Auburn


17
May 24

The 1934 Glomerata, part one

We’re going back in time 90 years so we can see, just a bit, of what college looked like at my alma mater in 1934. Some of the great old buildings are there, and so parts of the place feel familiar, but nine decades is 20 or so generations of student churn in a college town. And we’re more interested in the people, anyway. What was life like, in a cash-strapped university, in a poor state, in the middle of the Depression? Before the war, before the growth that came with the G.I. Bill, it was a different world — but some of this is going to look familiar.

This isn’t a complete examination, just a quick flip through some of the images and names that jump out. Even still, we’ll be looking through this for the next few weeks. Let’s see what’s inside the first few pages.

This book belonged to a student named Bruce Johnson. I include this inside page because it amuses me, the big bold label, and the chalky material he used to stencil his name. Sometimes these books, when I got them, didn’t have names inside. I presume those were seniors, or people who didn’t worry about mixing up their belongings with their roommates and friends. But Bruce felt a need. Maybe he was a freshman.

I looked ahead. Bruce was a freshman. He was from Montgomery, Alabama, the state capitol. He majored in electrical engineering. I looked ahead into his senior yearbook, the 1937 edition. He was still an electrical engineering major. He played polo — the kind with horses and sticks.

Here he is, freshman year.

Beyond that … well, the guy’s name is Johnson. Not the easiest name to dig up.

I love these humble little pages. Some real thought went into this. Living — joyous and irresponsibly .. the sacred tradition of the past … the challenges of the future … when memories have been dimmed remembrances have faded … the joys of service will have been ours.

Someone was feeling poetic when they pulled that together.

The 1934 edition of The Glomerata, the 37th volume, was dedicated to this man, Wilbur H. Hutsell.

An international figure in the coaching world.

A modern moulder of men and an inspirational guidance to all, beloved by student and colleague, we proudly dedicate this volume.

Hutsell was born in Missouri, attended Mizzou and was a quarter-miler there. He coached track at his alma mater, and then became Auburn’s first track and field coach in 1921. He stayed on until he retired, in 1963. In between, he won three conference titles, won 140 dual meets, losing only 25. He coached four Olympians: Snitz Snider, Percy Beard, Whitey Overton, and Jim Dillon. He also coached three NCAA champions, five AAU champions, and saw five of his high hurdlers win national championships. He also served as the trainer for the 1924 Olympic wrestling team and was an assistant track coach at the 1928 Olympic Games. He was the university’s athletic director, twice. Hutsell is honored in the Helms Track & Field Hall of Fame, the University of Missouri Hall of Fame, the Alabama Hall of Fame and the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame. The track on campus is named after him (and also the coach who succeeded him). And all of that pales in comparison to having this book dedicated to him.

And that wood engraving. Isn’t that something?

There are more. This one was opposite the foreword, which we just saw.

Remember, we are in 1934, so we’re full up on art deco. The bottom panel is campus specific — that’s Samford Hall and Langdon Hall, the administration building and the theater/large lecture hall, respectively. Perhaps the yearbook people allowed for customization for each campus. The larger, top panel, though, is generic, or emblematic. The great man, pushing open the doors from campus, and is preparing to stride into the world.

This one looks equally generic, but no less lovely for it. It is opposite the table of contents in the book. Our great man is hammering something.

And whoever Davis is, he’s not on the staff of The Glomerata.

Here’s another generic one. Our great man is embracing the world. It’s lovely, and it’s stock.

Is that the Lyceum in the lower pane? Whatever it is, it isn’t from our campus.

This is the official coat-of-arms of the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. (API was renamed as Auburn University in 1960, though it had casually been referred to as Auburn by everyone for decades.)

This is a bit of a one-off, and there’s not a lot of information out there about this, so I wonder how official it is. (It was designed by a member of The Glom’s art staff, John Spearman, a junior studying commercial art, from Birmingham.)

The 1872 above the eagle head refers to the year the school officially adopted the Agricultural and Mechanical College name. (Auburn is, in fact, the fourth name of the campus.) It is always kind of amusing to see these older publications move between the 1856 (or 1857 or 1859) and 1872 founding dates. Both are viable, depending on how you like your history. It started as a Methodist school, as East Alabama Male College. Then came Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama when the state took control of the school, in 1872, under the Morrill Act. It was the state’s first land-grant university. API was the name from 1899 to 1960, and it has, of course, been Auburn for the last 64 years.

