on cables between two counter-balanced eliptical arches. It would be open on all sides to allow natural ventilation and either transparent or retractable so the grass could grow. Here’s a look at the model:
Neat, right? But I wasn’t surprised it didn’t get built–it seems more than a little crazy. So that got me wondering. Where could such an idea have possibly come from? There’s one clue to start with–as I was scanning these pictures I noticed that one of them has short public relations-type release pasted on the back of it. There’s a bunch of blather, then one nugget in the middle: “University officials have received a grant to finance a feasibility study of several designs for a ‘roll back sun-shade or rain-cover’ for the huge football bowl.” Hmmm . . . that’s odd too. What kind of agency or foundation would fund a grant like that? A little archival research turns up the fact that the grant was for $25,000–and it was anonymous.
Ah, I see.
Some newspaper research was now in order and this is the part where I have a good laugh. Bud Adams, owner of the then-Houston Oilers, was smack-dab in the middle of all this. The year before, Adams had signed a five-year lease to play in Rice Stadium after being unable to come to terms on a deal with the Astrodome. Not to be cynical but one would think that having a roof on Rice Stadium might be what they call a win-win proposition for Mr. Adams. Although he was quoted in every news story I found expressing his enthusiastic support for the roof and although he was the one who presented the idea to the Rice trustees, I have no way of knowing if he gave the money. It might have been some other warm-hearted individual.
In any event, the McGinty Partnership and architects Lloyd, Morgan & Jones seem to have completed the feasibility study sometime late that summer, although I can’t find a trace of it anywhere. They submitted it to the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Rice Board. Then, nothing. No roof, and Adams took the Oilers over to the Astrodome after only two more seasons at Rice.
Then, in 1972, the idea of a roof for Rice Stadium (along with expanded seating to hold 80,000!) was suddenly floated once again. Coincidentally, Bud Adams seems to have funded this feasibility study also, after NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle commented that a 55,000 seat stadium (the exact capacity of the Astrodome for football) would not be considered as a possible Super Bowl host.
I miss Bud Adams.
Bonus: I was absolutely delighted to find my next-door neighbor in one of these files. He was right at the top of a list of Key Personnel for the study. He disclaims any knowledge of this, but he is an excellent neighbor.
Bonus 2: The guy who got all this started, Leonard Lane, has a new website and blog that I highly recommend. He’s visiting and photographing all 254 Texas courthouses. If you love history or Texas or buildings, you should take a look at this. It’s fun and it has beautiful pictures. http://www.254texascourthouses.net/
Trophy Case, Part II
Posted on August 24, 2011 by Melissa Kean
A small note: Before I get to the history of the trophy case, let me assure everyone that all the stuff that was in the case is now safe in the arms of the Woodson Research Center. With one large, very heavy exception that I’ll get to later.
So, the trophy case has had a bit of a checkered past. It was a gift to the Rice Institute in 1916 by William Marsh Rice, Jr. (usually called “Will Rice”), the nephew of the founder and a long-time Rice board member. Inspired by Rice’s thrashing of the Texas A&M football team in 1915, he decided that a case for the display of the Institute’s athletic trophies was going to be required. In what might have been a tiny bit of overkill, he had it designed and built by the Boston architectural firm Cram and Ferguson, the designers of Rice’s first buildings. It cost $2,500, an extremely significant amount of money in 1915.
It arrived on campus in late 1916 and was placed in the faculty chambers in the Administration Building. (I’ve never noticed it in any photos of the room, but then I’ve never been looking for it. I’ll pay attention going forward.) Here’s the letter of appreciation from the Rice trustees to Will Rice. It’s interesting for several reasons, but what’s caught my eye is the reference to eight figurines that stood on the corners of the case. They’re definitely not there anymore, which is a pity. I’d love to see a little statue of Will Rice in his golfing outfit.
Click on this if you'd like to read it.
At some point (it has to be after 1958), they moved the case into the basement of the RMC. It stayed there until 1962, when it was brought up and put in the entry of Fondren Library to house—wait for it—a historical display on the occasion of Rice’s semi-centennial. (Because Lee Pecht and Mary Bixby had not yet been invented, that display was put together by Pender Turnbull of the library staff and art professor James Chillman.) And after all the excitement was over, it went back to the basement of the RMC. (It’s possible that there was a brief stop in the Baker Commons. Does that ring a bell with anyone?)
The trophy case survived a flood of the RMC basement in 1970, although not without some water damage. It’s also lost a lot of its gold leaf and other decoration, and is generally kind of worse for the wear. It still has a weird dignity, though, as if its shabby state is somehow beneath its notice.
