In this Book

Claytie
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summary
The native son of a distinguished West Texas family and a 1954 graduate of Texas A&M whose career and personal pursuits have ranged from farmer to insurance salesman to wildcatter, pipeline entrepreneur, rancher, banker, real estate mogul, big game hunter, conservationist, philanthropist, front-running gubernatorial candidate, and oil tycoon, Clayton W. Williams Jr. is by all measures one of a kind. He has repeatedly been on the Forbes list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, yet more than once Claytie has also been on the verge of bankruptcy. This authorized biography captures the dimensions of his fascinating life: his determined work ethic and honesty; his passionate interests and rough-hewn style; his devotion to wife and constant companion Modesta and family; his all-in wildcatter bets and integrity-above-all payoff of debts; his patented gaffes in the “wildest, woolliest Texas governor’s race ever” and their spotlighted consequences for the state and nation; and running through it all, both unrestrained celebrations and knees-on-the-ground repentance. His many notable successes, his most admirable traits, as well as his most outrageous flaws are all portrayed in this book, often in Claytie’s own words or in the extensive comments, revealing anecdotes, and first-person accounts of others, supplemented by family and business documents, as well as contemporary journalistic records. This book tells it all, revealing one distinctive maverick who has left his boot prints all across Texas for 75 years.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-8
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  1. One. At Home in West Texas: Where Legacy Matters
  2. pp. 9-10
  1. 1. "As a typical Aggie, I tried to drill my way out of trouble."
  2. pp. 11-23
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  1. "As kids we learned we had four ancestors who were with George Washington at Valley Forge."
  2. pp. 24-39
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  1. 3. "They said about the Panthers:They're small, but boy are they slow."
  2. pp. 40-55
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  1. 4. "High-quality people treat an underling with dignity and respect."
  2. pp. 56-60
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  1. Two. Oil-Patch Dreams: The Rise of Clajon, the Little Company That Could
  2. pp. 61-62
  1. 5. "Fifteen minutes. That close. Fate."
  2. pp. 63-71
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  1. 6. "Clayton and I did lots of partying and drinking, chasing girls and whateve."
  2. pp. 72-87
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  1. 7. "I couldn't understand what this beautiful woman saw in me, but who was I to question her taste?"
  2. pp. 88-102
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  1. 8. "Well, I guess we'll have to buy this damn ranch!"
  2. pp. 103-115
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  1. 9. "Don't mix alcohol with business, whether it's oil or cows."
  2. pp. 116-128
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  1. Three. The Go-Go Years: Blowouts, Blowups, Big Riches, and a Half-Billion-Dollar Debt
  2. pp. 129-130
  1. "It's going to be the biggest change in our lives—ever!"
  2. pp. 131-145
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  1. 11. "Claytie outworked everybody—and outtraded everybody."
  2. pp. 146-169
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  1. 12. "I gave Modesta an unlimited budget to decorate this building, and she overspent it 43 percent."
  2. pp. 170-178
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  1. 13. "We've got to stand by our people."
  2. pp. 179-182
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  1. 14. "I have never witnessed a warmer rapport between speaker and crowd."
  2. pp. 183-196
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  1. 15. "If anybody perceives you to be slick or dishonest or crooked, they're not gonna mess with you."
  2. pp. 197-203
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  1. 16. "He is the sun and we are all the little planets that rotate around him."
  2. pp. 204-218
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  1. 17. "Now, before you get mad and before these guys pull their guns and shoot me, let me tell you why we're going to do it this way."
  2. pp. 219-228
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  1. Four. Political Adventures: The Wildcatter Who Would Be Governor
  2. pp. 229-230
  1. 18. "Maybe this is the time to give back."
  2. pp. 231-247
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  1. 19. I'm afraid the plane has gone down."
  2. pp. 248-260
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  1. 20. "If it's inevitable, just relax and enjoy it."
  2. pp. 261-274
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  1. 21. "I'm done with the campaign. I quit."
  2. pp. 275-282
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  1. 22. "A handshake is a sign of trust. I withdrew my trust."
  2. pp. 282-295
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  1. 23. "I was a little political before I got political. When I got political, I wasn't worth a damn."
  2. pp. 296-308
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  1. 24. "He made mistakes along the way,but he's a class act who took his lumps with dignity."
  2. pp. 309-314
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  1. Five. A New Millennium: No Slowing Down
  2. pp. 315-316
  1. 25. "I know Claytie can ffind a way out of this."
  2. pp. 317-327
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  1. 26, I'm gonna get a baseball bat and beat the son of a bitch to death."
  2. pp. 328-341
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  1. 27. "Back in the Saddle Again"
  2. pp. 342-346
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  1. 28. "Consider the hunting trip over and get the hell out of Dodge."
  2. pp. 347-359
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  1. 29. "We bought $300 million worth of seismic data for $7.5 million."
  2. pp. 360-367
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  1. 30. "The heart of Muster is the heart of Texas A&M, and the heart of the Aggie experience."
  2. pp. 368-387
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  1. 31. "Being who he is, is more important than him being in politics. He wouldn't have fit, ever."
  2. pp. 388-402
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  1. Recognitions
  2. pp. 403-406
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  1. Author's Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 407-410
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  1. Photo Credits
  2. pp. 411-412
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 413-435
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