As for Spearman, he was the son of a steel man. John Thurston Spearman was born in 1912 and died in central Alabama in 1987. He married, buried his first wife and then married again in his late 60s. He’s buried in Hoover, in a cemetery I drove by regularly for years and years.

Even if there isn’t a lot on his coat-of-arms, I really thought I’d find more about him, but alas.

Finally, for the day, we come to The Glomerata’s staff, hard at work in this not-at-all posed photograph.

I never worked on a yearbook, though I have, in my professional capacities, casually watched a few staffs put them together over the years. This is about the right level of industriousness.

The editor was a guy named Joe Ledbetter, a senior from Anderson, South Carolina, a pre-law major. He was an ROTC captain, and a member of the Glee Club. And then, after he graduates, he just seems to have disappeared from view.

But I’ll keep looking. And you will too. We are, after all, just getting started. What’s in store for us in the coming weeks of our glance back 90 years ago, into a 1934 yearbook? You’ll have to come back next Friday to see.

The full collection will live in the Glomerata section, of course. You can see others, here. Or, to just see the beautiful covers, go here.


3
May 24

The 1924 Glomerata, part three

We are, once more, going back in time 100 years for a quick look at a bit of the ol’ alma mater. These aren’t the old buildings, in fact some of the old buildings aren’t even in place in 1924, but some of the young people. They knew an altogether different world than ours. (Part one is here. And you can find part two right here. All of these images from the 1924 Glomerata are going here.)

This is our last look at 1924. Let’s see what’s inside.

This is from the “Senior – Favorites” section. And the cutline says that this was part of initiations. But it doesn’t say, specifically, which one. Three are listed, and two of them are names I recognize. That’s remarkable unto itself. A college can measure generations in two or four years, and two of those organizations have now lasted for more than a century.

What the band was about, however, is lost to time. And maybe that’s for the best.

I don’t know what the first fake photo was, but surely this wasn’t it. Nevertheless, in a dark room somewhere, 100 years ago, someone added some people to this shot, and not very well.

Some of those people just pop too much, no?

The next few shots are from parades, but they don’t have a lot of detail, unfortunately. I’d love to be able to examine them more closely.

Instead we’ll go to the train station. The football team was taking their game on the road, and the students turned out to see them off.

Look, they are cheering from the roof!

This is the marching band, which was formed in 1897 — the first year of the Glomerata, coincidentally. They are marching here before the Tulane game, a 6-6 tie on a mild November day in Montgomery. (Yes, I looked that up.)

That looks to be the entire band.

Today, there are almost 400 members.

The text says “Life for a freshman is very serene until too much paint or ‘freshness’ appears. One is erased with brick and sand, the other with hickory boards. The annual shearing of their curly locks ads much to their education.”

The first photo shows some guys cleaning a building. The next is five freshmen getting paddled for some reason. And here’s one of those things that you can’t hardly imagine happening these days.

I wonder if they were able to shave it, or had to keep this ridiculous haircut for a while.

Here’s another one of those things that are (thankfully) lost to time, the 22nd of February, “Auburn’s traditional celebration of this day is of a military nature. Reviews and drills play an important part in the morning’s entertainment.” Nothing is said about why it is that date. You just had to know it.

The best I can figure is that on Feb. 22, 1862, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated for a six-year term as the president of the Confederate States. That’s just stupid enough a thing to celebrate as to be possible, here.

The other thing that took place that day was the class football championship. Each class formed a team. The seniors beat the sophomores to win the bragging rights.

Here are a few members of the Glee Club, an all-male group back then. There were about 30 members, but these guys had instruments! This is actually the mandolin club.

