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Tag Archives: Molly Ivins

I miss Molly Ivins (a snippet from one of her books)

How I miss reading Molly Ivin’s column!

Excerpt from Molly Ivin’s book You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You.

Heart attacks, grand juries, DWI’s, divorces–this isn’t a story, it’s a saga.  Of course there is a different between [Bob] Bullock in his drinking days and Bullock today–he’s not quite a different person, but he sure is easier.  He went off to “Whiskey School” in California in 1981.  Six weeks later he returned to Austin in the middle of the night, sober and alone.  Only one person came out to the airport to meet him–Ann Richards.  He has never forgotten that kindness.

Just a couple of stories from the drinking years: One night Bullock and pal Nick Kralj (Bullock used to have any number of reprehensible friends) got bad drunk, went into the basement of Kralj’s nightclub, and proceeded to shoot roaches with pistols.  They claimed it took great skill.

On another occasion, one of Bullock’s early wives kicked him out of the house, presumably for good cause.  So he went to crash with his friend Carlton Carl, who was himself out drinking.  Unable to get into Carl’s apartment, Bullock crawled into the backseat of Carl’s car, which was parked in an alley, got under a blanket, and passed out there.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t Carl’s car, just looked like it.  When Bullock came to the next morning, he was being driven along I-35 by a total stranger who had no idea anyone was in the backseat.  After pondering his options, Bullock sat up and said to the unsuspecting citizen, “Hi there, I’m Bob Bullock, your secretary of state.”  Poor guy almost drove off the road.

Breast Cancer

Molly Ivins wrote about her cancer for Time Magazine, February 20, 2010.  The piece was entitled “Who Needs Breasts Anyway?”

Ivins wrote that “You don’t get through this without friends.  Use them.  Call them, especially other women who have been through it.  People like to help.  They like to be able to do something for you.  Let them.  You will also get sick of talking about cancer.”

How true this is; we don’t get through the serious matters that attack us throughout our lifetime without our friends.  And there are attacks.  None of us get off scot-free in this life.  Ivins said that we must ask our friends for specific help (for even close friends can’t guess at what a friend wants or needs).

Ivins was always extremely generous with her friends and her friends’ friends and everyone’s kids.  She was wise enough to call on her friends when she needed help; she asked some friends for help in editing, scheduling, giving her the shots she required, a Thanksgiving dinner when she was extremely ill.  [Read the Thanksgiving dinner segment in A Rebel Life Molly Ivins.]

Reading Manutaglio and Smith’s biography of Molly Ivins not only highlighted Ivins’ political views, but her intense friendships.  Ivins wrote about her father after his suicide that “. . . here was a man.”

Reading Ivins, I kept thinking:  “Here was a woman.”

More than one of my friends has battled breast cancer.

Aside from non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women. Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

Click to give free mammograms.

Molly Ivins – growing up in Texas

I dearly love the state of Texas, but I consider that a harmless perversion on my part, and discuss it only with consenting adults.

I miss Molly Ivins

I loved reading Molly Ivins’ articles and especially liked her book Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?

And although I didn’t know her personally, reading the biography about her in Molly Ivins A Rebel Life by Bill Minutaglio and W. Michael Smith, I miss her even more.

An excerpt from the book:

In France, for the first time, she was beginning to tinker with writing about people in power–and doing it by zooming down from the hovering sweep, the historical panorama, and making a crash landing on the high-and-mighty.  It seemed too overtly intellectual, and full of shit, to do so in a droning, preachy, academic way.  It wasn’t really complex: She wanted to write the way she talked.  Like Holland, she’d suffer no fools; like her father she’d work like a dog; like her mother she’d roll with the absurdity.

She also read, constantly, and it informed her search for a style, a voice:  John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley.  Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time.  Theodore White’s The Making of a President.  She told people she loved Thor Heyerdahl and his book about rafting the Pacific, Kon Tiki.  And she wrote more and more, filling up her notebooks with indecipherable handwriting, exclamation points, and doodles of dandies and clerics and fools.  She also grew more comfortable holding forth in public, dominating the discourse.  In France, strangers would look at the looming American, and she knew they were staring and she wold start jabbering in French.  Then she would start talking with a Texas twang.  Then she would use some Upper East Coast Smith inflections.  And then she would start laughing.  She told friends she still felt physically awkward, but rarely intellectually intimated.  The goal, too, hadn’t changed–it was the same goal she had written down on a piece of paper and put in her wallet back in high school.  “She always wanted to be famous,” said one close friend.