The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 82
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
emotion or excitement show through very much, but anyone who knew
the man could have told from the manner of his conversation that he
was excited about this work. It was at the Night Hawk that he told me
he could get adequate funds from a foundation like the Guggenheim if
he could raise $50,00ooo. He had managed to get inserted in the appro-
priation bill for the University of Texas items of $25,00ooo for each of the
next two years. I congratulated him on the idea, hoped things worked
out, and there the matter dropped.
After the lapse of some two or three months, I was again in Austin.
Walking through the lobby of the Stephen F. Austin one evening, I
spotted Webb seated alone in a chair backed against a lobby pillar.
Webb always bore a serious mien, but on this occasion his face was
somber. He did not see me until I greeted him: "What's wrong? Don't
you have even one friend left on this earth?" He glanced up. His face
cracked into a smile. "Hello, Jack," he said. "What are you doing down
here?" I told him and then inquired, "How's the Handbook appropria-
tion coming along?" He wanted to know if I had time for a cup of cof-
fee. It was one of his axioms that two people never really knew each
other that had never eaten together.
Shortly we were seated at the counter of the hotel coffee shop. There
Webb broke the news to me that the House had stricken the whole
amount requested from the bill. Did I have any influence in the state
Senate-or know anyone who had any influence there? I told him that
Senator Penrose B. Metcalfe, chairman of the Senate subcommittee han-
dling appropriations for higher education, was a good friend. Would I
talk with the senator and see what could be done to get the item rein-
serted? I told him I would do what I could.
Next morning I was at the senator's office about 7: 30. We visited for
a short time before I brought up the matter of the Handbook and what
the House had done. Metcalfe wanted to know if I thought the project
really merited state funds. I assured him that it should be an invaluable
aid to all persons, students included, interested in Texas history. Fur-
thermore, as I saw it, the state of Texas would be getting a real bargain
for its money. "Jack," said the senator, "I cannot put the amount re-
quested back in the bill in face of the House's action. How much money
must Webb have in order to move on?" I did not know. Well, find out
and report back.
From the senator's office, I went directly to Webb's office. After hear-
ing the results of my conversation with the senator, he sat for a few mo-
ments in deep thought, then turned to me saying, "Jack, if I can get
$1 io,ooo from the state I am sure that I can see the Handbook through.
I reported back to Senator Metcalfe, who assured me that he would do
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/m1/109/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.