They are Beverly Holmes Swango, a senior from Birmingham who was studying electrical engineering. He wrote poetry in the campus paper. He died in 1977, in Florida. He was apparently born in Kentucky and, at least for a time, lived in New York. Simpson Roland Foy was born in Eufaula. Simpson was the older brother of James Foy, who generations of students knew and loved as Dean Foy. James learned Auburn’s alma mater as a boy from his brother, the guy in the center, and the man who wrote it. James then went to Alabama, where he was a part of the group that helped rekindle the Auburn-Alabama football rivalry. After his military service, James would eventually spend 28 years of his career working at Auburn. Simpson’s wife was the great-great-granddaughter of Georgia’s first governor. They had a son in Minnesota and a daughter who lived in California when Simpson died in Georgia in 1961. Fred Almgren was born in Massachusetts, though the yearbook says he was from suburban Birmingham. He was big in the Boy Scouts, sold a lot of bonds during the Great War, joined the Kiwanis. He would have a son, Fred Jr., who would become a pioneer of geometric measure theory and a global leader in geometric analysis at Princeton. His second wife was his first doctoral student, and she was on the mathematics faculty at Rutgers. Two of there three children are applied mathematicians. Their grandpa was pretty handy with that mandolin, looks like.

R.D. Yarbrough was a freshman and, as such, the 1924 Glomerata barely cares about him, but I looked ahead. Richard Dexter Yarbrough got married, and they had a son and daughter. They buried their boy when he was just 16, saw their daughter get married in 1950 and themselves got divorced sometime after. He remarried, and then buried his second wife, in 1977, in Arizona. He died a few years later. Robert Lee Simpson Jr., I fear, might have died very young, in 1926. Frank Russey was a sophomore, from Anniston, Alabama, studying electrical engineering. His mother, an English woman, shows up in the newspapers an awful lot. She was active in her community until she died in 1955, and most of his mentions are of the social pages variety, and often going home to visit dear ol’ ma. Frank, though, looks like he had two kids, and lived to see 1989. He’s buried in Alexander City, Alabama, in a cemetery not too far off the highway that I drove up and down when I was on campus, way back when.

There are a lot of these sorts of pages. Some of these jokes were easily forgotten, but you have to think that a few brought up some memory when one of the people in this book flipped through it sometime later in life.

This was a hotel in Montgomery, Alabama. Built in 1908, the red brick building was once the city’s tallest. It served as a hotel for a decade or so more, when the Depression shut it down. Later, the building was called the the Old South Life Building, and then Frank Leu purchased it in 1956 for $1.5 million, one of the biggest real estate deals around at that time. He gave it his own name.

Progress, sir, progress. It always wins out. The city found it to be an eyesore in the 1980s, and various attempts to save it, and others to raze it, all stalled out. Eventually the city, and the guys with demolition expertise won out. Leu died in 1997, just before they imploded it. This was a part of the city’s riverfront revitalization program. It was a parking lot for a number of years. Now, there are condos on that corner.

More ads. Congratulations on another great year. Need some wire? Gulf State had four plants around the state. They were acquired by Chicago-based Republic Steel in 1937. I’m guessing that’s another casualty of the Depression. Here’s an unvarnished look at Republic.

No idea where the ice cream parlor was, and there’s not a lot of evidence, online, that it lasted very long. Good luck with that printing company, too.

I like to think that, when it came near time to publish this yearbook the students putting it together did a last count and realized that they’d erred somewhere. So, at the last minute, they called in that freshman. What’s that rat’s name again? Oh yes, Wilkinson.

Wilkinson! Doodle something. And so he made jokes on the female students. Some of them just a little too regrettably placed in a freshman’s hands.

Wilkinson was James Wilkinson, class of ’27, who would go on to become a prominent architect in Georgia. His firm, Stevens & Wilkinson, designed part of the Midfield terminal at Hartsfeld Airport. This was a $500 million project hailed, at the time at least, as the largest construction project in the South when it opened in September of 1980. His firm had a lot of other important projects too, including the Nathan Deal Judicial Center, Clemson University’s Core Campus Precinct and the Oxford College of Emory University Student Center. The Florence County Judicial Center, two new nursing homes for Veteran Affairs, the historic renovation of Auburn’s Gavin Engineering Research Laboratory, and Georgia Southern University’s Center for Engineering and Research also bear his firm’s design work. They also helped designed some of the MARTA stations and Atlanta’s downtown library. His work is a part of the Emory Law School, too. (At least some of those projects occurred well after Wilkinson died.) He and his wife had three children. They attended the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, and they lived in the same neighborhood as the governor of Georgia. Wilkinson died of a heart attack in 1980, just a few months before that airport terminal opened, aged 73.

I just showed you the train station, which is, I think, a fancy restaurant today. Just about the only other thing off campus that these young people would recognize today, at least by its name, is this.

