February 15, 2006 --   Frank Q. Dobbs passed away at 9:55 pm (Texas Time). He didn't appear to be in any pain. The Lord blessed me beyond measure when He allowed our paths to meet. Frank made such a deep impression in my heart and in my life, as I know he did many. I know I speak for a lot of folks when I say that he will be Greatly missed.    
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3-31-06  I have added some more pictures of the shindig in San Marcos, TX and Simi Valley, CA. Below that, you will find two very nice poems, written by Chris Schuman.   


First Annual
Frank Q. Dobbs
Memorial, Shindig and BBQ

March 11, 2006 - San Marcos, Texas

                                 

WE LOVE YOU, FRANK!

UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN...

       

 
There was such an overwhelming interest from Frank's west coast supporters in paying tribute to the man - that we've now scheduled a second memorial BBQ in Los Angeles on March 26th for those folks who will not be able to attend Carla's Texas function.  I believe Holly and John will be attending this gathering as well. Everyone is welcome.
 
We ask that people RSVP dobbsmemorial@llpla.net

Please join us in celebrating the life of our friend, Frank Q. Dobbs
Sunday, March 26
2:00pm to 5:00pmSimi Valley Stages
6800 Smith Road – Simi Valley, CA 93063

                 


We salute you, Sir!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
On Sunday, March 26th, my wife Beth and I drove from the Palm Springs area, where we live, to the Simi Valley , located just over the hill from the San Fernando Valley , and a few more miles from Los Angeles proper.  We went to pay our respect to our dear friend, my one-time script-writing partner, Frank Q. Dobbs.   The west coast memorial - there had been another in Texas on March 11th - was held at the Simi Valley Stages, home to Larry Levinson Productions, a motion picture and television company where Frank often worked.    Fittingly, the studio is located directly across the street from the old entrance to Corriganville.The wagon wheel gate is all that remains of that famed Western movie ranch, once owned by Republic Pictures' Western Star, Ray "Crash" Corrigan.Hundreds of films, mostly B-Westerns, were filmed there over the years, and I'll wager Frank Dobbs had seen most of them.    The studio flew Frank's daughter Holly and her husband to California for the life-celebration; they were joined by several hundred others, Frank’s close friends and co-workers. It was a happy occasion, as Frank would have wanted it.Food and drinks were offered, then many of those paying respect spoke fondly of Frank from the podium, while a special slide show depicting Frank's life and career played on several large television screens in the background.   Prayers were spoken, both aloud and silent.  Many of Frank's friends met in person for the first time.  New friendships were formed, some tears were shed.  It was a beautiful day for remembering such a beautiful man.  Frank was there, by the way. He wouldn't have missed it for anything.  We could all feel his presence.   Now, he rests in peace.     
(Written by Steven Lodge)

                             

MY FRIEND FRANK 
by 
Christine Schuman

Let me tell you about a special gent, my friend Frank  --His handshake was his word, on that you could bank
A bear of a man from the Lone Star state  --Even Texas couldn’t hold a talent so great

  He tramped from the Canadian Rockies, deep in snow  --To the cactus covered hills of Mexico
From the Cape of South Africa to Thailand’s shore  --To film world events and write about war 

He penned the stories of the old west  --Truth and justice was his quest
In the films he directed of the cowboy lore  --Just like him, genuine, honest and so much more

His boot prints planted deep in each place he went  --Touching lives and hearts, surely he was God sent
On his principles he always took a stand  --And encouragement was the mark of his brand

A cowboy’s hearts was his creed and a true Texan was his breed  --He taught many of us the strength of the words “I believe”
So now you know a little of Frank through my eyes  --A friend with a heart that was Texas size
* * * 

WHAT MAKES A COWBOY

by 
Christine Schuman


He’s a real cowboy they said and I wondered what they meant
Was it the riding heels on his mule ear boots or the way his hat was bent?
The make of his truck, the breed of his dog, or the brand of saddle he forks
Does it matter if he rides a Cayuse, quarter horse or broomtail nag? 

Is the man still a cowhand if he runs on a 2 acre spread?
Or does he need sections of grass for his cows to bed
And does it have to be just cattle he herds
Or can it be llamas, hogs, or them emu birds
 
What sorts of leggins do cowpunchers wear, Levi’s, Wranglers, or designer Jeans?
You know he’s bona fide if a snuff can ring on his back pocket is seen 

A rancher’s dog sits beside him in his brand new truck
And you gotta be mighty swell to beat out that pup 

I’ve met champene bronc busters who live in big cities
And even one who wears perfume and is right pretty
It used to be easy to tell a real cowhand
By his weathered face and bowlegged stand

But nowadays cowboys ride quarter horses that are Japanese
You don’t have to break, feed, or catch em, and they ride with ease 

The makings of a cowboy isn’t in the clothes he wears
The horse he rides or the breadth of his land
It’s how he treats children, his gentle ways with critters and respect to womenfolk
Its Gods mark on the man that makes him a true cowpoke


The Friends of Dobbs (FOD)
are pleased to announce the creation of the Frank Q. Dobbs Mass Communications Memorial Scholarship Fund at Sam Houston State University. Frank graduated from SHSU in 1961 with a degree in journalism and was voted a distinguished alumni in 1989. Also a devoted alumni, Frank returned annually to the Huntsville campus, as a guest lecturer and spent countless hours in one on one counsel with students. The loss is large, but we hope in some small way this scholarship fund will insure that his presence remains. Contributions in Frank's honor can be mailed to:

Sam Houston State University
Office of University Advancement
Box 2537
Attn: FQD Scholarship Fund
Huntsville, Texas 77341-2537


If anyone would like to share any thoughts about Frank, or any experiences they may have had with him, please feel free to send them to me. syorks4@gmail.com I will be honored to post them for you. Make it as long or short as you like. We'll start with words from the man, himself. He e-mailed this to me 10-31-2004.


