I’ve been looking around in the Early Rice Institute papers this week and, as always, it’s proven to be a cornucopia of weirdness. It’s a deeply confusing collection, both tedious and haphazard, a jumbled mountain of litigation records, business documents, and correspondence that lay bare the legal and financial underpinnings of Rice and its endowment. When you see a file in there labeled “Miscellaneous” you should pay attention because it’s all more or less miscellaneous. In this context the actual meaning of “miscellaneous” is “I give up.”
I was not disappointed. Here’s a small sample, three items chosen not quite at random. The first is a catalog from an elevator manufacturer:
Next, rather odder, a recipe for fixing a leaky roof. I don’t know what half this stuff is:
And finally, the prize of the bunch, some disturbing doodles made on the back of the cover sheet of a contract for the purchase of 369 acres in Falls County, Texas (which contract is not in the folder):
I could have lived without that.
Note: I’m going to be spending the next four days at an undisclosed exotic location. No internet. See y’all Monday.
Bonus: I didn’t need to see this either.