The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 134
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Not so when the work was passed on to Dobie for his final evaluation.
In his book An American Original: The Life of J. Frank Dobie, Lon Tinkle,
one of my colleagues in 342, mentions his experience with the double
grading standard. He tells how Goodwyn gave him an A on the first
paper that he wrote. Once Dobie had seen it, however, the grade was
reduced to a D- and the margins were filled with this question, in pen-
cil: "What do you mean?" It was repeated beside almost every para-
graph. Tinkle writes, "I considered myself lucky. Many got F's."
Once we learned how demanding Dobie could be, most of us tried to
rise to the occasion by turning out the very best work that we could.
Perhaps he recognized a glimmer of talent somewhere because he be-
came more generous in both his grading and his praise as the course
neared its end and it was time for us to complete our 2,5oo00-word term
He reminded us one day that some of the papers produced by previ-
ous classes had been good enough for publication. As a project, these
earlier classes had put their best work together in something called
"The Lazy E" (the E was printed w ), which was offered for sale on
campus. Our class decided to do the same, and John Deschner was
named general manager for the project. Dobie chose me as the editor,
an event that I still regard as one of the proudest moments of my life.
Mine was not an easy task. There were seventy-nine students in 342
and each had written a 2,5oo00-word paper based on his or her personal
experience or original research. I had space for only seventeen of
these, plus Dobie's foreword and a page for the class roster. To the dis-
appointment of many and the joy of a few, however, we got the volume
mimeographed, bound, and ready for market.
Volume 4 of "The Lazy E" didn't make the New York Times best-
seller list, but it sold quite well for a half dollar a copy at the booths we
set up at the Texas Union. Dobie, as had been his practice with earlier
volumes, even autographed some. These went for $1.50 each. I'm told
that today a copy of Volume 4 bearing Dobie's signature is worth a hun-
dred times that to collectors. I regard my own autographed copy as
priceless because on its title page he wrote: "Jack Maguire: You have
made a bully job of this book. I'm proud of you. Your teacher, J. Frank
Dobie. May 20, 1943."
I hope he was proud of me and I believe he was until his death. I saw
him only infrequently, but when he read something he liked in my syn-
dicated newspaper column or in a magazine piece that I had written
about Texas, he often would call me or send a note in his familiar scrawl.
When he lay down for a nap on September 18, 1964, and never
awakened, I lost a great mentor and friend. I tried to write his wife,
Bertha McKee Dobie, a letter, but the right words wouldn't come. Fi-
Here’s what’s next.
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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/m1/161/: accessed November 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.