SHARON,

YOU ASKED WHAT MOTIVATES ME...
 
WELL, I'VE THOUGHT LONG AND HARD ON THAT IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, LOOKING BACK AND IDENTIFYING THE THINGS I'M PROUD OF, THE GOALS I CONSIDER ACCOMPLISHED, THE OPPORTUNITIES I PURSUED, THE STORIES...AND THE PEOPLE I'VE ADMIRED.
 
IT COMES DOWN TO TWO CATAGORIES...
 
"HIGH ADVENTURE...AND THE TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT".
 
IN MANY WAYS THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME.  TO ACCOMPLISH LOFTY OR NEAR IMPOSSIBLE GOALS IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO HAVE A SENSE OF ADVENTURE, A WILLINGNESS TO DARE, A DETERMINATION TO TRIUMPH.
 
AND THERE MUST BE A WILLINGNESS TO FAIL...AND TO FAIL AGAIN...IN THE ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY THAT THERE IS TRULY NO FAILURE AS LONG AS THE SPIRIT REMAINS DETERMINED AND THE GOAL REMAINS IN FOCUS.  THOSE FAILURES ARE MERELY BUMPS IN THE ROAD, RIVERS THAT NEED TO BE CROSSED.
 
FROM LEWIS AND CLARK TO JOE LEWIS TO LEWIS CAROL, GREAT GOALS WERE ACHIEVED, ADVENTURES WERE EXPERIENCED AND THE SET-BACKS WERE ENDURED.
 
THOSE ARE THE STORIES THAT WARM MY HEART...THE STORIES I WANT TO BE A PART OF TELLING...
 
AND OF LIVING.
 
HEY, YOU ASKED FOR IT.  THERE IT IS.
  
FQDPDQ
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From: J.P. Martin
For you, Dobbsie….. As a writer, I can imagine many things.The thing I can’t imagine is life without Frank Q. Dobbs. What I saw in Dobbs from the start was he was such a genius that he sometimes had little patience for the rest of us.He saw things so clearly it must have been an enormous frustration and burden to have to explain things to those of us with lesser vision.If you were lucky enough to know him you knew these things about him.He could give you love and friendship and he could give you hell in the same breath….all because he was a grizzly-teddy bear-genius.This I can say, I never recall winning a fight with Dobbs – or losing one.What I can recall is, out of mutual respect we went to our corners and hugged each other from a distance.One night when we were having an “artistic difference” I told him he was thinking like an old geezer.He hung up on me.About an hour later, he called me back and said, “Well, if I’m an old geezer….you’re an old weezer.”I hung up on him.Up until a few days ago, we were still laughing about the fact that from that night on, we were Geez and Weez. I’ve had so many adventures with Dobbs.Some of them so funny we almost peed in our pants.Some of them so sad, we wept together. Some of them so full of creative energy we screamed at each other or hugged each other.Some of them so full of love that no further consideration was necessary. Dobbs loved opportunity.He loved receiving it and he loved giving it.He changed lives.He changed opinions.He changed places and he changed people. When all the chips were down, it was Dobbs that still believed.   I once wrote him a poem called “Ode to Dobbs.”He laughed and he cried…and he pointed out all my type-o’s….

            “You came from another place and time.
            Where all the magic in the universe aligns…
            And my web, which I began without a thread…
            Turned to gold because of one small thing you said…
            I believe.”

A lot of our webs are gold because Dobbs believed in us.Dobbs loved believing.He loved it when people believed in him and he loved believing in others. What most of us can say is, we are in great pain for one simple reason. Dobbs believed in us and we believed in him.He invested his time and his heart and his passion and his genius and his humor and his temper and his friendship in us and for that, we’re damn lucky. So you know what?I’m NOT going to imagine a life without Dobbs.And I’ll see to it that my boys don’t imagine a life without him either.And their kids won’t.And their kids after them won’t.    Like his best friend said tonight, he left some very deep footprints.It’s my job and my privilege to see that time does not erase them. So here’s to you, Dobbsie.You said to me once, “I’ve spent my whole life doing the thing I loved most.”I said “you’re a lucky man.”What I realize now….. a lot of lives were “luckier” because of him. You know what he’d say.He’d say, “Saddle up, Weez, ride on and don’t look back.See you around the waterhole.”So that’s what I’m gonna do, Geez.It won’t be easy, but that’s what I’m gonna do.

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From:  Sarah Nean Bruce

I am heartbroken about this. He was one of my biggest champions when I returned to Hollywood in 2000.