“The store on the corner” is still there, though it’s essentially a gift shop now.

Most of the advertisements are for businesses in Montgomery, Birmingham, and Columbus. Neighboring Opelika had some of their businesses advertising in here. But there’s not a lot of Auburn businesses running ads in the Auburn yearbook. That’s simply because there wasn’t a lot going on in town yet. That would change. But, of the ones in this book, only Toomer’s remains.

Change happens, and its for others to decide how much of it is for the better. In sleepy little college towns it doesn’t come for a long while, and then it comes suddenly. The class of 1924 knew a different place than I studied in, a period which I’ve come to think of as the delayed end of the post-G.I. Bill boom. Generationally, for business concerns, that makes some sense. That was, of course, one of the three biggest catalysts in the 20th century. (The interstate and Bo Jackson being the others.) Another boom came along early in the 21st century, and a lot of what you could see now is dizzingly unrecognizable today to people beyond a certain vintage. That’s a thing people always have to reconcile about small places when they get much, much larger. In the 1920 Census, 2,143 people lived in the loveliest village. In the 2020 Census, the number was 76,143. Estimates put it well north of 80,000 today. No longer a village, they’re not done growing yet.


26
Apr 24

The 1924 Glomerata, part two

We’re going back in time 100 years for a quick look at a bit of the ol’ alma mater. These aren’t the old buildings, but some of the young people. They, of course, knew a different world than ours. (Part one is here. All of the selected images from the 1924 Glom are going here.)

Let’s see what’s inside.

One last action shot from the Athletics section of the yearbook. This is meant to offset the posed portraits that will follow. And this isn’t the best quality, but the cameras they were using in 1923 and 1924 were from the 1920s, at best.

Anyway, to the football field, and the rivalry game against the hated and evil Georgia Tech. (No one liked them very much, but it was all in decent fun.)

That’s Ernest Williams, the sophomore from Chattanooga, intercepting a pass from Tech. They called Williams Buckshot, and Clabber. He was a 170-pound halfback and he played defense, because everyone played both sides of the ball. There were only 27 guys on the team that year. Ol’ Clabber was in his first year with the Tigers, but he had a great game against Tech. This interception, recovered a blocked punt. Auburn and Georgia Tech played on a cold and rainy Thanksgiving Day, and no one was thankful for the 0-0 draw.

This is Major. John E. Hatch, commandant of the ROTC detachment. He graduated from West Point in 1911, making him just 37 or so here. He studied artillery, taught at West Point from 1917 to 1920 and was promoted to captain the year he left the USMA and was shipped to Fort Bragg. (His father-in-law also graduated from West Point.)

So this was just another stop for the man in uniform. Hatch and his wife had three children, including two sons who also went into the service. One, John Jr., a major, died in a plane accident in Germany just after World War 2. The other, McGlachlin, served in Korea, and was himself a colonel. John Sr. also left the service as a colonel. He died in Texas, in 1981. He was 94.

I might be a little fuzzy on my fuzzy photos of old weapons, but I believe Company A was “stopping an advance” here with a Browning M1917.

The crew-served, belt-fed, water-cooled machine gun came into service late in World War I, and was a part of the American weapons selection into Vietnam. Depending on the model, it could shot between 450 to 600 rounds per minute.

College kids, amirite?

We move now to the Beauties section, which is the lead item in the Features portion of the book. And, I must admit, I do not understand what the yearbook staff was after here. It’s just the photos and names. This is Miss Ellie May Lawley.

She was from Birmingham, she’s 21 or 22 here. She married Frederick Hahn, who was a senior at the university, and pretty good at basketball. He’d led the team in scoring three years in a row and, indeed, was the captain for his senior campaign. Fred ran the family construction business. (He put in, it turns out, one of my favorite features at The Birmingham Zoo. He built the houses on the old Monkey Island, one of the original attractions at the zoo, dating back to 1955. It delighted guests for 44 years, until they repurposed it and, eventually, demolished it.) The couple raised two sons, one an important banker in Alabama, the other an insurance man in Georgia, both of whom died in 2007. They had a daughter, too, a well-traveled X-ray technician. She passed away in California in 2014. So it sounds like Ellie and Fred did well, family-wise. She died in 1968, he survived her by 16 years.