Today I found a memo written in May, 1986 by then-VP of Administration Bill Akers granting space in the RMC foyer for the case. It wasn’t easy to move it up, and several alumni began looking into having it restored, but it seems that nothing came of that. Here are a couple pictures of the preparations for the move from the basement:
Those boxes give me the willies.
I have two other small notes. First, we really need some new trophy cases. When they renovated the gym, they took the old ones out and didn’t replace them. Second, I found a 1995 Rice News article about the case (written by former Woodson Research Center All-Star, Philip Montgomery), which contained a description of its contents as of that date. These contents were nearly identical to what we took out of the case this summer, including the battered trombone!
Posted on August 23, 2011 by Melissa Kean
Well, Lee Pecht and Mary Bixby have been at it again. (Apparently, they are incorrigible.) This time they have set up an exhibit in the old trophy case that stands in the main entry of the RMC, right next to the piano. The case has been a bit neglected in recent years. It’s quite ornate and it sits a bit uncomfortably in the very modern student center, so it’s not too surprising that no one has worried much about what it holds. This is how it looked earlier this summer, full up with a hodgepodge of stuff that hadn’t been changed in many years.
But with Rice’s centennial fast approaching, Lee and Mary have sprung into action. The case now contains a real exhibit, and one that brings much joy to heart. It’s full of weird pieces of equipment–some old, some not so old–that have fallen into our hands in recent years but that we haven’t been able to display. I owe a real debt to the people on campus who made sure that these things weren’t just tossed in a dumpster. (You know who you are.) Please, I beg you, go over and look at these cool things. And while you’re there, also check out the new student-run Coffee House. It’s a great use of what was otherwise kind of wasted space.
But of course I can’t resist showing just a couple of pictures. This gas mask came from the Chemistry Department:
Thanks to the folks in the Dean Of Engineering’s Office for this one:
Anyone recognize this?
And there’s lots more, folks. Trust me.
Tomorrow, a few words about the origins of the trophy case itself.
Friday Afternoon Follies: O-Week edition
Posted on August 19, 2011 by Melissa Kean
This past week was orientation week for the new freshman. They seemed to be having quite a good time. They were seen all around campus, often in large packs, all clad in brightly colored matching t-shirts. Reality will set in soon enough.
Coincidentally, just the other day I stumbled upon some pictures of a much earlier orientation week. The photos are undated, but the hair screams early 1980s. I’m calling it circa 1984. A lot has changed, but much remains the same. For example, you still have to haul your stuff out of mom and dad’s car:
And I assume you still have to get your picture taken for your i.d. card:
But registration has changed radically:
Could that be Sarah Burnett advising that prospective Psychology major? I'm not sure.
Bonus folly: A fallen comrade.
Konstantine Kolenda’s window
Posted on August 18, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I’m rushing off to a class right now, so I have little to offer but a story from today in the archives. I was looking for a picture of Bill Topazio, who was Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I found several in the old files from News and Publications, each one a variation so subtle that the passage of time could only be judged by the width of his ties. Here’s the one I picked:
Well, once I have a box off the shelf I’m not going to just put it back because I found what I was looking for. This particular box had all the faculty whose names started with “T” and I was curious to see what photos there might be of Radoslav Tsanoff, the long serving philosophy professor who was one of Rice’s most legendary teachers. It turned out that there were some good ones, indeed. But that’s not what I want to talk about right now.
There was a whole sheet of pictures in Tsanoff’s file that were in the wrong place. They were photos of a completely different philosophy professor, Konstantine Kolenda. Kolenda, like Tsanoff, was a much loved teacher as well as a scholar and admininstrator. But his pictures were misfiled. Here’s one of him in his office:
Looking at the beautiful windows over his shoulder I realized what an odd image it is–it’s from when the Philosophy Department was housed in Lovett Hall. There aren’t many pictures of this around. The next one was even better. You can see Fondren through the window!
After I finished enjoying these, I put Professor Kolenda back in his own file.
Bonus: Lee Pecht, head of Special Collections, and Mary Bixby, director of Friends of Fondren Library, have just finished putting in a new exhibit at the front of the library. It’s a look at the early construction of the Rice campus and it is really, really good. If you have a chance, stop by and check it out. There are some great pictures and a couple of really unusual items. Here’s one example–this is a sketch from Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson of a door plate for the Administration Building. Both a copy of the sketch and the door plate itself are on display.