One of the people in my life who believed in me and encouraged me and even pitched me to his sacred contacts, especially important for me after being away from L.A. in Texas for seven years. He really helped me to jump-start my career back here - evidenced by my two films with Larry Levinson Productions for the Hallmark Channel. And I was his "number one supporter" & sidekick on several of his LLP shoots as well as championing his projects. I am so grateful for all the breakfasts we had - where we would 'plot & scheme' on how we would win the lottery, start our own film company to fund & make our own projects!

And I finally found out today what the Q really stood for... Frank Quinn Dobbs. Even though for years he wouldn't tell me, I told him it didn't matter - that to me, the Q was for Quasimoto - and that is what started our nicknames - he was Mr Quasi/Quazi and i was Ms Moto/Modo.

I have many great memories of Frank, including photos & a cameo in my short film, as well as hundreds of emails between us... and in a final email last month - he told me and some other friends how much he loved us... we love you, too Mr Quazi.

So as Frank would say: that's the latest from Lake Woebegone.

Sadly,
Ms Moto
aka Sarah Nean Bruce

                             
  Quasi & Moto on Sarah's LLP Film                                         
     LOVE, CLYDE - February 2004
                                
                                    A picture of Frank Q Dobbs playing THE HOMELESS GUY - 
                                            cameo - in my directorial debut THE MARRIAGE UNDONE 2002


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From: Sharon Yorks

Frank was in the hospital (in L.A.) over this past Thanksgiving. I called and wished him well, but after I hung up, I wanted to somehow do more. During dinner, I started thinking about all the scripts he had written. Some that were produced and well known, and some he had shared with me that were not. In my head, I started writing a story about his situation, using his script titles. I then rushed home, typed it out, called the L.A. hospital and got their fax number, then faxed it to him the same day--wishing him a Happy Thanksgiving. He said he got a big kick out of it. The only title below that he didn't have a hand in writing (I don't think) is "BBQ, Biscuits, and Beans." This was the project he was working on when he became ill, and I know he was back and forth on it, trying to help get it finished. It fit into the story so well I felt I had to include it. On Thanksgiving Day of 2005, this was the story of Frank's stories.

Frank’s Stori-es
 -- You’re probably sitting in that hospital bed, feeling like “The Last Cowboy,” and saying to yourself, “Isn’t this just a ‘Bum’s Luck’.” Your jalopy’s battery needs recharged, and they’ve got you parked up there on ‘Peckerwood Hill,” feeling like a “Rebel” who’s had to walk “Uphill All The Way.”But don't worry, that team of a half-a-dozen doctors or so...we'll call "The Magnificent Seven"...will have you picking yourself up off of that "Hard Ground," and you will be on "The Mother Road" to recovery before the "BBQ, Biscuits, and Beans," has a chance to cool off. And then, you'll be "Gone to Texas" to "A Place Called Home" faster than a thief can "Hotwire" your Durango, leaving "The Captive Heart" of a nurse or two behind in a trail of dust.

Words cannot describe how I feel right now. I'm sure many of you understand what I mean. He left his mark in my heart and I will cherish it, always. He was, without a doubt, the most interesting person I have ever talked with, and we talked often. We soon found we had many things in common and even shared the same birthday (7-29). 

I found myself jumping out of bed in the morning, eager to get to my computer to see what words of wisdom I was about to be blessed with. He wrote with such wit, and I laughed often.
Once, after missing a few days on the computer, I told him I missed my "daily dose of Dobbs." He told me that sounded like a laxative. It wasn't long before we were back on schedule. 

Thank you, A. W. Radle, Jr., for sending me such a great picture of Frank. I will keep it beside my computer...so I can get my daily dose of Dobbs :-) 
I miss you, my friend! 
     Sharon Yorks  ---(Tonto...without the Lone Ranger)

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From: Fran Allgood

Well old buddy, I'm not the writer you were but it was certainly a privilege to call you my friend. You were there when I started in the business always encouraging me to "press on". And when I was at the end of my rope you always had a good story to help me see the right way to handle what was wrong. I'm so happy I could make it home to see you before you left us. I simply can't imagine a world without you FQDPDQ.  You taught me so much about "getting it right" and for that I am eternally grateful. You're a Class Act Dobbs... 


Happy Trails my friend til we meet again... Frannie

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From: Robert A. Nowotny

Frank Q. Dobbs was a big man in every way. No one, and I mean no one, has done more for the film industry in Texas than Frank. And there's no one I know who elicits more unforgettable, wonderful memories than Frank. Your speeding ticket story is just one example of what I am talking about.

I first met Frank in 1986, when he was still headquartered in Houston. He shared his office space with a retired political advisor named Chet Warner. One day out of the blue Frank's telephone rang; it was Mel Tillis on the other end. Somehow (and Frank never knew how or why) a copy of his screenplay UPHILL ALL THE WAY was in the Green Room for the TONIGHT SHOW. (This was back in the days when Johnny Carson ruled).

Mel was bored, found the script, loved it and called Frank who initially thought this was some sort of practical joke. Once convinced it really was Mel calling and that he had already secured the independent financing necessary to jump start production, Frank was ecstatic. Upon hanging up he let out a loud "hooray" that reverberated throughout the entire building -- prompting Chet to run in and ask what all the fuss was about. When told that Frank was going into production soon Chet sheepishly asked, "Can I be in your film?"

