Ah, Molly, you’re not gone. You never will be. Your laughter will always keep us humble. Your skewering of the unjustly rich and less justly powerful will inspire us. Hell, Molly, I could tell Molly Ivins stories forever, about your dog named “Shit,’ about your “chicken plucking,” about your “meetings” with Abe. I still remember rolling off the couch in laughter after your comments about Geraldine Ferraro when she had been nominated for vice president, something about how you interviewed some redneck who said he didn’t know much about her politics, but sure did like her “garbanzos,” or some such. You know, I never could speak Texan. The PBS interviewer was so straight, she didn’t know what to do. The comment was cut from further showings.
You were a national treasure, Molly, and if The New York Times really wanted to do something positive for the commonweal, it should have put your columns on the front page. America would have laughed. And a bit of laughter is what we need. As well as a bit more compassion, but that’s old-fashioned, knee-jerk liberalism. You were never afraid of that label, Molly. Bless you. You and I started at the Times about the same time, Molly. You fought them, left them, I allowed myself to be molded.
Few epitaphs can read as yours, Molly: The world is a better place for you having passed through. We can’t cry, we can’t be maudlin. You wouldn’t want that. You’d want us to laugh. We will. And we will try to carry on. Thank you, Molly, thank you.
Journalist and author Raymond Bonner lives in London.