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Phil Collins' Alamo book 'rock solid,' McMurry professor says

Musician and Alamo artifact collector and author Phil Collins Musician and Alamo artifact collector and author Phil Collins Joy Lewis
A McMurry University professor, who helped musician Phil Collins publish the book "The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector's Journey," said he sees no merit in the lawsuit recently filed against the former Genesis drummer and lead vocalist.

Don Frazier, who also is a well-respected Texas historian, said Thursday that he based his opinion from what he read in the newspapers and from talking to other historians.

Don Ray Jank, 75, is suing Collins for damages for the book, which was compiled with the assistance of Frazier and another McMurry professor, Steve Hardin. Collins, who is thought to have the world's largest private collection of Texas revolution artifacts, was awarded an honorary degree in May by McMurry University.

Jank claims artifacts stolen from him appear in the book.

"You got a guy (Jank) claiming he had $40,000 worth of rare artifacts in the trunk of his car," Frazier said. "Well, step one, that's a little odd. And this guy has a reputation for being a colossal harasser. I mean, if there's a moving target, he'll kind of sue it."

Frazier said Jank called him twice, presumably before the lawsuit was filed, seeking Collins' phone number or other contact information.

"It's amazing a number of people call up and say they need to talk to Phil Collins. Well, stand in line," Frazier said. "I'd like to talk to Robert E. Lee, but it still not going to happen."

Along with the demand for Collins' phone number, Jank also allegedly relayed his accusations of Collins to Frazier. The calls were made about the time Collins' book came out.

"I didn't know what he was talking about. It doesn't involve me because all we were doing was publishing a book," Frazier continued. "I did bring it up with Phil, and he said, 'All the stuff I buy goes to this Jim Guimarin guy down in San Antonio.'"

Guimarin, owner of The History Shop in San Antonio, also is a defendant in the lawsuit.

Regarding the book he helped compile, Frazier said "it's rock solid."

"I mean, we bounced it off several historians, but with any sort of historical document or artifacts, they're all open to interpretation as to their authenticity."

And, from the people he had talked to as well as other Alamo historians, Frazier said Jank had been known as someone who "is always roaming around the edges looking for trouble."

© Reporternews, by John Mangalonzo

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