Frank, pretty much thinking Chet was only kidding (he had absolutely no training of any kind either in front of or behind the camera), replies, "Learn to tap dance and you're in."

Yep, two weeks later Chet knocks on Frank's door, is invited in and commences to perform a simple tap dance, the result of ten straight days of lessons.

Sure enough, the very opening scene of UPHILL ALL THE WAY features Chet on a small stage tap dancing for no apparent reason whatsoever as the camera pans across the old western town also inhabitated by Mel, Roy Clark, Burl Ives, Glenn Campbell, Frank Gorshin and Burt Reynolds (in an uncredited role) in what became Frank's third feature film.

Frank Q. Dobbs was always a man of his word...

Robert A. Nowotny

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From: David S. Cass, Sr.

Frank Q. Dobbs was always Jefi' to me. Top man, the guy out in front, lead dog, the one thing about being out in front of the pack is the scenery always changes. He liked the scenery to change. Jefi' 's passion for living and adventure was only matched by his passion for making movies. We met well over 40 years ago as young men. As our careers grew so did our relationship. He tried his best to make me part of every project that he partook. I the same for him. We shared laughs, anger, sorrow and a hell of a lot of highway running under the wheels of our vehicle. Time nor distance diminished our friendship, we agreed to disagree, believe me he could disagree in a very 'booming way, the problem in disagreeing with FQD was that 99% of the time he was right. I learned one big thing from Jefi', it doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down, what matters is how many times you get back up. Frank Q. Dobbs will go to every movie set with me for the rest of my career. He will always be there to whisper in my ear and chew me out when needed. So many people have been touched in a positive way by him, his legacy lives on. Adios, Jefi' ---David S. Cass, Sr.

POST SCRIPT
I chuckle as I think that God must really be pleased having Frank up there with him, telling him how to run things.
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Old Tucson - early 1960s. Frank Q. Dobbs (L)
and Dave Cass



Pictures sent in by Stephen Lodge

From: Holly Dobbs Arnold The Houston Chronicle printed a nice story about Dad in today's paper.  Here is a link, as well as the link to the obit.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/3670043.html 

http://www.legacy.com/houstonchronicle/DeathNotices.asp?Page=Lifestory&PersonId=16759832 
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From: Chris Schuman

The letters posted about Frank are all so beautiful and so true. His leaving us seems like a nightmare that we all want to wake from. He took a scared Montana ranch girl under his wing and made me believe in myself. He possessed such endearing qualities that were just beneath the surface of his bear-like body and booming voice. I loved when he'd answer the phone, his voice deep and rumbling. "Dobbs Here" I always answered "Chrissy here."  When my son was killed he sent me letters that kept me going. He never tried to explain his death away but encouraged me to keep looking up and keep writing. When I played for him, a CD I recorded the songs Ridin for The JC Brand and The Imaginary Cowboy, made him cry and made me cry to know I could write and sing something that would touch his heart, as he touched mine. He loved life, people, the movie business, and was especially proud of Holly. He loved having her on the set. At first I thought he wanted her to see what he was doing and meet his co-workers. I was wrong he wanted us to meet her. I saw the heart of a father, the pride of a creator in his movies and the enduring love of people, even when we were sometimes unlovable. He left a legacy we all want to share in because he was a man big enough only Texas could contain. "Chao" my friend until we meet again, and I will hear your heart warming. "Dobbs here."

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From: Jeff "Moose" Howery
Frank Dobbs, along with Scotty Smith, gave me my 1st opportunity on a film in 1979. I was the generator operator on" Hotwire". I didn't know a frequency meter from a Spectra meter, but that didn't matter, they just wanted people who could, or would work. I worked with MFC on a freelance basis for a number of years driving their trucks and doing commercials, but moved on to other projects and we lost touch. Several years ago, I had the opportunity to work on "The Alamo" in Austin. I had done several projects with Frank down in Brackettville at Happy Shahans ranch (the John Wayne Alamo set), and was relieved to go to Austin for the latest version. One day, while working in the Bexar part of the set, up walks FQD. He was just there to check it out, only staying for a few hours, but we had a chance to catch up and had a few laughs. I was very sad to hear the news from Fran Allgood and I'm sorry I cant make the shindig as I am out of the country right now. The first memory of many that came flooding back was of a cartoon of Frank ordering 2 fried eggs and saying hurry up! Next frame, one of the eggs hits him square in the face. Final frame he is saying well where's the other egg? Thanks for the memories Frank!!!
                          Jeff "Moose" Howery

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From: Drew Mayer-Oakes

I've known Frank almost as long as I've been in the film business, and will surely miss him.

Here's a great photo I wanted to share with you, that I took when I was working in Houston on GAMBLER V.
http://www.filmhouston.texaswebhost.com/frankdobbs.jpg 

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From: Sharon Yorks

Frank and I had been working on a Christian film project (Cloverleaf) that we were trying to find financing for and get into production. It was a script that I wrote and he was going to direct. Throughout this past year, I have had ample opportunities to share my faith, and the way God was working in my life, with Frank. He always seemed interested and somewhat intrigued, and on several occasions, he even made references to him praying and being thankful for this and that.

