Rice Athletic Association

I’m on vacation and hence a bit sluggish but I do have something I’ve been thinking about recently. I noticed a long time ago that there was once (and for quite some time) an entity called the “Rice Athletic Association.” It seems to have been the banner under which our internal athletic operations were organized and run but even now I’m not sure exactly how it all worked. (This is almost certainly an answerable question given the rich collection of athletic department records we have but I’ve never had the time to run it down.)

You can see evidence of this Rice AA in all kinds of photos. Here’s just one, a 1950 shot of Jess Neely in a sweatshirt:


One of those sweatshirt actually turned up a while ago, in George Miner’s collection:


But the thing that really caught my attention was this image of the 1955 Mile Relay team (with Coach Emmett Brunson) I found while I was looking at track stuff a couple of weeks ago:


Zoom in. Look at their socks.

I still don’t have time for this but when I get back next week I’ll try to make time.

Bonus: I took a U of H architecture student on a tour of Lovett Hall last week. It was great.


Extra Bonus: It was also the first time I ever saw anyone get out of this elevator! That’s Mr. Ray Jones, from IT support. (If you want to know how much the elevator cost when it was installed in 1937, go here.)


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Friday Follies: Before There Were Drones . . .

we had gliders.


I don’t know if they’re working or playing, although in a perfect world it would be both at once.

Bonus: This came from my friend John Wolda. I think it’s a sign. Not sure of what.


I’m finally taking a week off for summer vacation next week so don’t come looking for me until the 3rd because I won’t be there.

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A Novel Approach to Shirts and Skins

I’m still home sick, very fuzzy headed. Luckily I keep a stash of things to pull out on these occasions, things I don’t know anything about but which are interesting on their own. These two pictures came out of a “Miscellaneous” file in the R Association collection, hidden between some 8×12 public relations head shots of football players. They’re small and all scratched up and yet they’re still compelling:



Same guys? I don’t know.

Why no shoes? I don’t know.

Are they even playing football? I don’t know.

They look great, though.

Bonus: Big Rock Candy Mountain!


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Masterson Speaks, 1969

I’ve been home in bed all day with what I hope is just a bad cold. Miserable, yes, but it did allow me time enough to listen to something that absolutely blew my mind. A few days ago my colleague Norie Guthrie showed me something that turned up in the old ktru tapes that she’s been digitizing. (If you haven’t been checking out her posts on woodsononline, you should do so. The blog highlights all sorts of things in our collection and her “ktru Tuesday” entries are fantastic.)

The first thing we digitized when we got the equipment was a tape of the student meeting in the gym during the Masterson Crisis, which I talked about here. But this is what she showed me the other day:


I haven’t managed to get through it all yet but the first thing I heard was Dr. Masterson’s remarks and the questions that followed on this Saturday afternoon in February 1969:


There were a couple of moments when I found myself shaking. Here’s the thing: I no longer have to rely completely on what other people said happened that day. I can hear it myself. You can even hear him fiddling around with the bullhorn.

I’m so grateful to the people who recorded this, to the people who have kept it safe all this time, and to Norie.


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Mischief Behind Physics

I got a half dozen emails yesterday about the door that has gone missing from the back of the old Physics Building. I have to admit that this is a startling sight:


Some of my correspondents were worried because, well, you just never know around here, but I felt sure that it was just over in the Carpenter’s Shop for some repair.

I was close. It’s in the Paint Shop for refinishing:


I’m sure all of you remember a scintillating post I wrote about five (!)   years ago entitled “Dating A Picture of the Back of the Physics Building” (catchy, no?) in which that door makes a glorious appearance. But just in case you’ve forgotten and don’t feel like going back to look, here’s my favorite image of that spot:

Physics Back April 26, 1930

It is very precisely dated: April 26, 1930.

Bonus: I was captivated by this charming warning sign in Abercrombie today. It made me feel I needed to be extra careful, as I would never want to strike anyone sharply.


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“Where Hippies Are Few,” 1967

In the course of any given week I see a lot of interesting articles in the various Rice publications that I need for research. This one I could not resist:


One hardly knows where to begin.





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Football Friday: “hold fast to courage”

Some cheering words from Coach Heisman in the (somewhat worse for the wear) 1925 program for Rice’s annual Thanksgiving Day game with Baylor:


Go Owls.

Bonus: Where the heck did these come from? They weren’t there yesterday when I left.


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