Come Hell or High Water, 1975

Well, I’m back in town after the holiday weekend. My trip to Seguin had to be postponed but it was for a wonderful reason: a generous donor offered a collection (quite an important one) to the Woodson and I needed to be here to bring it in. There will most definitely be more on this later.

In the meantime, as I drove back to Houston I was pondering the naming contest for the pub and it recalled to me one of the more mysterious things I’ve ever found at Rice. Before he passed away in 2007, Norman Hackerman sorted through most of his stuff and distributed it as he saw fit. But some things still remained in his campus office and as usual I went in to collect them. The first thing I encountered when I opened the top drawer of his desk was this note, written in an unusually legible version of his hand:

I still don’t know what to make of it. Human beings are endlessly interesting.

Here is a photo of Norman drawing the first beer not at the opening of Willy’s Pub but rather at the re-opening after the big flood that occurred the next year:



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14 Responses to Come Hell or High Water, 1975

  1. Bill Peebles, Hanszen '70 says:

    By invitation only? Who got invited?

    • Melissa Kean says:

      I’d guess the people who worked on the renovation or the staff but I’m really not sure.

      • Chiming in really late here, you are correct Melissa, it was staff and folks who had worked on the mess in the basement. As I recall, there were folks from other impacted organizations like the radio, MOB and RMC staff, and of course contractors that worked on the rebuild. Don’t ask me names, my memory was hazy the next morning and is hazier now.

  2. grungy1973 says:

    Not the same year – the flood was 15 June 1976.

  3. grungy1973 says:

    Dr. Carrington.
    Is that Ed Pierce leaning on the bar, to the right?
    And that’s likely Tina behind Dr. Carrington’s left shoulder.

  4. norieguthrie says:

    Here’s the audio of him drawing the first beer:

  5. Kermit Lancaster says:

    If someone wants to dig into the Thresher archives and find the article about the pub opening I’m nearly positive that they published a photograph of Dr. Hackerman drawing that first beer. It was definitely a different picture than the one above.

  6. Clark Herring says:

    That is indeed Tina Garfield who was the manger of the Pub. I also think that is Dan Steiner in the leaning against the bar. I believe he is wearing a shirt that most bar tenders wore during this time period. I was a bartender during the fall of 1976 and the assistant manager during the spring of 1977. I wish I had kept my bar tending shirt.

  7. almadenmike says:

    What’s the story behind the football holding the beer taps?

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