After Frank became ill, it started weighing on my heart to find out whether or not he really knew Jesus as his personal savior. It was apparent that Frank was a great, upstanding guy, but from what I have learned from the Bible, being “good” isn’t what gets you into heaven. Referring to Ephesians 2:8-9, it says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is a gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” This tells me that salvation isn’t determined and/or given by how much you “do” or how “good” you are. I then had a decision to make. Do I risk having this man…the one in whose opinion I respected above all others…think of me as a “religious kook?” I soon realized that was a fear the devil uses against most everyone, and the compassion I felt for Frank, and his eternal destination, (whether sooner or later) far outweighed the fear.

Around Christmas time, I spoke to Frank in more detail about salvation. I remember the first time I brought it up, his short, shallow breaths told me he was having a rough day. His polite comment was, “I never thought I was out of the loop.” I did not want to push the matter, and settled for just planting the seed. As I prayerfully pondered my next approach, a particular scripture from the Bible stuck with me. Romans 10:10: “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” During one of our next conversations, I shared this scripture with Frank…which was quickly interrupted by an incoming call on his end. Our next conversation was suddenly cut short, too. It soon came to mind that I might have been competing against the opposing team for Frank’s very soul. I’m not saying I was…but it sure crossed my mind. Frank and I had a favorite word we’d throw back and forth to each other on several occasions. It was a word I decided was needed then, and I stood strong on it. That great word…PERSEVERE!

To make a long story short, on January 5, 2006, Frank prayed with me over the phone, and made that confession of faith and asked Jesus into his life as his person savior.  I don't know if
Frank was ever "Out of the loop." I don’t pretend to have all the answers…and I’m not even saying you HAVE to do this to be saved. Who can be “really” sure? All I know is these scriptures are in the Bible, and were laid (very heavily) on my heart. I felt led to share them with Frank.    

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From: Stephen Lodge  


This morning I was in the shower trying to think of something and out of habit I said to myself, Well, I’ll just wait and call Frank when I get done here.Then came that recurring awakening I’d been having since last Wednesday – Frank wasn’t going to be around to help me anymore. Other than being one of my closer friends in this changing world of ours, Frank Q. Dobbs was my number-one fountain of information on everything Texan – everything period.Like Frank, I’m a writer.Once it was screenplays – today I write novels. So far, most of my stories have taken place in Texas, or they at least feature folks from the Lone Star State. Frank Dobbs was the one source I could always depend on to help me out of a writer’s jam, be it historical accuracy, or precise geography. He always knew the answers to my questions. Frank Dobbs had a life-long love affair with the motion picture business, while at the same time deeply devoted to Texas history. With Frank gone now, I know I’ll never find another one like him – as a friend, or as a nurturing advocate.

Frank’s close friend, Dave Cass, introduced me to the man he called “Jefe” way back in the early 1970s. I liked Frank from the very start.At that time he treated Dave and I as if we were the polished professionals, something he aspired to be - because both Dave and I were working in Hollywood , I suppose.What he never saw in himself, even back then, was that he was already a polished professional, far superior in his knowledge of film than either one of us ever hoped to be. Frank literally burst onto the scene when he arrived in Hollywood – having no trouble picking up employment as a screenwriter, producer, and eventually a director. He told me recently that he’d been overly blessed by being allowed to make movies of nearly all the stories he’d always wanted to film. Those who were lucky enough to have worked with Frank – and I was one of those lucky ones: as a writing partner, also when he was producing and directing – will tell you there wasn’t a nicer guy to be around, even when he was scowling and growling at either an actor or member of the crew during a film shoot.I’m going to miss him. I know I’m not alone.

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From: Fred T. Kuehnert I met Frank over twenty years ago and find it difficult to emotionally comprehend that Frank is no longer with us. He was such a powerful force. I feel empty. I will miss our lengthy breakfast meetings in Westwood. I will miss his telephone calls “Dobbs here!” and his parting Ciao. I will miss the paragon of strength that he represented, his integrity, his talent, his encouragement for me to write. I will miss working on the project that he and JP Martin discussed writing for me just weeks before his death. I never told Frank how much I respected him but then again he probably would have been uncomfortable with such platitudes.  Frank was a good man and made all of us whose lives he touched better for the experience. May God’s blessings be upon him and his family.
Ciao, Frank…I’ll do the best I can.   Fred T. Kuehnert
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Frank with actor John Terry                   "Hotwire"                               "Lone Star Bar & Grill"
   
      on the "Hotwire" set in 1979
"Night of the Wolf"                 Frank, Steve Lodge, & Dave Cass               Same threesome
                                                                 "Night of the Wolf" set                 Writers on "Rio Diablo" set

                                
                                                                                                 
Rio Diablo "C" camera

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From: David Ward

I've been thinking about what I wanted to say about Frank, but where do I start. I've known him for over 50 years and I have so many memories about the early days, and some that are more recent. Frank and I worked at rival movie theaters in Huntsville and the first time that I tried to see a movie at his theater with "my unofficial pass" he stopped me and said "you gotta buy a ticket". I told him that we always let each other in and he could come in free to the my theater and plus the fact I was dating the owners step-daughter. Needless to say I didn't get in. After that we became good friends, and I was in his earliest movie's that he wrote, directed and filmed while we where in high school. He didn't charge us to be in his movie's but somehow we still paid, in my case
I threw a rod in my old Studebaker going to a "location shot", ruining my grand-father's vest and boots during a dying scene and etc. Frank had the great idea one time that we would do a "cops and robbers" movie. That lasted about two scenes until we wrecked  a car during a chase , after that he decided it would be cheaper doing cowboy movies at the Goree farm. Frank had a vision back then and thank god he got to live it.
   
