It may or may not surprise you to know that I routinely squirrel away things that I can use for the occasional quick and dirty post. I generally write here when I get home in the evening and there are times when I’ve had a rough day or just too much of a day and I can barely think straight much less write straight. Those are the times when I’ll pull out one of the photographs or documents that speak for themselves. Sometimes, though, these pictures refuse to cooperate and I wind up spending hours trying to figure out something I’d failed to notice the first time I looked at them.
Here’s an example, from the David Davidson ’58 slides. When I first saw them I thought I could just slap them up as a simple “compare and contrast” and be done with it. The first image is dated “summer 1957” and the second “March 1958”:
It wasn’t until I plugged them into a post that I stopped to think. And when that happened I realized how badly I had misunderstood this space. I’m pretty sure I’m not an idiot but I have to confess that I completely missed an entire road. Just failed to notice it. Let me start my explanation here, with an undated Joseph Davies photograph that I used over seven years ago. It’s the same spot from the opposite direction:
This is a wide gravel walkway today and I now see that the assumption I took away from this Davies photo was that it was originally a lawn. I now know that this was completely mistaken. It was originally a road, then a lawn, then gravel. This, of course, sent me back to the aerials to see what else I had missed. It looks like that road began at what was supposed to be Gate 4 and didn’t terminate until it reached the far side of the inner loop. You can see it here in 1947 running behind what would become the library parking lot:
A 1950 campus map confirms:
I have a deep suspicion that this must all be laughably obvious to you guys but I’d simply never thought about it until now. You might expect that after all this time I would have a better grasp of basic campus geography than this, but hey, sometimes stuff slips between the cracks.