This is Miss Sarah Bullock. And good luck finding out anything about her. I think, I think she was from Eufaula, a small river town two counties away.

About 5,000 people lived there in the 1920s, and there were some Bullocks, and there was a Sarah of roughly that same age. There’s one dark and blurry photo from a 1923 newspaper that almost helps me confirm it, but it’s not enough to say definitively. The trail doesn’t get any warmer after that, and anything else would be speculation.

Bullock doesn’t show up elsewhere in the 1924 Glom that I’ve found, either. Nor does Miss Hazel Mathes. But I’m a bit more confident in what I’ve found online.

I know someone with this haircut today.

There’s a Hazel Mathes from Fayette, a town of less than 5,000 people today and less than 2,000 then, who is the right age. The Hazel I am following married a man named A. Jesse Duke. (This guy was also a basketball player, and a senior, at Auburn. He was in business in some manner with Hahn, above.) They had a daughter, and then Hazel died in 1943, at just 38 or 39. Their daughter, Doris, died even younger, at just 25 or 26 in 1954. Jesse passed in 1965. There was also a son, Jesse, Jr. He died in 1969, in his late 30s. All four of them are buried close to one another in the same large Birmingham cemetery.

There a lot more to those people’s stories, but it’ll remain a mystery.

You weren’t expecting a big full smile from a 1920s photograph, were you? This is Miss Celeste Vance.

She might have also been from Eufaula. If I have the right person, she shows up a few times in a variety of society pages and seemed to enjoy going to dances. What made up her larger story I do not know.

Isn’t it off-putting when you look at an ancient photo and you think you see eyes that you know? This young woman looks like someone I had in a class four generations later. This is Miss Elizabeth Hill.

Like all of these women, she does not show up in the yearbook elsewhere that I have found, and I spent approximately 45 seconds trying to find that common of a name before giving up.

Another reason to move on was because I have this incredible collage. I’m not sure why she received the special visual treatment. Let’s see if we can find anything on Miss Amante Semmes.

She’s maybe from Mobile. Perhaps she’s the descendant of some celebrated old Confederate naval officer. It’s possible she married a Navy man herself, and if she did, he was a captain in the U.S. Navy during World War 2. If I’ve got it right, they had a son and daughter and she died in 1981 at 75.

But I still want to know about that outfit.

Finally, there’s a little bit of Hollywood dreams down on the Plains.

There are dozens of mentions of Katherine Thorington in the society pages. She traveled a lot, to see friends and take part in events like dances and musical performances, and someone made sure the papers knew about it. She was, I think, from Montgomery, the state capital, a short interstate trip away today. She worked in state government. Seems that she became a secretary for someone(s) in the state senate. But then, after 1932, she doesn’t appear in (the digitally scanned archives of) print again.

I really do want to know about that flower. Proper or perfect accident? Was it symbolic or something she tossed aside? And, just what she was thinking of when this portrait was being taken?

“Good skin day, good hair, a photographer that understands me. This is my moment …”

One of many, Katherine, one of many.

More from 1924 next week. The full collection will live in the Glomerata section, of course. You can see others, here. Or, to just see the beautiful covers, go here.


19
Apr 24

The 1924 Glomerata, part one

We’re going back in time 100 years so we can see, just a bit, of what college looked like at my alma mater in 1924. Some of the great old buildings are there, so parts of the place feel familiar, but a century is a long time of course, especially in a college town. Before the growth that came with the G.I. Bill, before the Depression, and in already cash-strapped 1920s, it may as well have been a different world.

Let’s see what’s inside the first few pages.

The cover is a simple, yet elegant one. An old version of the seal in the center, the iconic Samford Hall is stamped into the cover.

I love these front page leafs. They’re all gorgeous, glorious art in their own way.

Generic, unique, symbolic or space-filling, they all look so handsome. I only share it here because we all ought to appreciate these pages.

“Eat ’em up Tiger!” was one of the expressions of the day. That one should come back.

The 1924 Glomerata is dedicated to Dr. John Hodges Drake, who would die in 1926, at the age of 80.

He’d been a drummer boy for the Confederate Army. Depending on the exact timing, he would have been 17-20, and serving in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. He’d been with the university since 1873, almost the very beginning.

