Thursday, February 01, 2007

I've been a Molly Ivins fan since Ryan introduced me to her writing back in high school. She was brash, funny, smart, and she regularly devoted space to admitting mistakes she'd made in previous columns (could you imagine how much thicker the paper would have to be if all the opinion writers did that?). She frequently told a story about her first editor, who told her, "Tomorrow morning, 3 million people will be reading your column. The day after, it'll be lining birdcages." That seemed to be about the right level of responsibility and humility.

Her last editor ("most recent" sounds better, but, alas, "last" is more correct) has some remembrances up, and this is my favorite bit:

"For a woman who made a profession of offering her opinion to others, Molly was remarkably humble. She was known for hosting unforgettable parties at her Austin home, which would feature rollicking political discussions, and impromptu poetry recitals and satirical songs. At one such event, I noticed her dining table was littered with various awards and distinguished speaker plaques, put to use as trivets for steaming plates of tamales, chili and fajita meat. When I called this to her attention, Molly matter-of-factly replied, 'Well, what else am I going to do with 'em?'"

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