I had my mind straight up blown today. Looking for something misplaced, I discovered a manuscript collection I didn’t know about that came from member of Rice’s first graduating class. The student’s name was Norman Hurd Ricker, and he was the first student to earn both his bachelor’s degree and his Ph.D. from Rice. I was intrigued enough that I went so far as to order a couple of boxes from this collection from the Library Service Center. There were some remarkable and fantastic things in these boxes and I’ll have much to say about Ricker in the coming days. (This is a lot like my discovery of George Wheeler’s biology materials.)
For right now, though, I’d just like to share one thing. A picture like this is always going to grab my attention. I don’t immediately know who it is, but he doesn’t look like a student, so I’m thinking it might be one of the early teachers who I don’t have a photo of. Happily, Ricker was a very orderly guy and he labeled most of the pictures. I had to squint hard and take some time, but when I realized what it said my heart leapt in my chest: “Vander Henst.”
I’ve actually written about him before and told every single thing I knew about him in this post on the Bonner Lab. (If you’d like to know why this makes me so happy, go look at that post. It will only take a minute.) If you don’t have the time, here’s a key photo. Squint again and you can believe it’s the same guy four decades later. I live for this kind of thing.
Bonus: You see all kinds of crazy things when you lurk around in Abercrombie. I don’t know what these are, but I liked the way they look.