Ironwork on Lovett Hall
Posted on August 17, 2011 by Melissa Kean
It’s a well established fact that I have a soft spot for decorative ironwork. (See here.) The only thing that stops me from walking around our neighborhood taking pictures of it is that my husband (wisely) won’t let me.
When I first looked at this photo, which I found in one of the scrapbooks, I was astonished to realize that the woman on the right is Alice Dean (’16), Rice’s first librarian. We have very few pictures of her and as far as I know this is the only one taken around the time she was still a student. I believe this dates from 1918, when the young man, Paul King, would have been a freshman. The woman on the left is Elizabeth Rowe Kennon (’18).
The second look at a photograph is often more interesting–or at least contains more possibilities–than the first. In this one, there’s a really nice view of the beautiful ironwork beneath the windows of Lovett Hall. A few weeks ago I was walking over there from the library and I noticed some guys up on ladders doing something to it. It turns out that years of rain caused dark streaks to form beneath the iron and they were cleaning them off. They did a pretty good job, but I guess it’s not really possible to get rid of all of it:
And here’s a picture of the ironwork from the inside of the building. I took it earlier in the summer when I was poking around in the Founder’s Room. Spiffy, no?
“Ask, and it shall be given you”
Posted on August 16, 2011 by Melissa Kean
Last week when I was talking about the construction and then demolition of the Bonner Lab, I mentioned that I didn’t know much about what the interior looked like. But today I unexpectedly came across a group of photos that were taken inside the lab! Most of the images show nothing but pieces of equipment, which are frankly meaningless to me. But a few of them almost accidentally reveal something of the sense of the building’s interior. Part of the space was really, really tall. I’m admittedly a bit slow, but I feel fairly certain this would have been taken in the tower portion of the lab:
This next photo feels exactly opposite–sort of claustrophobic, as if it were taken underground. I think the man who’s wedged in there between two pieces of equipment is Jerry Phillips, the long time head of the Physics Department. I was immediately taken by the bricks lining the walls at the end of the room–a friend told me a story the other day about brick walls in the lab whose composition made them suitable for use in targeting areas. Is that what this is?
It took a while for me to notice another old friend in this picture. Remember this?
Another Great Shot from the Teas Collection
Posted on August 15, 2011 by Melissa Kean
This one is really tricky–I almost missed it completely. As you might imagine, there are a lot of pictures of yards in the collection of a landscaper. Perhaps one might not be paying total attention at all times when looking at them–they can start to look the same after a while. But on closer examination, this one turns out to be super cool. It’s the Harry Wiess House, today the Rice president’s house, taken from what is now the back side. And if you zoom in, you can see Rice’s main gate off to the right. What a strange view! It’s gone today, of course.
And of course the photo is undated. So let’s guess. The house, a William Ward Watkin design, was built in 1920, but the wall that surrounds it today didn’t go up until about 1930, when a large renovation was done by John Staub. One other thing–I’m pretty sure the house got an addition in about 1925. I don’t think I see an addition here, so I’m going with somewhere between 1920 and 1925. That’s a range I can live with, anyway. Any thoughts?
Friday Afternoon Follies: Physics Edition
Posted on August 12, 2011 by Melissa Kean
This came out of a student scrapbook, circa 1916. The first time I looked at it I was so distracted by the little wood frame building and the cars parked next to it that I failed to notice the scribbled commentary on the side.
One can’t help but sympathize.
Posted on August 11, 2011 by Melissa Kean
The building going up in yesterday’s picture was Rice’s Nuclear Lab (later renamed the Bonner Lab in honor of Professor Tom Bonner), built to house a six-million volt Van de Graaff particle accelerator. Here’s another shot of the construction in 1952. For those of you who missed it, it was where Duncan Hall is today.
And here’s how it looked just after it was completed in 1953:
It’s a little ironic, but there are far more pictures of it’s destruction in 1994 than of any other phase of its existence. I have almost no idea what it looked like on the inside. This picture is pretty cool–it was taken just an instant after the wrecking ball hit and it’s worth zooming in to see the debris flying off the side
Temporary Construction Buildings
Posted on August 11, 2011 by Melissa Kean
This is a side view.
Recent years have seen the addition of quite a few new buildings on Rice’s campus as well as several significant renovation projects. There were so many projects going on over a period of years that it began to feel like the temporary construction headquarters building was permanent. It even had its own landscaping. It was on the south part of the loop, on the corner across the street from Herring Hall and it was easily one of the nicest one we’ve had.
