Cajuns, Crime Labs, and Trivia Champs

Excerpts from Rice Owlmanac

Illustration by Zohar Lazar
Illustration by Zohar Lazar

Class of 1951

I discovered that Tom Eubank (BA) and I were born in the same hospital in Port Arthur, Texas, a few months apart. When I told him that I thought he was born in Louisiana, here was Tom’s colorful response: “Every time someone identifies me as a Cajun, a ferocious growl develops inside me. My mother and father met in school on the Vanderbilt Prairie of Jackson County, Texas; they married there in 1923 and moved to Houston.

“In Houston, my father entered Kress’ training program and became a manager of Kress stores in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Yes, I was born in Port Arthur in a hospital that I heard later became a jail. When I once joked that I was born in a jail, I caught heck. If I was, so were you. My father left Kress, and we continued moving around a lot. In 1945, we moved to Shreveport, La., where I attended Byrd High for my last two years before Rice. I was elected senior class president and governor of Louisiana Boys State. That did it. I had a Cajun sign around my neck. That I am a fifth-generation Texan and Houstonian never could surface.” Contributed by class recorder Gene Langworthy (BA; BS, 1952)

Class of 1962

Barry Moore (Wiess: BA) explores the progress of architectural preservation in Houston from its beginnings to the present. Among the preservation projects Barry directed was the distinctive restoration in 2009 of the beautiful Julia Ideson Building of the Houston Public Library. Ralph Adams Cram designed a larger library, but the Great Depression loomed and budget cuts resulted in an entire wing being eliminated. Guided by the original plans, Barry enlarged the building to an updated version of what Cram originally intended. — Contributed by class recorder Eleanor Powers Beebe (Jones: BA)

Class of 1983

“Randy King ’79 (Wiess: BA, 1980), Ian Jones ’11 (Martel: BA) and I started playing Last Call bar trivia in Portland, Ore., in 2018. In April 2018, our team qualified for the local finals and finished in third place. Nationwide, we scored well enough in the finals to earn an invitation to the championship tournament in Kentucky in April 2019. We played the finals in August and came in 11th place but hope to do better in the fall season. If anyone in the area or traveling through would like to try pub trivia with us, contact one of us and we’ll try to make it happen.”
— Contributed by Karen Chen King (Baker: BS)

Update: In April 2019, the team tied for second place in the Portland finals. Then, they tied for 22nd place among 75 of the best teams in the country in Last Call’s national tournament in Covington, Ky.

Class of 2005

Akilah Mance (Jones: BA) was hired as general counsel for the Houston Forensic Science Center, an independent crime lab serving the city of Houston and its police department. The organization is a nonprofit local government corporation formed by the city of Houston’s mayor and council in 2012 to provide scientific analysis of evidence. The lab is one of the few independent crime labs in the nation and serves the fourth most populous city in the U.S. — Contributed by class recorder Alex Sigeda (Hanszen: BA)

— Kyndall Krist