J. Frank Dobie at Hanszen College, 1962

I’m still struggling to catch up after a week away from campus, including catching up on my reading. My friend Patrick Kurp, who works over in Engineering and blogs at Anecdotal Evidence,(well worth your time, by the way) wrote a typically pithy post this last Sunday that included a long quote from a letter written by the Texas writer and folklorist J. Frank Dobie in 1962. Go check it out here.

It reminded me that Dobie spent a weekend Hanszen College in the spring of that same year, giving a couple of lectures and spending time informally with students as part of the college’s fifth anniversary celebration. Here he is after one of the talks:

I went and dug out the Thresher account of this event and some of his remarks ring even more sadly true these days. Other parts are just odd and it’s a bit difficult to know what to make of something like his “Mexican philosophy.” Still, the audience looks quite appreciative. You probably had to be there.

Bonus: Running all over campus these last couple of days I’ve seen some unusual things. He didn’t seem happy that I was taking his picture but how could he really complain?

The best part was getting caught inside the Central Plant during a downpour. I learned a few new things, which I will explain eventually.


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6 Responses to J. Frank Dobie at Hanszen College, 1962

  1. almadenmike says:

    Googling around, I see several references to an “old Spanish proverb: How beautiful it is to do nothing…and then rest afterwards.”

  2. rbrazile says:

    Or, as is often quoted as a Spanish saying in the Patrick O’Brian novels: “May no new thing occur.”

  3. Leonard Lane says:

    Technically, it wasn’t the 50th anniversary of Hanszen College, rather the 50th anniversary of the “old section” of what became Hanszen College in 1957.

  4. Leonard Lane says:

    My bad. It was the 5th, not the 50th anniversary of Hanszen! I was confusing it with the 50th anniversary of the Rice Institute…please forgive my lapse.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      As always, at the Rice History Corner all is forgiven. It’s our policy.

      • Francis Eugene "gene" Pratt, Rice Institute 1956 says:

        Melissa, you will probably receive a note from a religious organization — which shall remain nameless– about encroaching on its territory.
        “Just saying”.

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