I mentioned the Holmes McNeely Papers just a couple days ago and when I arrived today there they were sitting on a book truck in the back of the Woodson as if I had summoned them with the power of my thoughts. (In reality, I think they were requested in preparation for the official opening of the new band hall this Friday.)

I’ve used these papers before but experience has taught me that if you look again later you will nearly always see something new. I was charmed to find these two shots in the same scrapbook but not right next to each other:


They’re undated but at a quick glance it looks like the mid-1950s to me. I especially love the first image. There is a real sweetness, I think, that comes with those headscarves and bobby socks.

Bonus: I’m not really given to speculation about what Edgar Odell Lovett might think about this or that campus development but sometimes I do have to wonder.

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17 Responses to Twirlers

  1. C Kelly says:

    I noted the pocket-sized Sammy, which I’d never seen before. He bulked up quite a bit in my day.

  2. Rick Sheridan says:

    The megaphone in the second picture says 1957-1958.

  3. joecwhite says:

    Is that Susie Glasscock kneeling in the 2nd picture?

  4. nburch2 says:

    Kneeling is Sue Carroll Brugier (Verheyden) ’58. She was my Rice big sister my freshman year.

    • F.E. (Gene) Pratt, Rice Institute 1956 says:

      Sue Carroll B. V. was a cute , tiny, well proportioned girl 2 years behind me at Rice.
      She danced –Modern Jazz (I guess)– and was good. Her type of dancing undoubtedly enabled her to keep her well proportioned figure.
      1956 Class President Jack Crutchfield prevailed upon me to co-direct the 1956 Rice Follies. Neil Havens and all the other talented people who should have done it had refused. (I’ll get even with all of them some day!)
      We had rehearsals in the basement of Fondren Library, in a room that was the location of many a Blue-Book “Quiz”. The rehearsals were generally attended by only those performing at specified times, and were generally NOT crowded.
      However, the scene changed to a 1956 sized football crowd when it was time for Sue Carroll to rehearse.
      I never knew where all those guys had been hanging out. But her dances were dignified and well performed.
      Sue Carroll and/or Dr. Jack, if y’all read this, it was a pleasure knowing you both. (Jack, pray for me.)

      p.s. I watched also.

      • F.E. (Gene) Pratt, Rice Institute 1956 says:

        Since I wrote this yesterday, my memory has been whispering that Jack Verheyden may have died a few years ago.
        I have NO source here to confirm that. (The Alumni Site never lets me on.)
        Can you check and see if he has indeed died.

        If he has, AND if you think my note about Sue Carroll be in bad taste, would you please remove it from the blog.

  5. Bill Johnson '57-'58 says:

    When I joined the Mob in the fall of 1953, the practices were held in the athletic dinning room opposite of the “Commons” in East Hall, now Baker. Instruments were stored in a bricked off hall in old South Hall and the field used was just outside toward Main Street, about where the “new” Will Rice is now. Sorry that I don’t know the twirlers in the fall of 1957. I was selling seat cushions at $0.25 each to earn some extra money. Hank Coors and I worked together. Joe White, you are too young to know. You and Michael were in the Mob much later.

    • grungy1973 says:

      Thanks for your description of where you rehearsed, but I’m unable to picture where that is, as there has not been an athletic dining room in Baker during the 45 or so years that I’ve been hanging around.
      There’s the main commons, the somewhat smaller space toward Cohen House, and…?

      • Michael Ross says:

        I don’t know when it was removed, but you must have just missed it, Grungy. The athletics dining (“training table”) space was still there when I was at Baker (66-70). Looking now on Google maps, that building is not there. (I believe there was a photo of this building here on Rice History Corner in a discussion about folks who lived above it; but I can’t find it. I did not recall such a living space, however.)

        For simplicity of description, consider the long axis of the Baker Commons to be East-West. North of the middle of the Commons was the Baker Kitchen. Further north of the kitchen was the Training Table. They may have been part of the same structure, adjacent to the Commons. The training table had exterior entrances, and there was a small parking lot around it.

        • Brian Cole (Weiss '78) says:

          The Training Table was still in that same space from ’74 to about ’77 (I worked as a waiter at Training Table during that period). In the Fall of ’77, the athletes (in season) ate at Cohen House. At some point after Spring ’78, I believe that space was used as a Kosher dining facility.

  6. Bill Johnson '57-'58 says:

    Going North from South Hall (Will Rice) under the covered walkway you entered the doors to Baker. To the right was the commons and to the left was the training table room where we rehearsed. The instrument storage room (no longer there) was on the South side of South Hall that had been bricked off. The bricks have now been removed and there is the original covered arched walkway going west from the entrance of old South Hall. There used to be a telephone booth in this area that was featured in one of the past posts, alas no longer there, replaced by more modern tech. Hope this adds to MOB knowledge.

  7. Tom & Jeanette Hix says:

    One other clue to the date – the full stadium.

    Tom Hix

  8. grungy1973 says:

    There might be 100 pictures in that scrapbook – all gorgeous, glossy 8x10s.
    They appear to be from 2 games and at least one practice.
    One of the games is at Amon Carter in Fort Worth.
    The shot here is obviously at Rice Stadium.
    Pretty sure we’ll be able to figure out who the opponent was from one or more of the other images.
    We’re going to have to disassemble the scrapbook to scan it, but it is held together with two bolts through the covers and pages, and it shouldn’t be too hard.

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