I have a blister on my hand from hitting too many golf balls (on the driving range, NOT on the course, by the way), so I have time for a post this afternoon since I can’t play.
There’s been a long and frankly sometimes brutal history of hazing at Rice, although most of the seriously bad stuff seems to have been confined to the Institute’s earliest years, when sophomores regularly hazed freshmen. With the urging of the administration the students themselves put an end to much of it, until what remained was usually just goofy rather than dangerous. I have to believe that this is an example of some goofy initiation, because I don’t have any other way to explain this activity. I think this must have taken place in either the fall of 1959 or spring of 1960, as the freshman beanies visible in the second picture say “1964” on them. This photo below is much clearer than the one above–click on it to enlarge and take a close look (if you dare!) I’m not sure if they’re having fun or not. I’m also unclear on the exact object of this exercise.
Update: I got a comment today on my earlier post about LBJ at the Sid Rich dedication and I thought it was so interesting that I wanted to put it up here so you wouldn’t miss it. It was sent by Charley Landgraf, Sid Rich ’75. I’m very grateful that he took the time to write down his thoughts and send them in:
“These photos certainly look to be of the dedication in Sid Rich Commons. It was, I believe, on a Saturday in late August, September or October 1971. Ours was the first Sid Rich freshman class that fall. Dedication ceremony was in morning or midday and, as the photo suggest, attended mostly by outside dignitaries and University officials and faculty, and the press — that is, not students or at least not many. It was followed by a small luncheon, I believe, in master’s home, but Prof J. Venn Leeds or his wife Jan would be best source on that. The great thing is that President and Mrs. Johnson stayed around for a couple of hours after lunch, holding forth from a soft sofa in the lounge area of the college talking with just us Sid Rich students and the Leedses. As I recall, it was a civil, good-spirited session, remarkable in view of the deep feelings about the Vietnam War that LBJ had handed off to Richard Nixon just 2 1/2 years before. His charm and hers lived up to legend and his answers seemed candid at the time to this awe-struck youngster. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the historiographical presence of mind to rush upstairs and write down the best of his remarks.”
I’ll be back from vacation next week, assuming the Omaha airport doesn’t flood, but my to-do list for Monday already has eleven things on it so it might take a day or so to get back to what passes for normal.