Something happened this morning that made the hair stand up on my arms.
I got to listen in on the student meeting that was held in February 1969 in the Physics Amphitheater after William H. Masterson was announced as Rice’s new president.
It was breathtaking. I understood it. You can pick out Warren Skaaren instantly–he had a Minnesota accent! Bari Kaplan was astonishingly articulate. In fact, the strong first impression I took from the whole thing was just how articulate all of the undergraduate speakers were. They spoke in paragraphs and sounded like adults.
I’ve known for twenty years that there was a tape called “Masterson–Mass Student Meeting” deep in the ktru collection but I never had any way to listen to it. Then this summer the station’s general manager, Will Robedee, gave the Woodson an old piece of equipment, a reel-to-reel tape player. We sent it out for a bit of refurbishment and with the attention of several Fondren staff members it was set up in our Digital Curation Lab down in the basement. (I won’t pretend to understand how this was done.) Today we put on the tape and turned everything on.
What a strange feeling–a mix of elation and unease.
It’s going to take quite some time to really work through it all. I can’t wait to get started.