The story below (told by Molly Ivins) perfectly sums up why I looked up to this woman. I would love to think that I would say the same thing...though even if I were that witty, I'd never have that wonderful accent.
I will miss you Ms. Richards.
Several years ago there was a big political do at Scholz Beer Garten in Austin and everybody who was anybody in political Texas was there, meetin' and greetin' at a furious pace. About halfway through the evening, a little group of us got the tired feet and went to lean our butts against a table by the back wall of the Garten. Like birds in a row were perched Bob Bullock, the state comptroller; me; Charlie Miles, a black man who was then head of Bullock's personnel department (and the reason Bullock had such a good record on minority hiring); and Ms. Ann Richards.
Bullock, having been in Texas politics for thirty some-odd years, consequently knew every living sorry, no-account person who ever held office. A dreadful old racist judge from East Texas came up to him, "Bob, my boy, how are yew?" The two of them commenced to clap one another on the back and have a big greetin'.
"Judge," said Bullock. "I want you to meet my friends. This is Molly Ivins with the Texas Observer."
The judge peered up at me and said, "How yew, little lady?"
"This is Charles Miles, who heads my personnel department." Charlie stuck out his hand and the judge got an expression on his face as though he had just stepped into a fresh cowpie. It took him a long minute before he reached out, barely touched Charlie's hand and said, "How you, boy?" Then he turned with great relief to pretty, blue-eyed Ann Richards and said, "And who is this lovely lady?"
Ann beamed and said, "I am Mrs. Miles."