Engel tells of the friendship that developed between Eero Saarinen and Ralph Rapson when they worked together in Eliel Saarinen's architecture firm while Rapson was a graduate student at Cranbrook.
Rapson, although born with only one arm, loved football and was known to get up a game on beautiful fall afternoons. Nose-to-the-grindstone Eero Saarinen wasn't moved by Rapsons's argument that recreation relieved an architect of stress and allow him to return to his desk refreshed and productive. One day Rapson half-dragged and half-carried his friend to the field. From that day forward, Saarinen declared himself the official quarterback of the team and never missed a game.
You can find the full story in Ralph Rapson: Sixty Years of Modern Design by Jane King Hession, Rip Rapson and Bruce N. Wright (1999, Afton Historical Society Press). Be sure and visit the Rapson-Inc. blog for other posts too. You're in for a treat.
|Ralph Rapson (left), Eero Saarinen & Fred James|
discussing plans for the College of William and Mary, February 1939
[Cranbrook Historic Photograph Collection, #4832]
|Ralph Rapson running down sideline during touch football game at Cranbrook, 1939.|
[Cranbrook Historic Photograph Collection, #284]