One of the last times I talked to Frank on the phone, he told me a story about Holly when they were on location during some wrap up work. He laughed and said somebody asked her if she was proud about what her father did for a living  and she said "I wish he'd just grow up and quit playing Cowboys and Indians". It was a big joke for him, but now I wonder who will step into his boots and keep his legacy going? We'll miss Frank and I for one hope that Heaven is just a big old ranch and he'll still get to play Cowboys and Indians forever.
 
David Ward
Fort Worth (Cowtown), Texas
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Here is a story Frank shared with me, this past August, after telling him I had just saved my 3 month old puppy (Lexi) who had fallen into the pool. It was obvious she had been there for a while and couldn't get out.

YOUR "LEXI" STORY REMINDS ME OF THE TIME I AGREED TO BABY-SIT A BIG COLLIE DOG NAMED DIXIE, A CAT NAMED MIKE AND A HAMSTER WHO WAS CALLED HAMMIE. THEIR OWNERS WERE ON A FIVE DAY TRIP AND I WAS TO DROP BY EVERY NIGHT AND MAKE SURE CAT, DOG AND HAMSTER HAD FOOD AND WATER.
 
NIGHT # 1.  IT WAS RAINING CATS AND DOGS AND FROGS WERE STRANGLING AND IT WAS A GOOD 40 YARDS FROM CAR PARKING IN THE DRIVE WAY TO THE ONLY DOOR THAT I HAD A KEY FOR.
 
I CONTEMPLATING WAITING UNTIL MORNING...SERIOUSLY CONTEMPLATED SUCH.  WE'VE ALL SKIPPED A MEAL NOW AND THEN, RIGHT??? BUT...I FIGURED I'D BETTER GO AND MAYBE I COULD WAIT 'TIL THE RAIN SLACKED AND MAKE A RUN FOR THE HOUSE.
 
EUREKA, SUCH TURNED OUT TO BE THE CASE AND I BARELY GOT WET...BUT WHEN I GOT INSIDE AND THE CAT WAS YOWLING AND RUBBING AGAINST MY LEG I COULD NOT FIND THE DOG.  I LOOKED ALL OVER THE HOUSE, CALLED HER NAME A DOZEN TIMES, EVEN PEERED OUT THE FRENCH DOORS TO THE BACK YARD POOL AREA.  LOTS OF WATER...IN AND OUT OF THE POOL...BUT NO DIXIE.
 
A CLAP OF THUNDER AND THE RAIN REALLY BEGAN TO FALL.
 
AND I COULD HEAR THIS STRANGE ELECTRONIC WAILING LIKE A VACUUM CLEANER OR A MIXMASTER THAT HAD STARTED BURNING OUT...BUT I COULD NOT LOCATE THE SOUND...UNTIL...
 
I BARELY NOTICED...PROPPED UP IN THE CORNER OF THE DEEP END OF THE POOL THE WET BLACK NOSE OF A BIG COLLIE.  DIXIE HAD MANAGED TO FALL INTO THE POOL AND COULDN'T OR WOULDN'T GET OUT.
 
NOTHING TO DO BUT STRIP, CHARGE THROUGH THE RAIN AND DIVE IN...THEN STRUGGLE TO GET THE EXHAUSTED DOG UP ONTO THE CONCRETE PATIO.  DIXIE WAS JUST ABOUT DONE FOR AND I WAS SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING CPR.  INSTEAD, MAINLY IN FRUSTRATION, I THUMPED HER ON THE CHEST A COUPLE OF TIMES AND SHE COUGHED UP A BUCKET OF WATER, STOPPED WAILING AND WENT TO WHIMPERING.
 
SHE WAS AS LIMP AS A RAG DOLL BUT I MANAGED TO GET HER UNDER COVER, GET OUT THE CAT AND DOG FOOD...THEN WENT UPSTAIRS TO CHECK ON HAMMIE.
 
HAMMIE WAS LYING IN HIS CAGE, FEET STRAIGHT UP IN THE AIR AND TORSO AS STIFF AS A BRICK.  WRAPPED HAMMIE IN TIN FOIL, TOOK HAMMIE (OH YEAH, I GOT DRESSED FIRST) TO THE CLOSEST DUMPSTER...A NEARBY DAIRY QUEEN AND CONSIGNED HIM TO HAMSTER HEAVEN.
 
THEN WORKED UP THE NERVE TO CALL THE WANDERING COUPLE.  THE WIFE SAID, "OH YES, WE FORGOT TO TELL YOU THAT MIKE HAD ATTACKED HAMMIE BEFORE WE LEFT AND WE KNEW HE WASN'T FEELING WELL...AND MIKE AND DIXIE ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING OVER THE FOOD BOWL...AND MIKE PROBABLY CHASED DIXIE INTO THE POOL."
 
