Last week a copy of the July, 1944 issue of Houston magazine found its way to my desk. (Don’t ask.) This was a publication of the Chamber of Commerce and I read it with great interest, surprised and oddly heartened that I understood nearly all of it, more surely than I would understand if something induced me to pick up a copy of today’s newspaper. Here’s the cover–prepare to be astonished:
As I read I looked, as usual, for Rice content. First, in an article on the history of the Houston Symphony I found Philosophy Professor Radoslav Tsanoff with a group on the terrace of Bayou Bend, sometime in the mid-1930s:
Professor Tsanoff has what looks like a Phi Beta Kappa key on his vest, which of course reminds me of his role in bringing a PBK chapter to Rice in 1929. And at far left we see Beth Israel’s Rabbi Henry Barnston, who spoke at Rice’s commencement in 1926.
Near the end of the issue was an obituary of Will Rice, which taught me something I didn’t know–he was a civil engineer!
Bonus: It’s been raining so much mold is growing on windows.
There seem to have been a lot of them.
Yes, Hugh Roy Cullen seemed like a strange choice for the Symphony League presidency. He had no real connection to or affinity for the world of classical music. What he did have was a strong commitment to philanthropy and a forceful energy for making sure that Houston cultural institutions prospered. If I recall correctly some other board members begged him to assume the presidency and after a few years (and after the wartime budget crisis had passed) he stepped down gracefully. Brigadier General Maurice Hirsch, who was associated with the Symphony for most of his life, achieved his rank by working to root out fraud and profiteering in military procurement during the war.