I am very saddened to hear that Molly Ivins died of breast cancer today. She was a terrific writer, a syndicated columnist. She wrote political essays with great humor and a very skeptical eye, and was a huge influence on me when I was in college. She was from Texas, and didn't suffer fools gladly, and there were many political figures (including our current President) whom she listed under that category. If you want a taste of who she was read her essay about having breast cancer. It's stellar Molly.
I met Molly at the Conference on World Affairs in 2003. There were all manners of celebrities there, and she was the only one I was nervous to meet. We were at a bar after the daily panels, and I introduced myself. She shook my hand, and in that big drawling Texas accent, said, "Honey, do you have a cigarette on ya?" Ah, no, I replied. Without hesitation she said, "Then can ya go get me some?"
I told her no, and she laughed.
There was a party every night at the conference, which was attended by writers, actors, philosophers, scientists, heads of State. We all mixed around, just enjoying being with smart people. I was overjoyed to be a part of it. I saw Molly dancing with writer Simon Hoggart, and typical of her she was having a blast:
I remember at that bar, we were talking about the Iraq war, which at the time had just "ended" with the ouster of Saddam. Molly was wondering aloud, "What if we don't find the WMDs?", and I retorted, "Then we'll have to make them up." Molly made a face at me, and said "That's pretty cynical there, boy!"
I was shocked. Molly Ivins telling me I was too cynical! Wow. What an honor!
Good bye, Molly. I know I told you how much I liked your writing, and how much I loved your style. We could use a thousand more of you.