Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I hope there are no silver feet or bushes wherever she is

I'm really sad because Ann Richards died. I remember the first time I met her. It was when she was campaigning to be County Commissioner in Travis County. She was block walking and I was lucky enough to answer the door. Because I wasn't supposed to open the door for strangers, I talked to her through the screen door. I liked her so much I told her that I had named my cat, Annie, after her. Of course, I had the cat before I had even heard of Ann Richards (but she was just that impressive). When she asked how old I was I showed her by holding up my hand. I was so little that I had to hold my hand like this:

A few days later, I got a note in the mail from her telling me how much she enjoyed meeting me and that she was honored that I had named my cat after her. I still have that note. What was really incredible was that the next time I met her, I was 21 and when I told her that the last time I met her I was this many (holding up my hand the same way I did when I was 3) she said she remembered that I had named my cat after her. What a great lady.

Ann Richards' quotes

"Poor George, he can't help it — he was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
— Keynote Address to the 1988 Democratic National Convention

"Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out."
— Recommendation to former president George H. W. Bush in 1992.

"Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels."

"If you think taking care of yourself is selfish, change your mind. If you don't, you're simply ducking your responsibilities."

"I have very strong feelings about how you lead your life. You always look ahead, you never look back."

"But I'll tell you something sort of interesting. There's something, you know, there's something a little scary about funny women. Well, they're threatening. And there was a survey done one time where they asked women what they were most afraid of from men. And the -- their response was they were most afraid of being hit or beaten or hurt from men. And they asked men what they were most afraid of from women, and they said being laughed at. "

"The public does not like you to mislead or represent yourself to be something you're not. And the other thing that the public really does like is the self-examination to say, you know, I'm not perfect. I'm just like you. They don't ask their public officials to be perfect. They just ask them to be smart, truthful, honest, and show a modicum of good sense."

"And the state of Texas, when I was governor, we built an awful lot of prisons. And to be frank with you, I made a deal, and the deal was that I would help pass the legislation and be for building a lot more prisons in Texas if I could get rehab programs for people who were alcoholics and drug abusers because I knew that over 80 percent of the crime committed in Texas was committed by people under the influence of alcohol or drugs. And unless you treat that alcoholism and you treat that drug addiction, when they go right back out on the street, you got a drunk or you've got an addict that is going to commit a crime again. "

"I am delighted to be here with you this evening because after listening to George Bush all these years, I figured you needed to know what a real Texas accent sounds like."
- 1988 keynote address, Democratic National Convention

"I thought I knew Texas pretty well, but I had no notion of its size until I campaigned it."

Ann Richards on How to Be a Good Republican:
1. You have to believe that the nation's current 8-year prosperity was due to the work of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but yesterday's gasoline prices are all Clinton's fault.
2. You have to believe that those privileged from birth achieve success all on their own.
3. You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.
4. You have to believe that AIDS victims deserve their disease, but smokers with lung cancer and overweight individuals with heart disease don't deserve theirs.
5. You have to appreciate the power rush that comes with sporting a gun.
6. You have to believe...everything Rush Limbaugh says.
7. You have to believe that the agricultural, restaurant, housing and hotel industries can survive without immigrant labor.
8. You have to believe God hates homosexuality, but loves the death penalty.
9. You have to believe society is color-blind and growing up black in America doesn't diminish your opportunities, but you still won't vote for Alan Keyes.
10. You have to believe that pollution is OK as long as it makes a profit.
11. You have to believe in prayer in schools, as long as you don't pray to Allah or Buddha.
12. You have to believe Newt Gingrich and Henry Hyde were really faithful husbands.
13. You have to believe speaking a few Spanish phrases makes you instantly popular in the barrio.
14. You have to believe that only your own teenagers are still virgins.
15. You have to be against government interference in business, until your oil company, corporation or Savings and Loan is about to go broke and you beg for a government bail out.
16. You love Jesus and Jesus loves you and, by the way, Jesus shares your hatred for AIDS victims, homosexuals, and President Clinton.
17. You have to believe government has nothing to do with providing police protection, national defense, and building roads.
18. You have to believe a poor, minority student with a disciplinary history and failing grades will be admitted into an elite private school with a $1,000 voucher."

"Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I have done to date."


Only Grrrl said...

Thank you, Pineapple. It's a sad day. She was one of my heroes, too.

Mamacher said...

Alas, it's always the good who die young! Ann, I for one, will miss you dearly!

mad said...

Great tribute, Pineapple. I remember her convention speeches. I remember thinking it would be nice to live in Texas if only so I could vote for her.

pineapple said...

mad, I was 17 when she announced she was running for governor. I signed up to campaign for and she was the first person I ever voted for.

Only Grrrl said...

PS: You know there are none of those Bushes where she is.

mad said...

I stumbled across this Ann Richards tribute. Can't vouch for the video clip, tho.