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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Southwestern Hzstorical Quarterly

West to me. The figure of the medicine man hunched down over the
embers of the fire, with the big owl on his shoulder that brought him
the secrets of the night ...
Realizing suddenly that a far more generous amount of time had
been given to our visit than I had anticipated, and that I had forgotten
the taxi driver waiting to drive me back to the airport, I impulsively
leaned out the upper-story window and called out to him "Perdoname,
he estado tan feliz con mi visita con el caballero profesor, olvid6 el
tiempo!" At that I turned around to hear Mr. Dobie say to me, "Yo no
soy caballero, profesor si, mira Ud. este libro, hay tiempo para todo,
recuerdase, 'el hombre rico es el hombre que tiene tiempo.'"
Since that time, through the years of correspondence and exchang-
ing of books, I have always remembered that initial visit, when I learned
from Maestro Dobie that "a rich man is a man who has time .... "
The J. Frank Dobie I Knew
When I entered the University of Texas in 1942 to complete my jour-
nalism degree, I knew J. Frank Dobie only by reputation. Since every-
body everywhere seemed to know, or know of, Dobie, I wanted more
than anything else to meet him and, if at all possible, to enroll in his
famous course, "Life and Literature of the Southwest."
I sought him out in his ground-floor office in old "B" Hall and walked
in unannounced. He was sitting at his battered desk in his shirt sleeves,
a sweat-stained five-galon' hat perched on the back of his head. He
looked up briefly when I walked in, finished the sentence he was typ-
ing, swiveled his chair around and took the oom-paul-shaped pipe that
was his trademark from his mouth.
"Hello, son," he said. "Can you write?"
There was no other greeting and no handshake. But his face beneath
the shock of white hair broke into the famed Dobie grin that, in the
years that I was privileged to know him, invariably reminded me of
Santa Claus.
"I hope so," I replied. "I think so. And I want to take your course."
*Jack R. Maguire, former director of the Institute of Texan Cultures, lives in Fredericks-
burg, Texas.
' Dobie taught me early on that there is no such thing as a ten "gallon" or five "gallon" hat. It's
galon, Spamnish for the decorative braid Spaniards have worn on the brims of their sombreros
for centuries. Thus a five-galon hat, regardless of the crown size, is one with five galons around
the brim.


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed May 1, 2016.

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