ROBERT C. COTNER, Editor
Three Men in Texas: Bedichek, Webb, and Dobie. Essays by their
friends in the Texas Observer. Edited by Ronnie Dugger. Intro-
duction by Ralph W. Yarborough. Austin (University of Texas
Press), 1967. Pp. xx+285. Illustrations. $6.50.
Three such men as these, so many years in Austin! We have been
singularly lucky, as this composite memorial will continue to remind
us. The book is by them as well as about them; closely linked as they
were, it is natural they should have said their say about each other.
In the numerous other selections, there are around seventy in all,
anecdotes mingle easily with appreciation, inevitably tinged with
nostalgia. Throughout are to be found glimpses of three very remark-
able wives. Among so many good things it seems almost invidious to
attempt choices; but apart from the pieces by the "Triumvirate" them-
selves, to this reviewer Angus Cameron's "Fellow countryman," Frank
Wardlaw's "I have that honor" (those who heard Wardlaw's deeply-
moving tribute at Dobie's funeral may wish that could have been in-
cluded too), M. Mewhinney's "The Great Frontier," Ronnie Dugger's
"Authentic tidings of invisible things," and Mody Boatright's "A
mustang in the groves of academe" seemed especially rewarding.
The reader can examine for himself the numerous parallels and in-
tersecting points of character. For instance, two of the three, Webb
and Dobie, served with distinction at British universities, and it seems
inconceivable to suppose that Bedichek would not have found him-
self at home there if it had been his lot to be invited-as he well might
have been if his books had been published earlier. This is perhaps a
way of saying they transcended Texas; and as Dobie found to his cost
(and even more to ours) there are super-satisfied Texans who do not
take kindly to being transcended. Wilson Hudson's account of Dobie's
response to England, and vice versa, is particularly luminous.
These men belonged to a "hardscrabble" generation which never
expected good things to come easy, and they were all perhaps a little
surprised at the eminence they attained. They wore their honors
modestly, but spoke always with force and courage. None of the three
ever made any bones about saying what he thought of a man or a
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed August 31, 2015.