DeGolyer Library director Russell Martin, Horton Foote and SMU president R. Gerald Turner in 2003
DeGolyer Library director Russell Martin, Horton Foote and SMU president R. Gerald Turner in 2003
SMU/DeGolyer Library

Enormous Foote Prints: On the SMU Campus, the Texas Writing Giant Lives On

As we mentioned on Wednesday, Horton Foote's archives reside on the SMU campus -- in the DeGolyer Library, specifically, among the greatest places in the city to spend an afternoon or a month or a forever. As author James P. Bevill proved recently with his Republic of Texas revelation, the files there contain finds of historic proportions. While working on items about Stanley Marcus's house last summer, I stumbled across the original manuscript of Minding the Store -- not to mention myiad letters celebs sent to Marcus, including a beautiful handwritten thank-you note from Kirk Douglas (I made a copy; should post some day).

Anyway. Russell Martin, director of the DeGolyer Library, has posted this recollection of his time spent with Foote assembling his archives. Thought it worth sharing. An excerpt:

"DeGolyer Library acquired Horton Foote's papers in 1991, beginning a long and fruitful relationship. Almost every year since 1991, he would send us additional material for the collection. I'll never forget visiting him once at his home in Wharton and he prepared freshly squeezed orange juice and scrambled eggs for me. We then sat in his kitchen for hours and talked about, and solved, all the problems of the world, none of which were insurmountable when approached with his unique perspective, a magical combination of sympathy and irony. He loved the human voice, the stories we tell. No one listened any better."

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