Fifty-three years of medical practice of a college community! His obituary said he never missed a day of work, until in his final months of service.

Drake was the third. His grandfather was too young for the Revolutionary War, but John the elder told tales of watching the British and the Americans fighting hand-to-hand, and seeing his childhood home destroyed in North Carolina.

John Drake VI, a Korean War veteran, died in 2007. He had also lived a life of service. There’s a John VII out there, today. He’s old enough to have a VIII and IX out there, but I didn’t look that far.

In my day on campus, I was tasked with documenting the renovation of Drake Hall, the Medical Clinic, which was by then well past its prime. Longstanding, like the man, the building remained in service until 2005 or so.

In my mind, all of college should look like this.

Big coats, folded hats, high collars, neat ties and tall slender people wearing too many buttons.

Whatever all of that means.

Here’s a tip for all of you interested in illustrating the sub-tropics, though: If the trees have leaves, there is absolutely no need for a coat whatsoever.

This is Spright Dowell, the president of the university. If he looks impossibly young, this photo was at least three years old, so he’s in his early 40s. He started in the job in 1920, and it was a fraught administration.

In 1921 Dowell said the college was in debt, the faculty was underpaid, the buildings and equipment were falling apart. Calling it “a long period of undernourishment” and pleaded for more money from the state.

By 1923 he was jousting with his second governor over funding, and then the Extension and Farm Bureau dust ups came to the fore. It was power politics.

That December the alumni were screaming for his head. His critics said Dowell lacked experience in higher education. They said he lacked respect among the students, who hanged him in effigy, which isn’t reflected by the yearbook. The alumni said he failed to inspire the faculty, saw enrollment dip and hadn’t kept up with the competition.

The board of trustees supported him, but he left in 1927, for a long, successful career running Mercer University.

Remember what I said a moment ago about leaves and coats? That doesn’t always apply.

They got four inches of snow, and somehow the yearbook was able to resist the urge to run this until page 30. Snow is pretty rare there.

This snow fall earned these three photos to document March 14th. They canceled baseball because of the weather.

Samford Hall and the president’s mansion are both still there. No idea when they last saw that much snow.

And apparently the male students terrorized everyone with snowballs. Go figure.

This is Earle G. Lutz, Jr., the editor of this edition of The Glomerata. He was a senior, an architecture major from Montgomery.

He stayed in the area and designed the new municipal building for neighboring Opelika. It’s still standing, a clean, neat, three-story brick bastion of local governance.

He and his wife had a daughter, Ann, and she had two degrees from the University of Alabama, worked at Bell Labs and taught computer science at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga.

Think about it. This man was born in 1902. His daughter helped develop email.

He died in 1971, and is buried in Montgomery.

I can never get over these beautiful section setters.

The table of contents calls them each books. We won’t spend a lot of time in athletics, because many of the pages are a tiny bit damaged and most of them are headshots, anyway.

But it’s just an excuse to share this.

But first, these three guys who are looking for a tenor to round out their trio. Or they’d like to tell you about a new lawn treatment system … or is it bowling shoes …

These are the cheerleaders. You can just see it in their faces, faces full of cheer.

Donald Cathcart was the world’s oldest junior. The middle-aged Montgomery boy would study medicine at Tulane and became a pediatrician, practicing in Georgia. He worked on the Polio vaccine, raised money to purchase iron lungs also researched an anti-itch drug used on Measles and Chicken Pox. He died in 1982, at 77.

Bill Wood was a senior, from Montgomery, and he was one of those fellows that did a bit of everything on campus. He even wrote the alma mater in his senior year, making this the centennial. Auburn is pretty lousy at recalling it’s own history (half the time they say he wrote it in 1946, for example) so no one has likely noticed. Wood taught history and English at the university for two years, and then left to go in the insurance business. He died in 1933, at just 31.

Blucher Cooper worked for Dixieco Company, which could have been anything back then, frankly. He was in Chicago on business when he died, in 1947. He was just 44 years old, and had one son.

“A man who will always live in Tiger traditions.”

I’ve never heard of him. Which is my problem, not his. Being someone that lives on forever is the goal of everyone who devotes so much of themselves to something so earnestly.

Young Rip here was a jock’s jock on campus. He was involved with all of the sports in some kind of way, but football was his natural fit. He’d only played two games in high school, and he’s listed here as weighing 178 pounds, radically undersized even back then.

