I’m posting early today simply because I happen to have a free block of time right now. There is no such thing as a “normal day” in my line of work so you have to seize these opportunities when they arise.
As is so often the case, the porte cochere story turns out to be even more complicated and confusing than I thought. Grungy pointed out in the comments last night that the second picture actually shows Buckley entering the RMC, which you can tell from the lights of the Biology Building in the background. This makes sense given what else I can see on the contact sheets. Again, there are several of these sheets from two different years and they all have images taken at multiple locations. So let’s start from the start and go through them carefully, starting with the 1969 visit. Here’s my tentative conclusion: I think that Buckley first came to a reception in Cohen House, which is what we see yesterday’s first photo. Then I think that later that evening or afternoon he spoke elsewhere on campus, where the picture with Vandiver was taken. There are a couple of images that should clear this up. First, here’s a fantastic crowd shot (look at those faces!) taken during the talk:
So what was he talking about? I don’t know. The only reference I can find to this event in the Thresher comes the following year, here, and if that tape is still in existence it’s whereabouts are unknown.
Bonus: Just for fun here are some people in the audience that I know. Here’s Hank (’40) and Demaris (’42) Hudspeth. I was just in a meeting with Hank on Monday. He never seems to get tired of Rice.
And this, I believe, is Gus Schill (’55). Both Gus and Hank served on the Rice board.