“They only want their prejudices accepted,” April 1962

J. Frank Dobie, Texas writer and folklorist, speaking at the fifth anniversary celebration for Hanszen College:


There is, apparently, nothing new under the sun.




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9 Responses to “They only want their prejudices accepted,” April 1962

  1. BJ says:

    I love Dobie. Just reacquired Vaquero of the Brush Country. Also: some real nice hyphenated constructions here, viz. the buffet-dance and the cowboy-writer-historian. There is a tragic deficit of both in today’s Texas.

  2. Leoguy says:

    “Geological processes are slow.” I love it! And, Hanszen College!!!

  3. Barney L. McCoy says:

    I’ve loved Dobie since my grandfather gave me “Coronado’s Children” and “Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver” for my 9th birthday. I grew up searching for lost treasure in my mind’s eye. Unfortunately, I arrived at Hanszen two years too late and never had the chance to see and hear the man who so influenced my life. I later in life had the pleasure of listening, over an ice cold beer, to Johnny Faulk’s many stories of Dobie and his battles with Coke Stevenson and the Texas conservative establishment. John Henry always said that he learned to tell a story by listening to Dobie tell a passle of them.
    Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67
    PS. The guy with the glasses and crew cut is Jerry Hanson.

  4. Byron Webb says:

    “Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” Pretty disappointing statement. I’ve always looked up to men like my father – a kind, generous man who was also a career Army officer, Vietnam veteran, and loyal American patriot. I guess Mr. Dobie would not approve of a man like that. I’m glad Melissa posted this – now I know to remove the reading of any Frank Dobie works from my bucket list.

    • Barney L. McCoy says:

      Byron: J. Frank Dobie was probably the same type of patriot as your father. He resigned his first position at UT to join the army when the US entered WWI and served in Europe. He made that statement during the Texas version of McCarthyism in the late 40s. Gov. Coke Stevenson felt that some of the more liberal professors at UT were communists (partly because they were in favor of establishing a united nations organization)and ordered President Homer Rainey to fire them. Rainey refused to do so on the grounds that it would be a violation of academic freedom. He was supported in this fight by Dobie, Roy Bedichek (a noted Texas naturalist), Walter Prescott Webb ( a historian and folklorist famous for his history of the Texas Rangers) and a majority of the UT faculty. So Stevenson had the UT Board of Regents fire Rainey. Dobie lead the charge to keep Rainey and got fired also. For the body of his work and his fight for academic freedom Dobie was awarded the Medal of Freedom. Byron, I’d strongly recommend that you keep your bucket list intact.
      Barney L. McCoy, Hanszen 67

  5. Lou Ann Montana says:

    Thank you Mr. McCoy for your very enlightening reply. I admit to loving Dobie’s patriotism statement, as I take it to mean the pointedly public, flag-waving patriotism that I believe is often a front for fear or power-mongering. Mr. Webb’s father sounds to me like one who was deeply patriotic in spirit and service – a patriot in the best sense of the word!

  6. joni says:

    I think that in the limited context of the newspaper column, the “patriotism” comment could be interpreted in 2 ways, and, unfortunately, as essentially opposites, as we’ve seen above. I immediately thought of the “scoundrels” as falsely wrapping themselves in the flag too, as “clods” who would be geologically slow to educate. I know both Byron and his dad, and hope too that Mr. McCoy’s explanation helps to explain that we all are really on the same wavelength!

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