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Graves, at Hard Scrabble in 1992. Robert Hart
Graves, at Hard Scrabble in 1992. Robert Hart

Editor’s note: Beloved Texas author John Graves, a native of Fort Worth, died July 31 at his home near Glen Rose. His books on the Brazos River, particularly “Goodbye to a River,” established him, as The New York Times said, as “a giant in Texas letters and one of the nation’s more elegant prose stylists.”

On a cold, nasty, wet day in February 1992, writer Bryan Woolley and I drove down to John Graves’ place on White Bluff Creek in Somervell County. We were both working for The Dallas Morning News, and we were about to meet one of Bryan’s old friends and one of my literary heroes.

When we drove through the gate at Hard Scrabble we were greeted by John’s sheepdog Hodge, who was 10 and a bit stove-up in the hindquarters. He checked us out when we stepped out of my Bronco and decided that we were neither coyotes nor skunks, merely journalists, and allowed us to pass.

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