Friday Follies: It’s All Fun and Games Until You Have To Scrape the Windshield

Snow woman with Tab, 1973:

Do they still make Tab?



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Professor Andre Bourgeois

My email has been filling up with notes from people burdened with overwhelming curiosity about who wrote the note that I posted on Monday:

It was Andre Bourgeois, who taught French language and literature at Rice for 44 years beginning in 1928. Here’s a couple of nice images of him teaching during the mid-1950s:

Dr. Andre M.G. Bourgeois, French, Rice Institute

(I’d love to know what room this is, by the way. My instinct says it’s in the old Physics Building but I’m not confident of that at all.)

Bourgeois had a wonderful career here, one interrupted by military service during World War II for which he was decorated by four countries. After his retirement the 1973 summer edition of Rice University Studies was dedicated in his honor:

Coincidentally I also have this picture from a Chronicle magazine story about academic regalia from commencement in 1947. It’s unavoidably fuzzy but you can see that Bourgeois (second from left) is wearing those medals:

 Bourgeois died in 1994 at the age of 92.  Gifts in his memory were used to create the annual Pi Delta Phi (French Honor Society) award which is named in his honor.

Bonus: This picture is a particular favorite of mine. (You know how I love candids!) It was taken at the October 1962 Semi-Centennial celebration, just after the ceremony concluded by the look of it. They seem happy to be done. Bourgeois is at left with only a couple of those medals on, in the middle is our friend, the oft-discussed Floyd Lear of History (follow those links if you’ve never read about Lear and Queenie before), and on the right is James Chillman, who taught Art for decades. Behind them is the parking lot where Duncan Hall is today.

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Another Use for Rice Stadium

I’m still sick at home where, wasting time on the internet, I was very nearly drawn into a Facebook conversation about why we have an approximately 70,000 seat football stadium.   This did remind me of a possible alternative use for the space:

revival meetings!

Rice Stadium hosted the Billy Graham Crusade from November 8 to November 15, 1981. Average nightly attendance for the week was 18,000.

Not to comment on how they determine crowd size at our football games, but that looks like 18,000 actual human beings.

Bonus: News flash! They’ve repainted the front desk at Fondren.

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I’m sick today but . . .

it hasn’t come to this:

Note that someone actually followed the instructions.

I expect to be back tomorrow.


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Silver Anniversary Bridge Cards, 1937

I mean, why not?

I found these buried in the ARA Historical Commission materials:

The Association of Rice Alumni had them made and then sold them as a reasonably successful fund raiser:

I noted two things of particular interest. First, the business about young Mr. Williams selling packs of these cards in the dorms. There was quite a bit of small time merchandising that took place in those buildings for a long time as there wasn’t really anywhere else around to shop. I’ll have some more about this soon.

And second, the trustees all wrote thank-you notes for their free decks! Here are some:

Bonus: The festivities have begun.

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Friday Follies: Extracurricular!

Believe it or not, this shot is from an admissions brochure that they didn’t bother to put a date on:

You might be able to date it by the exact amount of grey in Bill Martin’s hair.

Bonus: Get me out of here.

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Poof! 1947

Not long ago it occurred to me that I might be able to get a different look at that frame building behind the Physics Building that housed Rice’s first nuclear accelerator if I looked carefully at the construction photos of Anderson Hall. I was kind of right. You can just see it here at the top left, unfortunately mostly hidden behind some hedges:

I’d never spent much time with these images so I was surprised and enchanted to see something else–the slow disappearance of the wide view of the front of the Chemistry Building. You can actually watch it happen. Here’s Progress Photo #1, taken November 6, 1946:

And Progress Photo #10, from February 1947:

And finally this one almost exactly one year after the first:

Just for fun here’s one looking the other direction:

It seems to have been a rough year for the Italian cypresses.



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