I’m not going to have time to write anything today but I do have a photograph to post. I found this image of future Rice coach Johnnie Frankie in Mary Jane Hale Rommel’s scrapbook. My best guess is that it was taken in 1936 when Frankie was the captain of the football team. I see a lot of people in the course of my work and every once in a while someone gets under my skin. He’s one of those.
You can click here for an earlier post about Frankie, who went on to become a legendary coach in Texas and at Rice, which includes the resolution of the Texas House in his honor after his death in 1963. I believe every word of it.
In 1954 I was a member of the Lamar Consolidated HS basketball team. We were a very good team. One day we went over to nearby Wharton to scrimmage with the Wharton County Jr. College team where Frankie had become a legendary coach. One of our teammates had an older brother who played for WCJC. Frankie told him “you remind me a lot of your brother”. He was expecting a compliment, but instead, I will never forget, he said ” you jump like you have lead in your pants!”.Johnny Frankie, What at guy.
Jim Walzel Rice ’59
What strikes me is how normal looking he is from a physical standpoint. It reminds me of a comment which a short classmate of mine made at dinner in Hanszen College one night. He said he was a baseball fan because baseball players were normal sized individuals whereas all of us basketball and football players were genetic monstrosities.