MY REPLY..."AND IS DIXIE TOO DUMB TO SWIM TO THE SHALLOW END AND SIMPLY STEP OUT OF THE POOL?"
 
"YEP, SHE'S GOT A WATER PHOBIA."
 
LOOKING BACK...WAY BACK...THAT WAS ONE OF THE DARKEST (AND WETTEST) DAYS OF MY LIFE, THAT'S FOR SURE.
 
AT LEAST YOU'VE SAVED LEXI...FOR NOW
 
STANDING BY TO HEAR WHATEVER'S NEXT.
 
FQDPDQ

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"Frankisms" - people's favorite quotes from Frank.  

1.) When commenting on the ups and downs of the movie business, Frank said: "STILL, IT BEATS CLERKING IN THE SEVEN-ELEVEN."
2.) After informing him of the unfortunate passing of singer/songwriter Chris Ledoux,  Frank wrote: "HARDLY A DAY GOES BY THAT WE DON'T HAVE SOME SOLID REASON TO COUNT OUR OWN BLESSINGS."
3.) After being on the verge (for ninety plus days) of having one of his projects funded, his hopes were diminishing. I reminded him of the word he had previously used on me. He wrote back: "THANKS FOR THE CUES RE: PERSEVERANCE.  THAT IS THE SECRET TO MOST SUCCESSFUL ENDEAVORS, ESPECIALLY SHOW BIZ." 
4.) On the efforts of being optimistic: "THAT'S THE HARDEST PART OF WHAT WE DO...REMAINING OPTIMISTIC IN THE FACE OF SETBACKS." 
5.) AS THEY SAY IN THE OLD SPIRITUALS, "IT'S A MIGHTY HARD ROAD"...BUT IT'S WELL WORTH TAKING BECAUSE ITS THE ONLY ROAD THAT LEADS TO THE DESTINATION.
6.) What he felt investors looked for: "PEOPLE BUY INTO THE STATISTICS AND ATTITUDES THAT REFLECT THEIR OWN POINT OF VIEW AND LEVEL OF INTEREST."
7.) AS I KEEP SAYING, "AIN'T SHOWBIZ GRAND???"
8.) TWO THIRDS OF THIS BUSINESS IS TAKING MEETINGS AND LIGHTING CANDLES AND SAYING MANTRAS.
 9) I ONCE HAD (JAMES) GARNER AND (WILLIE) NELSON ALL SIGNED, SEALED AND READY FOR DELIVERY...ONLY TO BE TOLD NOBODY WANTS TO SEE OLD GEEZERS IN ACTION.  OF COURSE THAT WAS BEFORE "SPACE COWBOYS" MADE A DOUBLE BUNDLE. TRUTH IS NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING UNTIL A FILM IS ON THE STREETS.
10.) I'M THE KID THAT GREW UP IN THE SLAMMER, SURROUNDED BY WHORES, PIMPS, MURDERERS AND CON ARTISTS...WAITED ON, HAND AND FOOT, BY SAME FOR MOST OF MY CHILDHOOD...YET I SEEM TO HAVE HAD THE MOST IDYLLIC CHILDHOOD OF ANYBODY I KNOW.

I DID TAKE DANCE LESSONS THE YEAR I TURNED 12.  THE COLLEGE LIBRARIAN'S WIFE HAD A DANCE STUDIO AND ALL GOOD LITTLE GIRLS AND BOYS OF A CERTAIN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL STATUS "TOOK" FROM "MRS SIMONS".

AT THE TIME...AND FOR MOST OF MY LIFE SINCE...I WAS CAPTIVATED BY THE LIKES OF ASTAIRE, KELLY AND O'CONNOR...AND SINCE I SUFFERED AT AGE 12 AND EVER SINCE FROM A CASE OF DYSLEXIA OF THE LOWER EXTREMITIES, I FAILED...MISERABLY...AT EVEN APPROACHING THE STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE
MENTIONED ABOVE.

THEN WHEN I WAS A JR. IN HIGH SCHOOL I GOT UP THE NERVE TO INVITE "MARGARET" TO THE FOOTBALL BANQUET...WHERE DANCING WAS EXPECTED AFTERWARD.  IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SHUFFLE AROUND THE FLOOR I DISCOVERED I WAS BEING LAUGHED AT BY MANY OF MY PEERS BECAUSE I WAS TAKING GIANT STEPS...CONSCIOUSLY OR OTHERWISE...TRYING TO BE HALF OF THE ROGERS-ASTAIRE TEAM.

THE ONLY DANCING I'VE DONE SINCE HAS BEEN ON THE GRAVES OF CERTAIN PROFESSIONAL COMPETITORS.

11.) I'VE ACTUALLY HAD PEOPLE TELL ME "PECKERWOOD" READS LIKE A FAIRY TALE...NOT AT ALL BELIEVABLE...EVEN THOUGH IT'S 90% AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL. PERCEPTION OVER REALITY.  IT'LL WIN OUT NEARLY EVERY TIME.

