We had a really fun visitor in the Woodson this morning. A nice man named Charles Rusciano came in to give us a 1911 letter that is in large part about Edgar Odell Lovett and the work he was doing to create a new university in Houston, Texas. It’s a crazy story, really–he was doing research in the library at Kent State in Ohio and came across this very old, quite thick letter (it’s twenty handwritten pages long) stuck inside a book. Luckily, he saved it–I didn’t totally catch why, but his wife is Rice alumna Carol Huddleston Rusciano, ’83, so he probably recognized the importance of the letter because of her connection.
The letter was written by one Ruth Wells Cahill to the editor of the newspaper in Shreve, Ohio. She was visiting Houston and was eager to tell him about the doings of the president of the new Rice Institute–“a boy who used to live in the village, and whom people called ‘Ed’ Lovett.” She was deeply impressed with Lovett, less so with Houston itself: “Texas in itself so far as the country, and a liveable climate are concerned is abominable.”
Hard to argue with that.
Fun Fact: I posted this from the chair at my hairdresser’s salon! I would have written more, but they’re calling me for my shampoo.