I recently found this picture in an unexpected place and instantly fell in love with those spectacular hats. (And don’t even get me started on the boots!)
I wondered about two things: the girls in the hats, who don’t appear to be in Rice-related outfits, and the woman in the middle, the only one out of uniform altogether. On closer inspection I concluded that it must be the popular singer Patti Page, who appeared at the first game in the new stadium in the fall of 1950. This Thresher story, I believe, explains what we’re looking at in the photo. Click to zoom in:
Patti Page was performing down the street at the Shamrock Hotel (hence, I suppose, the Shamrock Photographs Services label on the bottom of the photo) and seems to have been an active participant in all the events surrounding the opening of the stadium. She even gave a pep talk at the rally the night before! (I’d have loved to have heard that.) The girls in the smashing outfits were the Apache Belles from Tyler Junior College who were also in town to lend some glamour to the opening day festivities.
UPDATE: A couple of astute commenters correctly pointed out that there’s some Rice insignia on the uniforms of the majorettes so they aren’t Apache Belles at all but our own coeds. The Rice History Corner regrets, but is not especially surprised by, the error. Thanks guys!
We have another very different but just as fabulous image of her elsewhere in our collection. This was taken at the big parade downtown before the game: