A few weeks ago we had a researcher who was using the papers of Rice English Professor George Williams, ’23. While he kindly pointed me to some surprising materials in the second box (for which I’m most grateful), when I looked at Williams’s personal correspondence in Box 1 I was stopped cold.
Williams had left a note in each folder describing the person who wrote the letters and his perspective on their relationship. It was hair raising. He was talking to me. Really, it felt like I was being addressed personally from beyond. This might sound like fun but when you think about it it’s not an unmixed blessing.
Often Williams was telling me new things about people I already knew but sometimes he introduced me to Rice graduates I’d never heard of before. One of these remarkable people is a fellow named Sumter Arnim, ’26. The interesting thing about his senior picture in the Campanile is that there are no extracurricular activities listed, something that wasn’t unheard of but also wasn’t common during these times. After further investigation I’d guess that it was because he was studying.
Here’s Williams’s note:
Sure enough, when I started looking the very first thing I found was an article explaining why Arnim’s face belonged on the Dental Mount Rushmore. It’s rather mind boggling, somewhat like reading about the invention of the forward pass in football. Take a look–it’s well worth it.
Expect more of these notes as I slowly digest all the new information.
Extra Bonus: Go here for gorgeous pictures of Rice from Campus Photographers Tommy Lavergne and Jeff Fitlow.