Three Men in Texas

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Three Men in Texas

Bedichek, Webb, and Dobie

Essays by their Friends in the Texas Observer
Edited by Ronnie Dugger

Introduction by Ralph Yarborough

Essays on the three famous friends, originally published in the Texas Observer.



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6 x 9 | 307 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-78014-9

This book is a tribute to "an incomparable triumvirate." "One was a naturalist, one a historian, and one a chronicler, but each of them was each of these. The manly love between them, a handsome thing in times and places blighted by great ugliness and banality, shone from them into their friends and contemporaries, and they shared themselves freely with those younger than they who went to them wishing to learn from them."

Most of this collection of writing by friends of Roy Bedichek, Walter Prescott Webb, and J. Frank Dobie originally appeared in special editions of the Texas Observer devoted to each of the three men. Some pieces were, however, written expressly for this volume. They have been edited by the editor and general manager of the Observer, who is also the author of Dark Star: Hiroshima Reconsidered in the Life of Claude Eatherly.

Introduction (Ralph W. Yarborough)

Roy Bedichek
My friend, Roy Bedichek (J. Frank Dobie)
“Authentic tidings of invisible things” (Ronnie Dugger)
There is at least one full man (H. Mewhinney)
His kindly nature (Bertha McKee Dobie)
This group of three, seated about the evening fire (B. C. Tharp)
The desire to excel (T. H. Shelby)
Our out-of-doors hotel (Rodney J. Kidd)
801 East Twenty-third Street (Duncan Robinson)
On top of Tallman Mountain (William A. Owens)
“Look ye also while life lasts” (Edgar Kincaid)
“Worse … Football.” (John Haller)
Freedom from pretense (Charles Ramsdell)
“My generation is daubed with blood” (Letters to Eugene George, Jr.)
No affectation, no defense (Gilbert Mcallister)
“Whitman constantly exposed his soul” (A Letter To Oneita Hildebrand)
Nature purges, “like great drama” (John Henry Faulk)
Bedichek’s rock (Wilson M. Hudson)
“The days of dizzy raptures … gone” (Four Letters)
“Today is life—the rest is nothing” (Edgar E. Witt)
“I… hear Time’s winged chariot” (A Letter To Webb)
We loved him because of his naturalness (Edmund Heinsohn)
Dear Bedi: (Walter Prescott Webb)

Walter Prescott Webb
His first teacher (Melissa Gatewood Jones)
“Professor, that was purty” (Savoie Lottinville)
“Does anyone have a reason to suggest?” (Rupert N. Richardson)
A most generous offer (John Haller)
“For years we three sat together” (J. Frank Dobie)
An unfashionable kind of historian (John Fischer)
The Great Plains (Ronnie Dugger)
The Great Frontier (H. Mewhinney)
Webb my teacher (Wilson M. Hudson)
His politics (Joe B. Frantz)
I was regarded as a bumpkin indeed (Duncan Robinson)
Webb as a sinner (Hart Stilwell)
Going to places in the pasture (Rodney J. Kidd)
His last project (Jack Cargill, Jr.)
Meetings in Dallas (Lon Tinkle)
Free of both hate and fear (Glen L. Evans)
The power of land and the power of mind (Tom Sutherland)
To the basic loyalties of life he was true (Edmund Heinsohn)

J. Frank Dobie
We came from the same range (Rocky Reagan)
Poetry in an earthy growl (Al Melinger)
A quatrain forty years ago (Eloise Roach)
Fellow countryman (Angus Cameron)
Love of life and freedom (Wilson M. Hudson)
I helped Frank Dobie cut down a tree (John Haller)
A mustang in the groves of academe (Mody Boatright)
An enemy of reactionary demagogues (Henry Nash Smith)
He has never been an exile (H. Mewhinney)
A writer loyal to real experience (Lon Tinkle)
Dobie revisited (Charles Ramsdell)
Down a bytrail (Ronnie Dugger)
Many of his books will endure (Herbert Faulkner West)
Listening with the third ear (Hart Stilwell)
Handling the “insult approach” (Joseph C. Goulden)
A question of implications (Edmund Heinsohn)
The universality of Mr. Dobie (Savoie Lottinville)
“I have that honor” (Frank H. Wardlaw)
I have known Frank Dobie for about thirty-five years (Walter Prescott Webb)
I have been associated with him a good deal since 1914 (Roy Bedichek)
Acrostic (Tom Sutherland)
But the children know (Archer Fullingim)
Impressions of a friendship (J. E. Reynolds)
“I am busy becoming contemporary with myself” (Harry Ransom)
When I heard of Frank Dobie’s death (Martin Shockley)
He brought a free man (Edmund Heinsohn)

"It is too late to know the three men personally, but never too late to study their works. Such a study will help us all find out who we are and what to do about it."
Western American Literature