The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989 Page: 71
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J. Frank Dobie and Walter Prescott Webb
His future writing? He will tell you that writing the history of this
great University has been on his mind for some time, and he is begin-
ning to seriously contemplate doing that. He knows it'll be a big job (but
who could do it better?), and you know he has never backed off from a
good idea or the prospect of hard work. He thinks he is about ready to
tackle it, after he gets a few speaking engagements for Phi Beta Kappa
out of the way. Being named a lecturer for Phi Beta Kappa is the most
recent gold feather in his Stetson, and he appreciates the honor of this
most recent accolade, but the energy and time and travel it requires
keep getting in the way of everything else he has going and he wishes
there were forty hours in every day. Even our visit today will have to be
cut short, if he is to catch that plane for Cleveland, so we'd better bid
him "goodbye," wish him luck, and remind him that we will hold him to
his promise to continue this conversation where we are leaving off.
There is an unspoken bond between people who were touched by
Dr. Webb. It is very real, and it means that we feel we know and like
each other because we loved him, and that his recognition of us is per-
haps the ultimate that some of us will ever achieve, for if we were
one of "his"-student, colleague, coworker, poker-playing crony-he
made us feel important. The venerated Rupert Richardson says of him,
"To his friends, the man was even greater than the historian"-and
that just about says it all.
He is still almost everywhere in Austin:
With the courtly old gentleman who swims every day at Barton's, who
was a student in Webb's early University of Texas days-
At political gatherings where seasoned pros speak of him in reverent
In the tangle of public school administration, where a former gradu-
ate student, whose only ambition was to make history come alive in a
classroom, frets that the title "director of secondary school social stud-
ies" puts roadblocks in her way-
In the plush Federal Building office of the tough-talking director of
the United States Bureau of Reclamation, where Dr. Webb's picture
holds the place of honor, a proud reminder of the time they spent to-
gether working on More Water for Texas-
And now, I guess, at the faculty-staff watering hole named for him,
which is pretty ironic. We often had lunch with him there when it oper-
ated under another name, and he would chuckle over the decor of the
rooms, which he described as "early Texas whorehouse."
I say he is "almost" everywhere in Austin, and that "almost" gives me
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/m1/98/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.