Looking through my collection of Rice library bookplates this morning I noticed this unusual one:
I don’t remember scanning this and in fact it looks more like I hastily snapped a picture of it with my cell phone. Where I found it I can no longer say. I’ve certainly never seen another like it. And of course I’d also never heard of the Semper Fidelis Club. The only mention of it in the Thresher is this article from October 16, 1959:
The club also appears in the 1960 and 1961 Campaniles. But I find this impossible to square with the bookplate. First, Stockton Axson died in 1935 and second, as soon as Fondren was built the library was called Fondren Library rather than the Rice Institute Library. So I suppose there must have been a much earlier iteration of the Semper Fidelis Club about which I still know nothing. So we’ve apparently gotten nowhere today. Maybe tomorrow, though, as I now seem to have all the time in the world to track down this kind of thing. Also, on Axson here’s a pretty good post I wrote about him way back in 2011 and of course this more recent classic about his platonic lover’s contribution to the library.
Bonus: This is from the same issue of the Thresher as the Semper Fi story. At first, of course, I was interested in the dateless boys but it turns out the real star of this piece is the totally inexplicable “dead party.” I can’t see at all why this would be fun. Once I get back in the Woodson I’ll see if there’s anything about this in the EBLS scrapbooks.
Extra Bonus: Many thanks to Ellen Rein Pierce ’91 for the hot tip that led me to this great ebay score. I’m taking tomorrow off, by the way. I clearly need a break.