I can’t remember why I was looking through issues of the Thresher from the fall of 1975, but I’m sure I had some good reason. Whatever it was, much to my surprise I found this from the week before Thanksgiving:
I had completely forgotten about this phenomenon and this clipping jolted me into some vivid recollections of finding a ride home for the holidays using word of mouth and a bulletin board in the Memorial Union at Iowa State. I had a couple of very strange trips before I managed to acquire a car of my own. I’m not sure but I don’t think this is done much anymore.
I also noticed some familiar names from the comment section in the Thresher photo credits that fall.
FYI: I’m taking the day off tomorrow. I’m going to need all my energy to deal with the relatives. See you Friday.
Interesting. Everyone on campus just had random 526- phone numbers. No area code, no unified phone system. In those days you had to rent your actual phone from the phone company and each room had its own account with SW Bell, as I recall. That’s how it was in the early 80’s, too. Interesting, too, that there were large numbers of people who could drive but apparently didn’t have cars. And this was right on the cusp of the golden age of cheap, easy air travel.
I didn’t have a car while at Rice until the last semester of my senior year (1974). I remember riding with another student to and from my grandparents’ home in Abilene for Thanksgiving in 1970 and 1971. The system worked!
The turnbuckles between the Media Center and the Art Barn, that have helped keep these “temporary structures” standing, far past their design parameters.
There also was a ride board in the RMC where you could offer rides or request them. I think it was geographically organized. There was also a bunch of ride swapping in the Colleges. Cars were still a luxury then especially for the freshman and sophmores.
As far as the phone is concerned, each student (or room/suite) got a phone line from SWB. The pairs were not part of the Rice system but SWB. Certain people in the colleges (such as college president) also got a Rice extension in their room. Usually one of the roomates was on the account with the expectation that everyone would split the basic fee and pay for their own long distance. However, the ‘owner’ of the phone was responsible for it and had to cover if a rommote failed to pay. Since Rice was in the Jackson exchange (52x) everyone got a 526 number. This was also prior to the split so everyone still had 713. (281 may have arrived by that time but it originally was a donut around central Houston. We did not get 10 digit dialing until 832 arrived and all three area codes were overlayed.
Melissa, this practice still lived in print form on a bulletin board and giant US map at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff when I was in grad school 4 years ago.
I want the mustang.