Wherein The Knapp Sisters Bring Me Joy

Last Friday I had some charming visitors in the Woodson. Elizabeth Knapp Gayle, ’41, and Carolyn Knapp Hohl, ’43 came in to see their father’s scrapbook that we have in the Woodson. I’ve mentioned their father, Carl, ’16, many times (here’s one) but I didn’t know that their mother was also an early Rice grad, Anna Ricketts, ’18. They came in with Carolyn’s daughter and a granddaughter and we had a wonderful time looking at pictures and telling stories. They were warm and really funny and I loved every minute of the visit.

Another thing I didn’t know was that they had more scrapbooks. They came in with two, which have been left with me for scanning. I’ll return them when I go up to visit them soon in Tomball. As you know, I can get pretty pumped about even one or two old images I’ve never seen before. Here, I have dozens, and from the earliest days of the Institute. On the first page of one of the books, evidently given to Carl as a Christmas present, is inscribed “To Carl M. Knapp, December 1912.” He began filling it immediately with photographs he took himself. His daughters both testify that he remained a camera man his whole life. This is him in 1912. The photo is labeled “Kodaking.” Note the hat–we’ll see it again.

There are all kinds of pictures in these scrapbook—football games, campus scenes, the inside of labs and the library and the dorm, favorite professors and fellow students. Some of them I’ve seen before. (Knapp, in fact, might well be the second common source that I posited here.) Many, many others are new. Here’s one to get started with. Knapp has labeled it in his careful script with their nicknames: “Colonel, Cowboy and Shorty.”

“Colonel,” of course, is my old friend W.T. Betts.

Bonus: Daredevil Willy isn’t afraid of a cypress falling on him.

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5 Responses to Wherein The Knapp Sisters Bring Me Joy

  1. Frank Smith says:

    Glad to know that the Knapp sisters are doing so well. I hope you told them that I am a long-time fan of theirs.. I think Lib and I met in third grade. Best to all – Frank Smith

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