It started coming down around the end of July. Here’s a shot of it with the trailers gone and the wooden frame that surrounded it still up:
A couple of days later it was gone entirely:
Every time a new building was built at Rice, one of these temporary buildings went up and then came down. Most of them were more like sheds, housing equipment rather than office space. I kind of think of them as soldiers, sacrificing themselves for their comrades. Here are a couple of sheds I’ve always admired. Can anybody guess what was being built here?
A few updates
Posted on August 9, 2011 by Melissa Kean
One of the things I like best about this blog is getting emails from readers who know something that I don’t. Here are a couple of things I learned from them recently.
First, alert reader Mike Loeb (’63) figured out the location of the castle in the Lindsey Blayney picture I posted last week. It’s the Landshut Castle, over looking the town of Bernkastel-kues in the Mosel Valley. This is a pretty big town in the middle Mosel region, and unsurprisingly it’s a prominent wine producing area, known for its Reislings. Every September the town hosts a big wine festival that includes a fireworks display from up at the Castle. Here’s a link to a story about last year’s festival. It sounds fabulous! I can’t go this year, but I promise I will someday. For purposes of historical research and what not. Here’s the view today. It’s considerably less spooky:
Another alert reader, Rice’s fine General Counsel, Richard Zansitis, wrote in response to an earlier post about the Faculty Chamber. He noted that he had recently been in the Faculty Room in Nassau Hall at Princeton and that it bore a striking resemblance to Rice’s. This was interesting to me because that room assumed it’s present form in 1906, while Edgar Lovett was still there. It underwent a major renovation under Princeton’s President Woodrow Wilson and it’s opening was celebrated with a great deal of pomp. Here’s a link to a small pamphlet that was made on that occasion that includes a picture of the room as Lovett saw it. And here it is today:
Both of these rooms were inspired, generally, by the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. The model was probably pretty widely used, but it’s interesting to see the similarities.
And finally, here’s one from me. This is a picture of a real carillon, the one at Iowa State:
Just as a reminder, here’s the size of the electronic carillon played by Roland Pomerat at Rice in the 1960s.
That's Grungy's hand.
Posted on August 9, 2011 by Melissa Kean
Over the years, a pretty fair number of Rice student humor magazines have sprung to life, bloomed for a season and then faded away. Although I’ve probably laughed at at least one thing in each of them, they are mostly just baffling, their humor totally dependent on a vanished context. The Bird, though, is different–it somehow holds up. It may simply be that it’s just recent enough (1965) that it still makes sense, but I think there’s more to it than that. It’s charmingly illustrated from front to back. Even the ads, sold to local businesses that catered to students, were individually drawn by the talented Bill Merriman and a staff of artists. There’s a clever story by Greg Curtis. It’s all silly and smart, infused with a genuine sense of fun, and I enjoyed reading it. We only have one issue, dated December 1965, but I don’t know if that was the only one produced. If you know, or if you have another one, let me know.
Here’s a cartoon from the issue: (Click on these to enlarge, then again to zoom.)
Friday Afternoon Follies
Posted on August 5, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I think it would be possible to do a whole series just on campus parking. It’s got it all–comedy, tragedy, revenge, near-murderous fury, occasionally even sex. I have one parking memo that I found in a file at Tulane that includes a discussion about peacocks.
Here’s what they did to you at Rice in the 1930s if you broke a parking rule. I think I’d feel pretty bad if I found one of these on my windshield. My dad used to do stuff like this to me.
Things have escalated a bit since.
Posted on August 4, 2011 by Melissa Kean
Today was even weirder than usual. I was sitting on the front porch at our ranch this morning, having a cup of coffee and reading one of the oral history interviews that were done in the wake of the Masterson Crisis in 1969. Near the end of the interview, the subject made reference to a letter that I had never heard of before. From his description of the contents I knew that if it still existed, it would shed pretty strong light on some important matters.
Well, I just could not sit still. I had a decent idea of where to look for the letter so I threw my stuff into a bag, got in the car and took off for Houston. I had to talk myself out of a richly deserved speeding ticket in Wallis and I got a nail in my back right tire somewhere along the way. But I eventually straggled in to the Woodson, a little disheveled in ranch clothes and a ball cap. (No one blinked, by the way.)
And I found it! It was buried among some not-especially-interesting mimeographed flyers and college newsletters that were put out by students during the crisis. Now I have to sit and think about it for a while.
So, what am I telling you here? I’m telling you that I’m exhausted and I don’t have anything intelligent to say this evening. So I’m just going to put up an interesting picture that I don’t quite understand. Here it is:
This has to have been taken from East Hall, right? Or Baker Commons? 1915ish.
