Well, maybe not a miracle exactly. But it was a really interesting centennial coincidence.
Last Friday a young woman, a current Rice junior, walked into the Woodson carrying a copy of the brochure that has the schedule of centennial events. She pointed out one of the pictures on it, a nice shot of Rice students dancing in the ballroom of the Rice hotel at the 1948 Rondelet, and suggested that the couple right in the front might be her grandparents. Here it is (not the cropped version on the brochure, but the original from which it was taken):
For purposes of comparison she showed us another photo of the couple, clearly dressed for another dance, and drew our attention to her grandfather’s rather distinctive ears. I don’t think there’s any question that that’s them—Leonard Attwell and Tempe Howze, both class of ’49.
That was quite a bit of fun all by itself, but in the course of the conversation it developed that she had her grandparent’s scrapbooks! She brought them in a couple of hours later and they are fantastic—lots of pictures of social events (Tempe Howze was in the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society) and campus scenes, including many with young men in uniform. There’s a lot to look at, but the first thing that grabbed my attention was Leonard Attwell’s campaign materials for his run for freshman class president (he won), which clearly seek to capitalize on his formidable ears.
Just for fun, here’s a link to the program for the Senior Banquet for the Class of 1949, which includes a clever history of the class’s years at Rice. It mentions both Leonard and Tempe, and I think that in it’s own goofy way it quite accurately captures a moment of profound institutional transition.
Bonus: There’s a lot going on right now.
Special Bonus Invitation: The Woodson will be having an Open House on Saturday from 10:00 until 2:00. We would love to have you stop in for a visit and to prove it we will serve refreshments!