A while back I came across a file that held the front cover of the 1962 Houston phone book. It’s a nice image taken on the Rice campus, a young man and a young woman standing by the RMC in the evening, framed by an arch with the new science buildings visible behind them.
A little research turned up this fun fact: The students, seniors Mary Kay Manning and Charles Giraud, were the first identifiable human beings ever depicted on the cover of the Houston phone book. The idea was to honor Rice on its 50th anniversary, suggesting the passage of time by showing both traditional and modern campus architectural features.
It wasn’t all glory, though, for the subjects. They complained of being nearly sucked dry by mosquitos as they endured 17 separate photo shoots over the course of the summer. The photographer had in mind capturing a particular rosy sunset, which he finally gave up on. The book was distributed to almost three quarters of a million houses that year, but Miss Manning did not let it go to her head, admirably noting: “We’ll be the most doodled-on people in Houston.”
Bonus: Here are the long distance rates from the inside of the cover.
True Confession: I forgot to make a note of where I found the phone book cover, and frankly the chances of me ever finding it again are vanishingly small. If I ever scold you for not labeling something, you’re entitled to remind me of this.