I found out over the weekend that James Lang had recently passed away and I was damned sorry to hear it. He worked for about fifteen years or so in the Carpentry Shop and retired in the spring of 2014. He was a good guy and a good carpenter:
He was also a proud Army man, a veteran of Viet Nam and a member of a military family. On the surface it might not seem like we had much in common but in fact we did. He knew a lot about Rice and got a huge kick out of showing me things I didn’t know about. My understanding of the weird, twisty insides of the old Chemistry Building I owe completely to him. I can now worm my way in and out of places that I once didn’t know existed. He liked to tell stories and he shared my own sense of mischief. I’ve missed him since he left and will miss him more keenly now.
James Lang, Rest in Peace.
Update: Loyal reader Marty Merritt mentions James’s beloved Pontiac. It just so happens that I have a picture of it, parked right near Valhalla where James could keep an eye on it.
Yes. Great guy! He loved his classic Pontiac convertible, too.
He was kind enough to burn some rubber for me on the street in front of Alice Pratt Brown Hall once.