The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 138
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
drink, and with no ice we toasted each other's health. Seated behind his
desk, smoking his ever-present pipe, with "Mr. Daniels" in hand, this
great Texas author reminded me of a small boy who has just learned
that school has been canceled for the day.
With the help of the bourbon I got up my nerve and explained the
purpose of our visit, carefully outlining the project for the "Heroes of
Texas" and pointing out that there would be no payment involved.
Dobie looked at me through those white shaggy eyebrows for what
seemed like an eternity, then a broad grin broke out on his face, and he
said, "Well, son, I think that calls for another drink." He gave me pre-
cise instructions on how much bourbon and how much water made the
perfect blend. Knowing that Dorman and James were very light drink-
ers and realizing that I had a two-hour drive to Waco, I put a lot of
water in our three drinks. When I came back with the glasses, Mr.
Dobie fairly exploded. "Hell, boy, ain't you ever mixed a drink before?"
And he proceeded to the small kitchen off his study with me in tow and
superintended the making of what he called "a proper drink."
For the next two hours we sat spellbound, interrupted only by fre-
quent trips to the kitchen to freshen up the "J.D." Mr. Dobie was a great
storyteller, and he regaled us with accounts that ran the gamut from
Jim Bowie to Coronado's Children. I also noticed that with each trip to
the kitchen, Winfrey, Davis, and Day were getting more and more re-
laxed. Dorman, the usually reserved director of the Texas State Li-
brary, was laughing like a giddy teenager and kept referring to the
head of the Texas State Archives as "the great James Day." I realized
that I had passed my limit when I began arguing with Mr. Dobie over
some minor detail of Texas history. He had, of course, agreed to do
the Bowie article for the book, but kept reminding me that he usually
didn't do "nothing for nothing."
I have no doubt that we would have killed the Jack Daniels and laid it
quietly to rest if Mrs. Dobie had not returned from her shopping about
4:30. She came upstairs to the study and quickly took control of the
situation. Probably because she knew Dorman much better than James
or me, she selected him as the victim of her wrath. She pointed out in
very plain language that Frank was not to have a drink under any cir-
cumstances, much less most of a fifth. We all, of course, pled the Fifth
Amendment and quickly said our good-byes. Mr. Dobie had hastily
finished his drink and, like an obedient child, went straight to the
kitchen and rinsed out the glasses. As I stood to leave (with a definite
wobble), I saw him slide the almost-empty bottle into a drawer, and I
was sure that on Mrs. Dobie's next trip to the store he would finish off
"old Jack" with great relish and delight.
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/m1/165/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.