I found a batch of photos today that must have been taken right around the time I arrived at Rice in late 1991. It was only as I worked my way through the stack that I understood what they were actually about and I’ll talk more about that tomorrow. For today, though, the lesson is that even if you’re trying hard to pay attention, when you’re on campus every day it’s hard to take in how dramatic some of the changes are. This image was the one that first caught my eye:
Even the stadium parking lot was different. There was absolutely nothing out there. No chains, no barriers, no gates–nothing but empty space:
Another vanished sight:
And this last one left me disoriented for several minutes:
It looks like this now:
I’m grateful for the shade.
Bonus: At left in the picture above you can see the new sidewalk along the intramural fields. They washed it and filled in dirt along the edges and opened it up today. As I’ve walked to and from the stadium lot watching them build it I began mulling the obvious question: why now? The natural time to have done it was when they built the Gibbs Recreation Center, but they didn’t. Nothing here happens for no reason and I’ll bet you a chicken dinner that they’re fixing to close the sidewalk on the other side of the road to keep pedestrians clear of the construction site.