Posted on August 3, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I’ve probably mentioned that it’s my habit to check out the materials that other people (both staff and patrons) are working with in the Woodson, even as I go about my own work. This is admittedly a little random, but it helps me keep a feel for the collections. I’ve actually found some very helpful and important things this way. And sometimes I just run across something that is flat out awesome. This is one of those awesome things.
A researcher from somewhere far, far away called a few weeks ago looking for some information about a pre-World War II era meeting in Germany that had been attended by a former Rice faculty member, Thomas Lindsey Blayney. We have Blayney’s papers here and there are a lot of photos in the collection. When I poked my nose into one of the boxes that my colleague was looking through, this is what I found. Click on it to enlarge, then again to zoom. I look at a lot of photographs and I tell you this is an epic photograph. He’s the one in the front middle, just to the left of the banner.
Blayney was one of the original faculty members of the Rice Institute. A native Kentuckian, he had met Edgar Odell Lovett sometime in the late 1890s when both were graduate students in Germany, Lovett in Mathematics at Leipzig and Blayney in Comparative Literature at Heidelberg. He came to Rice as the first professor of German and was one of the first Rice faculty to enlist in the military during World War I. He served on the staff of General John J. Pershing and was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for his service. (Is that Pershing to Blayney’s right in the photograph?) Blayney left Rice to become president of Texas Woman’s College in 1924 and finished his career as dean of Carleton College in Minnesota.
He was a very popular teacher at Rice. Here’s a picture of him that was taken on the day the German Club was organized. This crowd doesn’t look quite so tough, does it? I’m frankly awed that this is the same person. How amazing what people are capable of.
And would it surprise you to know that we have in the Woodson that saddle he’s perched on?
A Bonus Photo from the 1962 Media Day: Cheerleaders!
Posted on August 2, 2011 by Melissa Kean
I was interested to see several Media Day shots that included the Rice cheerleaders, both alone and with some of the players. There were only a few cheerleaders back then, and I believe they were elected. Anyway, while gazing intently at one of these photos a colleague in the Woodson said, “Is that Albert Kidd?”
Oh yes, it certainly is. Albert (or “Alberto,” as he is sometimes known) is the guy on the left in between number 24 and number 85:
Albert shows up in some later photos as well. This picture of the Rice Board of Trustees was taken in either December, 1999 or March, 2000 and he’s the one seated at left:
It also just so happens that we have an artifact from Albert’s cheerleading days in the Woodson, where it it stored in the vault. It’s his megaphone, which I liberated from his garage a few years ago. (These things are shockingly heavy, by the way.)
I’m sure there’s a lesson somewhere in this story. Now that I think about it, there are several, but I’ll mention only two. First, how wonderful to have such long, deep ties and to be willing to give your best for your school for a lifetime. Second, you probably shouldn’t let me into your garage.
I’ll check on the other 1962 cheerleaders when I get back in the Woodson in a week or so.
Extra bonus: Grungy somehow cleaned up the picture of Jess Neely and the owl from yesterday. It’s much better. Thanks, Grungy!
Football Media Day, 1962
Posted on August 1, 2011 by Melissa Kean
We’re still working hard on the Hundred Years of Rice football project, so interesting things related to athletics continue to surface. Most recently a couple of very fun boxes of photos from football media day in 1962 emerged from somewhere in the bowels of Tudor Fieldhouse. (And I owe a hat tip to Chuck Pool, Rice’s Sports Information Director, for locating these pictures and sending them over to the Woodson. Thank you, Chuck!)
For a little context, check out these images from the most recent C-USA Media Day which was held just this last weekend. Coach Baliff and the players are certainly dignified and articulate.
Things were a bit different in 1962. I’m sure Coach Neely was articulate, but the proceedings were both less elaborate and a little bit more . . . . well, let’s say “imaginative.” First, here’s the actual media. They’re taking the photos by the baseball scoreboard:
Anyone who knows me won't be surprised to hear that it took about 30 seconds for me to get fixated on those sheds.
And here’s what was going on: something that sounds like a contradiction in terms, ”posed action shots.” I’ve selected for your enjoyment a few of my favorites from the hundred or so shots in the boxes:
And finally, the most impressive one of all:
I don’t care who you are, that’s a lot of fun. I say bring it back! I’ll even go out and fling myself into the air to get things started. I’m not even kidding about that.
Bonus: This is a really bad quality picture, but it’s so fun I have to post it anyway. Who doesn’t love pictures of people holding live owls?