These two images came out of the same file folder, entitled “George R. Brown School Dedication.” Both are odd and I’m struggling to see how they might relate to each other.
First, this looks like Mr. Brown is leading a game of musical chairs or possibly someone has lost a contact lens:
And second, I don’t even have a good guess:
I thought at first it might be a protest (which were still current in those days), then I saw the trombone. So it’s the band, in street clothes, a guy in uniform with a bullhorn and the fellow in the plaid sport coat. They don’t look to be anywhere near engineering.
I don’t have a theory and am open to the idea that this second one was misfiled years ago.
Bonus: I caught one of those herons in flight over by Brown today.
The guy in the plaid sport coat is Bert Roth, band leader of the MOB. The pictures are of the MOB at a practice on the sports field between the engineering building and the stadium parking lot. The guy with the bullhorn was the drum major and I believe he was in ROTC, thus the uniform.
Thank you! I’m going to go ahead and move it to a different file.
One more question: Do you think it was 1975?
It is from 1975.
That’s Mike Fowler in the Army ROTC uniform.
He was one of the 3 drum majors that year (Paul Reinhardt and Mike Hayden).
That’s The MOB’s practice field, where the Baker Institute is now, looking toward the old tennis courts next to the old Wiess.
(and that’s me, between Mike and Bert, in the background)
Wish they would embiggen, but they don’t embiggen much if at all. I can’t even tell where that top picture is. Maybe Hamman Hall before the stage was put in? Someone is wearing a spectacular white or light tan suit. With the band picture I will of course defer to Grungy, but I suspect the plaid jacket wearer is Bert Roth and the gentleman in the Rice Army ROTC dress uniform is giving the band some directions. Note they are listening, not playing. The use of the bullhorn is fairly commonplace in band rehearsals and this is probably the old MOB practice field that was where the Baker Institute building is.
The fence around the tennis courts at Weiss is visible in the background.
Mr. Brown probably said “There goes a cockroach” or “Smells like someone stepped in dog doo.”
yellow crowned night heron
That picture with everyone looking at the floor in front of George Brown is quite a mystery. Although it is possible that they are looking for a contac lense, when that happens usually someone is seriously bent over because they are very hard to see. My guess is that the young tall fellow lost something like his Rice ring or a wedding ring. I also guess that it made an audible ping sound which caught the attention of George Brown who may have issued a polite request for nearby people to look for it. Otherwise, it is inconceivable that so many men that physically close to George Brown would disrespect him by looking away from him.
I suspect the answer is more prosaic. The gentleman to Mr. Brown’s right appears to have just made some introductory remarks and is heading for a seat. I believe everyone was standing to applaud, and the picture was captured just after Mr Brown asked the audience to be seated. Those seats automatically fold up, so the audience members are looking around towards their seats to fold them down again. You can see a few people still in the act of applauding. And many people in the hall are looking down or behind them, not just the folks in the front.
I think you are probably right. The body language looks like that.
It looks like Alan Chapman is in the background — also looking down — just left of the lecturn.