After we heard the news last week of the death of John Graves (’42), the author of several lovely books including most famously Goodbye to A River, a reader emailed asking about a short piece Graves wrote in 1964. Published in the wonderful magazine Holiday, Graves’s piece, “Rice University: The Pangs of Change,” describes the ongoing transformation of his beloved alma mater. It is extremely interesting, so interesting in fact that I learned how to make a pdf file so I could show it to you. (I learned as I went, which you’ll be able to see because I didn’t have time to go back and make it perfect. It’s several pages and might take a minute to load but it’s worth it.)
Coincidentally I also had a nice visit this week with Bill Broyles (’66), who has a warm remembrance of Graves up at the Texas Monthly website.
I went and picked up my own copy of Goodbye to A River and it came to me that I had bought it at a Friends of Fondren book sale several years ago. I paid five dollars for it, a bargain, and the name inscribed on the inside cover is “Demaris Hudspeth.”
Read the Holiday article. Insightful and beautiful in the telling. Bring back the wilderness!
John Graves nails it. About Rice and Houston and Texas.
Thanks for sharing, Melissa.
(BTW, Glen Rose is the seat of Somervell County and one of my personal favorite places in Texas.)
He will be missed.
What I wonderful article! It was great to be able to savor the Goodbye-to-a-River-style prose in service of such a subject. Since he wrote it just before I got to Rice (I lived in the new 8-story women’s college) many of the faculty names were familiar to me. And what’s almost spooky, his feelings about the Changes of the 1950’s and ’60’s sound SO much like my feelings about the changes that happened after I left. Thanks very much for finding and posting this article for us.