The Way Back: Mr. Frank and Me

The Way Back: Mr. Frank and Me

Many Texas Exes pine for the Forty Acres, but Allen Reid Robertson, BJ ’52, Life Member, had more reason than most. The 21-year-old’s studies were interrupted by World War II and he was sent for basic training at Camp Wolters, just outside Fort Worth. As he makes clear in this sardonic letter to “Mr. Frank” Dobie, Allen didn’t think much of the camp, a place he said was “infested with Yankees” and where one got “chummy with ticks and rattlesnakes.” (It’s not clear which he thought worse.) Dobie, MA ’18, Life Member, a famous Texas folklorist and UT professor, obviously had a powerful impact on Allen, who signed the letter “your perennial student.” Dobie went on to teach American literature at Cambridge during the war. As for Allen, he eventually acclimated to military life, serving in the Air Force until his retirement in the 1960s.




Courtesy of Harry Ransom Center.


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