The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 97

J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb

richness of folklore about Indians, Mexicans, Anglos, Longhorns, rat-
tlers, etc. Returning from Guam in October, 1945, for discharge from
the Navy, I remember finding a copy of The Longhorns in the ship's li-
brary and avidly reading it.
My experience with Walter P. Webb was similar. In graduate school
in 1951 I signed up for "The Great Plains," a history course taught by
the master himself. The text for the course: The Great Plains, by Webb.
So I decided to buy a copy and seek the valued autograph. The meet-
ing took place in his office in Garrison Hall, where one October day I
went in with book in hand, asking for his signature. He asked me a little
about myself, and when I told him that I had worked on a dairy farm in
Washington County for a while, he laughed, took the book, and wrote
in it, "To Vic Niemeyer, from one farmer to another," signing this
"Walter P. Webb." I certainly didn't deserve this because I wasn't much
of a farmer and had never chopped cotton in West Texas as he had.
But I was glad to get this greeting, along with the autograph of the man
who took me out of the woods of East Texas and exposed me to the
Great Plains of the West and their role in U.S. history and develop-
ment. Unfortunately, during my twenty-one years of vagabondage
through Latin America in the Foreign Service, I lost this book.
There is a saying, "Those who can brag without lying, let 'em brag." I
don't think I have bragged very much in my lifetime, but I can say with
satisfaction that I took a course under Dobie and one under Webb.
Something of each rubbed off on me and thereby opened my eyes to
other worlds that I had given little or no thought to before, and I am
thankful for that.
The Warmth of J. Frank Dobie
Thirty-one years ago J. Frank Dobie sent me a copy of The Mustangs
in which he wrote, "Dear Larry Powell, I send you this book for Christ-
mas with a heart full of affection. You say it is your favorite, perhaps
along with the Guide and Tongues of the Monte. It cost me more in both
work and emotion than any other of my books. I was weaving into
it a kind of song of freedom along with many a damn against the
McCarthyites-who are by no means all dead yet. It took so much out
*Lawrence Clark Powell, author and former head librarian and director of the library school
at the Umniversity of California at Los Angeles, is professor emeritus at the University of Ari-
zona, Tucson.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989, periodical, 1989; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.