I got a lot of emails asking for more Sammy, so since I usually (well, at least “often”) aim to please, here y’all go.
As I mentioned yesterday, while we have the basic outlines of the Sammy story and some great anecdotes, there are still some pieces that need to be filled in. For example, we are quite certain that for many decades Sammy was a thing rather than a person in an owl suit. What isn’t always clear is when or why that thing changed form. The most puzzling instance of this occurred in the mid to late 1950s, when two different Sammys seemed to exist at nearly the same time. Here’s one:
And here’s the other (with Rice Librarian Hardin Craig, Jr., a good sport if I ever saw one):
I’d looked at these in the past but had never figured out a way to date them precisely. Then right before yesterday’s talk, I pulled out an old Owen Wister Literary Society scrapbook for an unrelated purpose and this almost leapt off the page:
Note that whoever took the trouble to clip this out and paste it into a book did not also make sure to date it. (Don’t do that!) Context tells me, though, that this was written in the fall of 1955. You can see that it’s the owl pictured with Hardin Craig, suggesting that that image was the earlier one.
I still don’t know the whole story (is this the same owl that was stolen by some Aggies and painted maroon and white?) but knowing this date will make it possible to figure more of it out.