Friday Follies: Power Nap

All I can say is that this guy must have been exhausted. That looks like the most uncomfortable place to sleep! The floor probably would have been better.

It’s undated. I’m guessing ’70s based on his hair but I really have no idea.

Student sleeping in library maybe 70s

Note: Friends, I too am weary from my labors. I’m off for vacation for the next week and a half. I’m not planning on posting while I’m gone but a betting man would likely be safe wagering that I will, at least from time to time.

Bonus: I have no recollection of this photo being taken but clearly I’m trying to get Charlie Szalkowski straightened out. Not sure if I was successful.

New Charlie Szalkowski nd but c2011

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Brown College Residence Rules, 1977

I extracted these pages from the middle of a much longer document because this is frankly the most interesting part. It’s hard to know where to start but I guess I’m going to ask about Number 6 under Part II: Why do we need to keep men off the roof between 10:00 and 4:00?

New Brown residence rules 1977 1

New Brown residence rules 2

New Brown residence rules 3

New Brown residence rules 4



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Laughing at the Dedication of Rayzor Hall, 1962

My real project these days is the history of Rice’s dramatic transformation during the 1960s. Records from the Semicentennial celebration in October 1962 are a rich source of material about the rhetoric of that change and, luckily, there are a lot of those records. The reason for this is Pender Turnbull, who sent this letter (and several variations) out to a number of administrators who had responsibility for the many events:

Semicentennial Pender Turnbull

There’s a lot of stuff and it connects in many ways across many other collections: president’s office papers, faculty papers, media and photographs, and more. So you’re going to see quite a bit of it here.

I’m going to start with this fantastic photo of Newton, ’17, and Eugenia Porter Rayzor on the day of the dedication of Rayzor Hall, October 13, 1962. The 13th was the Saturday after all the formal events were over and it seems fitting that this dedication would take place on the same day as all the fun events–the homecoming game and class reunions. I have unbounded respect for Mr. Rayzor. He was a remarkable man, the first Rice alumnus to sit on the Board of Trustees and the champion and in large part funder of the Rice chapel. For many reasons both the university and the city of Houston owe the Rayzors a real debt. So it’s nice to see them having a good laugh. I feel like she might be giving him a hard time about something:

New Rayzor at dedication during semicentennial events Oct 11

Just for fun, here’s the formal portrait of Rayzor that hangs inside the building. Even here you can see what a good guy he was:

Newton Rayzor



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Mark Twain in the Baker College Library

I ran across these photos in a Baker scrapbook that I found on the top shelf of their library a couple of years ago. It’s a Mark Twain impersonator, and a darn good one too:

JD Thomas as Twain Baker late70s 2

JD Thomas as Twain Baker late70s

It is, of course, long serving Rice English professor J.D. Thomas, who took up this act late in his career. Thomas came to Rice in 1930 and stayed around until his death in 1993. These photos were with materials from the late 1970’s and that looks reasonable to me.

Here he is in 1944, a young instructor exiting Cohen House:

JD Thomas Instructor in English 1944 Campanile

Thomas was, by the way, something of a character. Here’s the “Autographic sonobituary” that was published at his death. It’s pretty entertaining:

JD Thomas autobituary

From my own particular perspective, J.D. Thomas is a hero. I have slogged through the minutes of every single faculty meeting from their inception in 1912 until last year and the years when Thomas was secretary of the faculty are an oasis in a very, very dry desert. He had a real gift for turning the usually latent comedy of faculty debates into full fledged, open hilarity. I suspect people actually read them.

Bonus: Tommy Lavergne says this is coral vine. It’s really thick and beautiful and there were bees buzzing all around it.


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An Unknown Couple, 1967

This turned up quite unexpectedly in a batch of construction photos. It’s dated March 20, 1967 but they aren’t identified. It looks important, doesn’t it? Maybe they were getting engaged:

Unknown couple March 20 1967

Bonus: Beautiful vines right next to Main Street where the old field house was.


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Friday Afternoon Follies: Wardrobe Malfunction, 1959

Some of you may recall this interesting photo from a couple of years ago which prominently features a shirtless Carl Isgren, ’61:

1960 Intramurals Side view of dorms

I couldn’t help but smile when I ran across this one of the 1959 intramural champs the other day. He’s managed to get a shirt on this time but it’s inside out:

Carl Isgren Baker



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I played golf instead of working this afternoon.


New Miner golfers nd

Bonus: I did work hard this morning, though. Here I am talking about Simone de Beauvoir’s visit to Rice in 1947 for a MOOC. For you old timers, that’s a Massive Open Online Course. This event was notable for me because it’s the first time I’ve ever used a teleprompter. It was ok.


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