Dispatches from a restless Floridian ... food, travel, books, rum, peninsular insanity.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Ann was da man...
A brief moment to honor Ann Richards, former governor of Texas and Bush-jabber extraordinaire, who died Wednesday.
A few years back, when I was living in Santa Barbara, I was passing through LAX when I quite literally bumped into Richards as she was leaving a newsstand. I got all gushy.
"I'm a big, big fan," I told her, and went on to thank her for all her work on behalf of Democrats, but most especially for her wonderful way of talking. She was plain spoken and brash and wonderful in the way that Texans can be when they aren't being, well, Texans. Her shining public moment, of course, was at the 1988 Democratic convention when she told us to have pity on George Bush the First, who passed on his gene for convoluting the language to Bush the Younger.
"Poor George, he can't help it," Richards said. "He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
I was at Madison Square Gardens that night, covering the Democratic Convention for The Orlando Sentinel when Richards made her speech. And I told her that I much enjoyed her many barbed remarks at the expense of Republicans.
She smiled and thanked me. And in that honeyed sandpaper voice of hers, said: "Darlin,' I would have said a whole helluva lot more, but there were children listening."
Wind under your wings, Ann ...
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She was the best.
To think what kind of a - well, uncensored words fail me - succeeded her in the governorship. A travesty and a crime against nature.
But she was always classy about that and everything else. Gonna miss you, Ann.
The Prototypical Texas Woman.
She said what she thought - and she did a lot of thinking.
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