My public has been clamoring for more posts about benches (seriously!) so we may as well start now. I occasionally hear it said that for years there were no benches allowed on campus. Sometimes the speculation is that this was to thwart romantic activities, sometimes that it was meant to thwart vagrants. Both seem quite plausible to me. There have been some benches around, though, for a significant amount of time. See here and here.
Oddly enough, these benches seem to have a tendency to move around. Here’s an example:
An undated photo that includes two benches across the road from George R. Brown, which aren’t there any more.
What became of them? I think they and some comrades headed over to Valhalla for a beer and never came back.
More later . . .
I can think of no better use or final resting place for these benches than Valhalla!
Are you Ed Harris of Rice Institute 1956?
Thwarting romantic activities was the rationale for Rice’s having no on-campus benches that Mrs. H.A. Wilson (wife of Rice’s first physics prof) reported in her nostalgic column in the Feb. 16, 1962, issue of the Thresher (https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/66317/thr19620216.pdf ):
“Until very recently there were no benches on the campus. This was because of the ever present danger that two young people of opposite sexes might sit on the same bench at the same time.”
(The Thresher published Mrs. Wilson’s series of “50 Years at Rice” articles in Spring 1962, prior to the University’s semi-centennial celebration in the Fall.)
More benches, please.
You made me laugh. Your wish is my command.
Bench, bench, bench, all day long! I seem to remember seeing the remnants of similar half-circle style benches in the sidewalk over near Hamman Hall; maybe they went to Valhalla also. The simple concrete benches in in the Wintermann courtyard are from Frazier’s Concrete in Hempstead.
Benches? Benches? We didn’t need no stinkin benches. We sat on the ground with a multidude of trees for chairbacks. Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67
Were there fire ants at Rice in the mid-Sixties?
Thank Heaven the Sixties were before fire ants, AIDS, W, Facebook and Twitter.
Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67
P.S. Make that “multitude” BLM, Hanszen 67
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