Harry Hanszen, William Houston and Joe Watson, 1952

In the slides I was looking at yesterday, I came across this one. It stopped me in my tracks, because it includes Rice trustee Harry Hanszen. Surprisingly, we have very few photos of some of the most important people in our history, including many of the most influential members of our board. (Let me take this opportunity to say that if you have any pictures of previous board members or know someone who does, you really should get in touch with me! I can scan them and give them back.)

Something about this picture doesn't look right to me. I might have scanned it backwards. Anybody have any thoughts?

I knew right away that that’s Hanszen on the right and Houston on the left. The only person identified on the slide, though, is the fellow in the middle, Joe Watson. I’m less confident about this, but I do remember that we had a big football star here with that name at about this time, maybe a bit earlier. I assume that’s him–it’s clearly someone important enough to command the attention of Hanszen and Houston–but I’m working at home today and don’t have all my normal resources at my disposal. I do have, though, a picture of the great 1949 football team in my laptop. It’s a really high quality image too, so if you click on it you can get a good look at these guys.

Holy smokes, look at how thick that hedge behind them is!

I believe that’s our man third from the left in the second row from the bottom. He was quite a fine player.

Update: One of my more alert readers points me to this nice article about the 1949 Owls. Thanks, Bob!

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5 Responses to Harry Hanszen, William Houston and Joe Watson, 1952

  1. Gary Chiles says:

    I’m guessing the top picture is reversed because the handkerchief in the jacket is on the wrong side. Plus the guy in the middle is holding the pen is left handed, which wouldn’t have been as common as today. It also looks like the guy in the middles shirt buttons are reversed (right over left, instead of usual left over right).

    This was a fun puzzle. It reminds me of some of the puzzle books I used to have as a kid, where you have to spot all the things wrong with the drawing.

  2. Bob C says:

    Check out http://www.la84foundation.org/SportsLibrary/CFHSN/CFHSNv08/CFHSNv08n3a.pdf for a story on that 1949 Rice team. Watson is mentioned as co-MVP of the Southwest Conference. Unfortunately it looks like 2 photos from the article weren’t captured in the .pdf file.

  3. James Medford says:

    The huge pine tree visible in the photo of the 1949 team can also be seen in some of the earliest photos of Hanszen’s old section (West Hall) taken in 1916. It was cut down when construction of the current Wiess College building was started around 2001 or so.

    • Steve Lukingbeal says:

      Thanks for clearing up the mystery of what happened to the enormous loblolly pine which used to grace that area. I remember it well when I was in the old tower of Hanszen in the mid 70s. And I remember it well for several decades later. It was nice to see it featured in several photos of the original construction of the old West Hall about 1916. Perhaps if it were an oak, they would have built Weiss College around it. But they probably figured that it was just a nasty old pine tree near the end of its natural life, so they converted it to a hellacious sized telephone pole.

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