He studied veterinary medicine in the College of Agriculture, got married in 1926 and then went back home to northeast Alabama and became a school superintendent.

They were still calling him Rip when they swore him into office. He died in 1971.

One more of our new friend Rip, who played on the varsity team all four years. And this year was a pretty bad one. New coach, young team, the punter had the best success.

This is from the Georgia Tech game. Auburn was 3-3-2, Tech was 3-2-3 and it was a cold and rainy Thanksgiving day, but 27,000 people came in to watch the game in Atlanta. The yearbook says Fox Howe had a punt sail 82 yards in the cold, wet weather.

Shaking hands with Rip here is Tech’s John McIntyre. He lived to see most of the 1990s.

This game finished as a crowd-pleasing 0-0 tie.

More from 1924 next week. The full collection will live in the Glomerata section, of course. You can see others, here. Or, to just see the beautiful covers, go here.


29
Mar 24

The 1946 Glomerata, part four

More photos, via the new desktop camera, with which I am, so far, pleased. Eventually I’ll grow more proficient with it, but, already, like a better way to transcode the ancient photos.

So here are a few more selected shots from the 1946 Glomerata. Today we’ll wrap up this volume, having shared 40 photos and just a few of the interesting stories we find therein. The first 30 shots are on the blog, as a regular Friday feature. You can find all 40 shots in the Glomerata section, of course.

Let’s see a bit more of what was worth memorializing 78 years ago, shall we?

These are the officers of the Women’s Athletic Association in a not-at-all posed photograph. The WAA was aptly named. They offered a yearly cup to the winningest teams, sororities, it seems. They also ran the campus blood drive.

Anne Grant is second from the left. She graduated and went home, became a preacher’s wife. She studied home economics, and stayed active in the Methodist church for six decades. When she died in 2012 she was survived by three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The one on the right is Constance Graves. Her father, Eugene Hamiter Graves, attended API in the 19th century, and was on the first football team in 1892. He served during the Spanish American War and World War I. He became a colonel and, later, the mayor of Eufaula, Alabama. She went back home after school, and lived there all her life. She died in 2004, survived by three children and six grandchildren.

The other women have very common names, making the quick web search too challenging and pure guesswork.

These are the Auburn Collegiates, directed by Byron N. Lauderdale Jr., himself a student, a senior studying veterinary medicine. He served in the Army during World War II and in the Air Force during the Korean War. He would run a veterinary practice, a family business, in Illinois for 40 years. Byron died, at 77, in 2000. He was survived by his wife, his brother Harry (a WW2 sailor and Auburn man who passed away at 85 in 2011), two sons, four daughter and 10 grandchildren. On the face of it, that sounds like some kind of life.

I cropped her out of the photo because she wasn’t in focus, and I have this lovely headshot anyway, but her’s was the voice that people heard when the band played. This is LaHolme McClendon, a senior from Attalla, Alabama, studying science and literature.

I photograph these because they are interesting or, perhaps, because I think the person will lead us on to glimpses of a full career and life — such as we can get from a few obvious Internet resources. And I thought, for certain, we’d get just that here. A singer, an attractive young woman and, most importantly from our great distance, a distinctive name. But the Internet doesn’t tell us much about her. She appeared in her local paper when her father retired from the postal service — a front page, above-the-fold story, mind you — and I know she died at 53, in 1979, but that’s it.

These don’t always pan out.

But sometimes there’s gold. And while I didn’t want to do a lot of headshots and posed photographs, this is the ag club and the FFA, which is important for me. But it’s important for you, too. Look how the farmers were dressing in the 1940s.

One of these young men is Buris Boshell, president of the ag club, and a future medical superstar from tiny Bear Creek, Alabama, population 240. I believe that’s him on the front row, fourth from the left, standing next to the older gentleman. Boshell studied veterinary medicine at Auburn, went to med school at Alabama, but finished his studies at Harvard. He would become an endocrinologist and eventually came back home, where he built an absolutely world class diabetes research and treatment program at UAB. The Diabetes Hospital would become a reality with an outpatient clinic, a specialized inpatient unit for diabetics, and several floors devoted to diabetes related research projects. He has a building named after him at UAB, and a program in vet medicine at his alma mater takes his name as well. There are also scholarships, endowed research chairs and something called Boshell Diabetes Research Day. He died, aged 69, in 1995.

