One morning last week I stopped to chat with a patron who was walking in to the Woodson at the same time I was. Her errand had to do with family history, not anything I knew about. But in the course of the brief conversation she mentioned that her math teacher at Lamar High School had been a Rice graduate, Hattie Lel Red, ’16. She must have thought I was nuts when I excitedly asked her to hold still for a minute while I ran to the back room to fetch something.
A couple of days before I was peering intently at a contact sheet of photos that were taken at an alumni reception in the spring of 1983. It was mostly the usual stuff–small groups milling around and laughing with drinks in their hands–except for the last few images. These showed a young woman on a bench, listening to a very old woman. This was extremely interesting to me but I could find no way to learn who either was:
On a hunch I showed it to the kind lady who had come in for a very different purpose and she confirmed that the older woman was Miss Red. I’ve written about her before but always focused on her as a very young woman, the first to enroll at the new Rice Institute. This time I went to find her obituary, a record of a full and rich life.
I also came across this note that she received from Dr. Lovett, apparently in response to something she wrote him at the time of his retirement in 1946. It’s a lovely note, one written in a tone rather unusual for him:
Here’s Miss Red in 1914, with one of my favorite pots:
Bonus: New railings at the library!
She was one of my grandmothers best friends. Thanks for posting. Ann Pound Hopkins
During the late 1970’s, the manager of the RMC was named Bill Red. I wonder if he was a relative?
There is a W.S Red Jr listed in the obituary as a nephew.
Was Bill a Junior or a III?
I’ve heard this from Dick, who commented below…
W.S. Red, Jr. went by his middle name, Scott. His first name was Walter.
I see that she received the Distinguished Alumna Award in 1986, four years before she died. Very nice.
She was my great aunt, sister to my grandmother
Did you know her? She seems so engaged in these photos, even in old age.
Her brother, David, taught architecture at UH and he and his wife Ellen were Southampton residents for many years.
Yes, the David Red house on Sunset was a modern landmark, unfortunately now demolished. David also designed the Kelvin Design Studios. (and, if the AIA Historical Directory of American Architects is to be believed, the sanctuary of Lake Jackson’s First Presbyterian Church.) I have a good friend whose father studied with David Red at UH.
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