The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 100
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
One day, while Apache Gold was not in use, I scanned it and was in-
stantly attracted by the bold, vivid artwork of Tom Lea. Then I read a
couple of the stories about the Lost Adams Diggings and the Lost Brey-
fogle Mine. I was fifteen, so that was about the extent of my interest.
Nevertheless, the idea began forming in my mind that, if I wanted to
know more about my blood's country, the place to start was with the
writing of J. Frank Dobie. Later this notion was enhanced when, as a
University of Texas student, I took Dobie's old course in the life and
literature of the Southwest. Dobie was long gone, but the course was
ably taught by Wilson M. Hudson. One of the required readings was
The Mustangs, by JFD. Further reinforcement of my interest came
from Dobie's cousin, Dudley, a San Marcos resident and doyen of Tex-
as's antiquarian booksellers.
In one respect Uncle Dud was a man ahead of his time: he was charg-
ing 19ig8o prices as early as 1940. Each book he sold he characterized as
a "bargain." When I married his secretary in the mid-sixties, he was of-
fended that I had carried bargain hunting to an unpardonable ex-
treme. For several years afterward the rumor circulated that she had in
her modest holdings a J. Frank Dobie item or two that I lacked. Not so.
(But she did have-and still does-some mighty fine recipes.)
In the late fifties and early sixties, writings by Dobie began appearing
randomly in my small assortment of books. It was not yet a collection,
much less a library. In those days Burwell Pope ran a bookshop near
the University of Texas campus in Austin. As I recall, it was in the
southeast quadrant of Guadalupe and Twentieth, where Dobie Center
now stands. I made only one visit there, but I acquired autographed
first editions of The Mustangs, Voice of the Coyote, and I'll Tell You a Tale.
Subsequently, I obtained from other sources certain books for which
Dobie had written introductions. These included A Texas Cowboy, by
Charlie Siringo; A Texas Ranger, by N. A. Jennings; Fifty Years on the Old
Frontier, by James H. Cook; and Lost Pony Tracks, by Frederic Reming-
ton. And, finally, I had bought two copies of A Tom Lea Portfolio and was
more fortunate than I realized to have found a single set of Seven Draw-
ings by Charles M. Russell, for which I had paid T. N. Luther of Kansas
City the astonishing sum of $27.50!
As 1963 wore on I became increasingly desirous of meeting the ven-
erable and venerated Mr. Dobie and-not incidentally-of having the
unautographed books autographed. But I was aware that his health
was not robust and figured that he would prefer to expend his limited
energies enjoying the company of old friends rather than frittering
away time on relative youngsters with more enthusiasm than knowl-
edge. Besides, I was easily intimidated at that age.
By October I had mustered my courage to call the Dobie home on a
weekday when I happened to be in Austin. Mrs. Dobie answered the
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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/m1/127/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.