There’s a Bob Scofield in that photo, too. He was a north Alabama farmer and business man. He owned a radio station for a time. Everyone in town knew him as the owner of the Ford dealership. He made it to 90, and died in 2016.

Ralph Hartzog started out as a teacher, went back to school and studied agriculture and became a county extension agent. He worked in a handful of counties until he retired in 1978. He and his wife had two daughters. He died in 2006, just shy of 87, and his name is now on a memorial plaque at the state’s 4H Center. When they remember you as fondly as they did that man, who’d retired 28 years earlier, you must have been living right.

There’s another guy in that group photo who I met, a lifetime later. Dr. Claude Moore graduated from the College of Agriculture, did his graduate work at Kansas State and Purdue, where he became the assistant director of regional poultry breeding, until he returned to Auburn in 1956 (almost everyone goes home again). He became head of the poultry department in 1959, and stayed in that seat until he moved over to the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station in 1986. He retired from there a few years later. And after another decade or so, I would intern there. He was president of the national Poultry Science Association, a fellow in the National Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the New York Academy of Science. He was a deacon at a church we attended, and a Sunday School teacher. When he passed away, in 2008, he was survived by his wife, five children and 13 grandchildren. He was a good man.

His headstone, naturally, has a rooster on it. It also says “A steady man.” He was an Auburn man.

Which brings us, quite logically, to the debate council’s not-at-all posed photo. Didn’t we all sit around discussing the finer points of rebuilding Europe or trade relations with South America or whatever they were discussing here? Or was that just me and my friends?

Anyway, the guy on the right is Bill Ivey, a local boy, and a sophomore, who was the council president. He was listed as studying business administration. His is a good story.

Bill met his wife, Julia, while she was working as a librarian at Auburn. He was a grade student at UNC. They were married in 1954 at her family home; she was the fourth generation of her family to wed there in the front parlor. (And don’t you hope that tradition has persisted?) They moved to Chapel Hill, and then to Arizona in 1969, before heading to South Carolina in 1975. Bill became the president of a hospital there. He died, and was buried in, South Carolina in 1998, age 70. His wife passed away in 2013. They had three children and nine grandchildren.

This is a simple little highlight placeholder in the Greek section of the yearbook. The cutline simply says “Alpha Gam affair.”

Alpha Gam, where the women were charming and the candles seemed unnecessarily long.

No one wanted you to linger at their parties long enough to watch those giant stacks of wax disappear … but the blurb about their sorority tells us they held an event called the Sunrise Dance … so, maybe?

There’s nothing with this photo, but it’s obviously a fraternity house mother fulfilling the other duties as assigned part of her job. I don’t know anything about either of these two people, but it’s a charming shot.

Cosplay has gone on for longer than you thought. These are the women of Delta Zeta guarding … something.

Just a few pages later, mixed among the ads, there’s another shot of these same women showing off their combat boots. Or their knees. Who can say what the photographer’s risque intention was there.

Most of the ads are all text, just a few with clip art. The interesting ones are the few ads for businesses that existed until my time on campus, or a few famous local names.

WJHO was, back then, a station in neighboring Opelika. It is the ancestor of the modern WANI, which is one of the five stations five stations I was on in my time. This advertisement likely misses the legendary Smilin’ Jack Smollon by just a year or two. He’d come along and work there and run it for the next 40 years, definitely a character.

At some point the call letters went to a station just to the north. In 2022 it became a classic rock station, but it looks to be off the air these days. Shame, too. WJHO took it’s calls from the station founder, a radio and magnetic tape pioneer, John Herbert Orr. He taught college students Morse code while he was in high school. He helped maintain the original campus station, and then dismantled it, which I’ve written about here before. He attended school for one term in the 1920s, and then went out into the working world. The man was a real genius of his age. But his was a different age.

And that’s where we will end this look at the 1946 Glomerata. Forty photos in four installments (parts one, two and three) was a pretty good start, and I thank you for skimming along with me.

The idea, now, is to look back on the obvious anniversary years. So 100 years ago, the 1924 Glomerata, is where we’ll turn, starting next Friday. Should be a lot of fun, and there will so much to enjoy before then, starting with the weekend!