February 1st, 2007


Molly Ivins is dead and I don't feel so good myself.

Last night I checked the ol' flist and that's where I got the sad news that Molly Ivins had passed away at the age of 62, of breast cancer. I proceeded to brood for quite a while. James kept asking what was wrong, and I just said, "I'm sad that Molly Ivins died."

I still remember how I discovered Molly Ivins. I was a young teenager, hanging out in the local public library, and quite by accident found a copy of Nothin' But Good Times Ahead. I started reading, and I think my first reaction was "holy cow, here's a real writer who thinks like me." (Note the "holy cow." I hadn't eyt quite learned how to swear like a sailor. Another thing I have in common with Molly.) And I've followed her ever since. Introduced my mom to her too. Sometimes she would send me her columns in the mail.

One of my classes my last semester at Vandy was an honors seminar on American humor. Towards the end of the semester, I wrote a paper on Molly Ivins and her humor. My professor, Nancy Walker, had met Molly, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. I asked her if she thought Molly would enjoy seeing the paper I wrote, and she said she thought so.

Well, you can guess what happened next. I was lazy. I didn't send the paper. Seven months later, Professor Walker was dead of cancer. I thought about sending the paper again, with a note about Professor Walker. I didn't. I didn't even know Molly's cancer had recurred. And now it's too late. 

So fellow progressives, raise a glass of whatever you like best to Molly Ivins and let's show America that while many of the words she used were profane, "liberal" was not one of them. And no matter your politics, if there's someone out there you admire, let 'em know. They just might like to hear it.