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Texas Football, Inside Photo, LIFE Magazine, 17 November 1941

Number 73 at the top of the picture is George "Hoot" Watkins. The picture is of some University of Texas football players from LIFE Magazine of November 17, 1941. Two weeks earlier, Hoot's brother, James H. "Tid" Watkins not only appeared in the November 3, 1941 LIFE Magazine, but he was on its cover!  (LIFE cover of Cadet "Tid" Watkins)

The following e-mail's are to Bob Kellman, x - Class of 1963, U.S.M.A., from Michael Watkins, the son of James H. "Tid" Watkins.

From: Michael Watkins
To: Bob Kellman
October 29, 2001
Subject: Uncle Hoot

Life magazine was much discussed in Jim Watkins' (father of George and James) barbershop in San Saba, Texas, that November of 1941!  Earl Blaik tried to get my Dad (James H."Tid") to persuade his brother George to get an appointment to West Point so that he could play football there.  But by that time my uncle (George, "Hoot") had already enlisted in the Marine Corps.
After the war and Iwo Jima, he was not interested in playing football at all!  As a matter of fact, Uncle George went out the first day of practice in 1946 at Texas Coach Dana Bible's request.  After one day, he turned in his pads, went to Coach Bible and said: "Coach, this is a young man's game.  Last time I needed the scholarship to go to school.  This time we have a thing called the G.I. Bill! You'll just have to do without me!"
They did fine without him.  That was the Texas team that had Bobby Layne and Tom Landry on it! Thanks for the scanned pics. My aunt will love it!
Mike (Watkins)

To: Bob Kellman
October 27, 2001
Subject: Your e-bay item
The article begins on page 110, the picture of the UT Tower which is still there and bathed in orange light whenever the Longhorns win. All us Longhorn grads drive around town looking at the tower to see if it is lit after games.
My uncle (George "Hoot" Watkins) is on page 112. The picture with Coach D.X. Bible in the foreground. Uncle George "Hoot" is in the top row of players, second from left, number 73. He still lives here in Austin .
Uncle George was actually a a 2nd string tackle, but lettered before the lst string guy because they won so many games by large margins.
Mike (Watkins)
From: Michael Watkins
To: Bob Kellman
October 3, 2001
Subject: Thanks for the great tip on these magazines
What I forgot to tell you is: one of these 1941 magazines had a picture of the 1941 University of Texas football team on the cover.  Although my Uncle (Dad's brother) did not make it on the cover, his picture is inside with the story.  So Tid (my Dad) and Hoot (my Uncle) made it into LIFE Magazine the same year. Hoot is my Marine Corps uncle who was on Iwo Jima.  His football team played their last game against Oregon in Austin on December 6, 1941.  The entire team enlisted in the Marine Corps on December 8, 1941.
Thanks for the great tip on these magazines.  Mother always likes these LIFE Magazines to give to the grandchildren.
Mike (Watkins)
Editor's note:  See the LIFE Magazine cover containing this photo by clicking here: Texas Football '41 cover. 

      The photos are from LIFE Magazine of November 17, 1941, published just three weeks before Pearl Harbor.  These members of the University of Texas Football team include George "Hoot" Watkins, the wearer of jersey number 73.  Only two weeks earlier, on November 3, 1941, George's brother, James H. (Tid) Watkin's, a cadet at West Point, -- was the subject of a LIFE Magazine cover.. See the Tid Watkins photo at:   LIFE cover of Cadet "Tid" Watkins

"According to Tid's son Mike, his Uncle George's football team played their last game against Oregon in Austin on December 6, 1941. The entire team including Uncle George "Hoot" Watkins enlisted in the Marine Corps on December 8, 1941.  It is stories like this that make me proud to be an American." -- Bob Kellman
 
(Editor's note: Photos were researched, and scanned by Bob Kellman, ex-New Cadet, Class of 1963, West Point. )