It really was an auspicious moment when the Rice Institute hired Coach Jess Neely away from Clemson on January 11, 1940. I can’t help but wonder why Neely took the job, which didn’t obviously look like good one, but here he is with J.T. McCants, then chairman of the powerful Committee on Outdoor Sports, having agreed to take over a struggling program:
In the way of things back then they held a dinner for Neely and the assistants he brought with him. It was held on February 7th in the Rice Hotel ballroom and of course Dr. Lovett spoke on this occasion. To modern ears it might sound simply corny but I’m not embarrassed to say that I find comfort in the order of it. We begin with the expected joke and end with the expected welcome:
Bonus: A colleague unearthed a relic–a kit distributed across campus during an earlier, less serious epidemic, containing hand sanitizers, wipes, and lozenges.
Note: I’m more or less at home for an undetermined amount of time. I plan to keep writing here but just be warned that it could get a little weird.