Two well-known women have died recently. Somehow the attention given their deaths has been disproportionate. True that Anna Nicole Smith was, because of a strangely tragic life (and lifestyle), a well-known subject for the tabloids.? The loss of? Molly Ivins however,? barely rated a mention on the national news. It’s only in the last few years that I became aware of this brash, outspoken, often profane, delightfully funny Texas woman. She has been given credit? for coining my favorite nicknames for the president: Shrub and Dubya.
Anyone who hasn’t yet read her books is in for a treat. Her colorful language was too much for the New York Times where she reportedly ran around the newsroom in her stocking feet accompanied by her dog to? whom she had given a vulgar name. After realizing the Times was a bad fit, she eventually returned to Texas where, when she? wrote “beer gut” it wasn’t changed by copy editors to “protuberant abdomen.” Her first book title was “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?” Well, she could and she did and she continued to.
Molly Ivins died of breast cancer at the age of 62. She didn’t keep her diagnosis secret. When she told her “beloved” readers in her column of her diagnosis, she finished by telling women to “Get. The.? Damn. Mammogram.” With all my heart I wish she had done so earlier.
Molly’s use of “beloved” is a real clue to her character. No matter how thoroughly she skewered her victims, she had respect and love for her readers. From the many tributes to her posted on the net, she was also gifted with great friends. One of them was the late Ann Richards, former Governor of Texas who was defeated by “Shrub.” Hopefully they are sharing a good laugh and maybe a beer in some celestial dimension at this very moment.
So, because there will be no more Molly on NPR, and perhaps no more scathingly funny books, I’m going to go back and reread “Bushwhacked” in her memory. Go with God! Molly, we hardly knew ya!
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