12.) Written on September 14, 2001, after the terrorist attacks: I AGREE WITH YOU IN VERY MANY THINGS...BUT THERE ARE THOSE IN THIS WORLD WHO HATE WITH PASSION THAT IS BEYOND REASON AND/OR LOGIC AND THERE IS NO POWER ON EARTH EXCEPT FORCE THAT WILL ALTER THAT FACT.  IF WE COULD CATCH THEM, LOCK THEM UP AND HOLD THEM...WELL AND GOOD.  BUT THAT IS A NEAR IMPOSSIBILITY. CORPORAL AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT DO HAVE THEIR PLACE...AS LONG AS THERE ARE THOSE WHO ARE BEYOND REASON AND LOGIC.  WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS AN OLD TESTAMENT PROBLEM...AND IT REQUIRES AN OLD TESTAMENT SOLUTION.

13.) AS FOR "TACT" OR THE LACK, THEREOF...ONE THING I ALWAYS LOVED ABOUT THE BIG APPLE...ONE ALWAYS KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE ONE STANDS...WHEREAS, HERE IN LA LA LAND, YOU CAN HAVE A SABRE STUCK INTO YOUR BACK TO THE HILT AND EVERYONE WILL BE COMMENTING ON THE TIE TACK THAT IS PROTRUDING THROUGH YOUR BREAST BONE.

14.) AIN’T SHOW BIZ GROAN?????

15.) HOLLY IS ON THE MOCK TRIAL TEAM AT LAW SCHOOL...PRETTY PRESTIGIOUS.  HER BOSS AT THE FIRM IN DOWNTOWN HOUSTON WHERE SHE WORKS AS A CLERK TELLS ME SHE'S ONE OF THE FEW STUDENTS WHO HAS A REAL KNACK FOR "TRIAL" WORK...MEANING "STANDING UP IN FRONT OF THE JURY AND MAKING ARGUMENTS".

HE'S PLEASED.  SHE'S PLEASED.  SO I'M JUST TICKLED PLUM TO DEATH.

16.) MAY THE CAMEL OF INGRATITUDE AND CONTEMPT PISS IN YOUR TENT...AND MAY YOUR OASIS TURN OUT TO BE A MIRAGE PERCHED ATOP AN ANT HILL.

17.) THE MOST HONEST DEFINITION OF TRUE LOVE (A.K.A. FRIENDSHIP) THAT I HAVE EVER HEARD: "TOLERANCE".  WE TOLERATE THINGS IN THOSE WE LOVE THAT WE WOULD NEVER ABIDE IN OTHERS OF OUR ACQUAINTANCE.

CONSIDER YOURSELF TOLERATED...AT LEAST FOR THE TIME BEING.

18.) IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF TEX RITTER, "DO NOT FORGET ME, OH MY DARLIN'!
19.) IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T NOTICED, THE BIG NETWORKS DON'T EVEN RUN ALL OF THE SAME COMMERCIALS IN BLUE AND RED STATES THESE DAYS.  THERE ARE COMMERCIALS FOR RED STATES THAT ARE FULL OF PATRIOTIC SYMBOLS AND GOD AND COUNTRY...AND THERE ARE BLUE STATE COMMERCIALS THAT ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT, ALL THIS ON THE THEORY THAT PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT IN EACH LOCALE.
 
THE WORLD AROUND US IS BEGINNING TO SPLINTER.

20.) "PDQ" IS AN OLD SOUTHWESTERN SAYING THAT MEANS EITHER "PRETTY DARN QUICK or PRETTY DAMN QUICK. 
AND WHEN I GOT STARTED WITH THAT CORP. THAT WAS MY REPUTATION...CALL DOBBS.  HE CAN GET IT DONE, PDQ.
21.) MOST OF WHAT WE DO IN SHOWBIZ IS HURRY UP AND WAIT...WAIT FOR A GREEN LIGHT...FOR AN ACTOR...FOR THE WEATHER...ETC.  THEN, OF COURSE, WHEN THINGS DO START TO HAPPEN, THEY TEND TO OVERLAP AND FORCE YOU TO MAKE CHOICES BETWEEN "A" AND "B" AND SOMETIMES, "C".
22.) Frank's comment about actor Luke Perry: THERE'S NOBODY EASIER TO WORK WITH.  THERE'S NOBODY THAT LIKES TO PLAY THE WESTERNER AS MUCH.
23.) THAT'S THE HOLLYWOOD WAY...YOU LEAVE THE DOOR SLIGHTLY AJAR...JUST IN CASE. REMEMBER, NOBODY EVER SAYS NO.  THEY JUST RAISE THE ANTE UNTIL YOU GO AWAY.  THAT WAY ALL FACES ARE SAVED FOR ANOTHER GO ON ANOTHER SHOW.
24.) SHOWBIZ (EVEN THE BUSINESS SIDE) HAS FAR MORE THAN ITS FAIR SHARE OF ECCENTRICS.
25.) YOUR LAST LINE SAYS IT ALL.  IT IS TRULY IN GOD'S HANDS. BUT THEN MY STAGE NAME IS PAUL PARANOYA...OR IN FOREIGN FILMS...PAVLOV PARANOYA.
 
I NEED TO KEEP YOUR CLOSING LINE IN SHARPER FOCUS...FOR ALL OF LIFE'S QUESTIONS.