This memo from Bob Parks ’73, who was the incoming Student Association President in the summer of 1970, turned up when one of our Fondren Fellows was investigating the Abbie Hoffman brouhaha that unfolded in April of that year. (Much more on this when she finishes that project.) It brought a smile to my face not because of Abbie Hoffman but because of its rather brilliant summing up of Ralph O’Connor, noted beer drinker and straight shooter:
Sorry this is so small–I don’t know why or how to fix it. It blows up nicely if you click on it, though.
Bonus: Would you be surprised to learn that the hanging lamps in the gallery that links the main part of the old Physics Building to the amphitheater are completely different from any of the others? Because they are.
Ah, but the real question is: Have those hanging lamps always been different, and if not, when did they (or the others) change?
Having nothing to do with the lamps: Abbie Hoffman was an early :”associate” of Bill Ayres of the Weather Underground, the criminally revolutionary gang that was a precursor of today’s Antifa, and similarly organized. I knew both Abbie and Bill, having infiltrated their organizations in the late 1960s. They were both “terrible persons.” I am happy that I was part of the effort that brought them down.
Here’s an account from The Thresher. Scary times.
On the subject of total a–holes, in the late 60’s George Lincoln Rockwell, the American Nazi Party leader, spoke on the Rice campus, the Chem lecture hall as I recall. I went to see him out of curiosity but to get inside I had to open my nerd briefcase and show that I had no weapons or rotten fruit inside. There were a number of older men wearing Stars of David in the audience but everything remained peaceful. Rockwell abundantly demonstrated his lunacy and lack of morals.
I got to know Judge Bob Parks ’73 (not to be confused with chemical engineer Bob Parks ’76) over 25 years ago, when I chaired the Young Alumni Committee and he served on the board of the Association of Rice Alumni. To me he was a wonderfully kind and warm man. When I passed the Texas bar exam, I made a point to ask him to swear me in, which he was delighted to do and about which he made a big production. I am proud to have his signature on my swearing-in certificate.
It is intriguing to think of him as a student writing memos to file — that is an impressive degree of organization for an undergraduate!
Bob served for nearly 30 years as the sole judge for a judicial district in West Texas that is so sparsely populated it covers three counties: Ward, Reeves and Loving, with a courthouse in each county seat (see http://www.co.ward.tx.us/page/ward.District.Court). Judge Parks passed away in 2015.