Keep Raising Hell


The sendoff for Molly Ivins on February 4 started with about 1,000 people clapping along with the Gospel Stars at First United Methodist Church. It ended with laughs and hugs under the Scholz Garten elms. In between, we remembered how much there was to remember about the vibrant swath Molly cut through life.

The altar from the Molly Ivins memorial ceremony

Her brother and sister, a niece, and a host of friends rose for tributes at the church service, their remarks triggering laughter, applause, and one standing ovation (that had to do with the perils of electing a certain president from Texas) between songs by Marcia Ball, Eliza Gilkyson, and Christine Albert.

The second service came on the hallowed ground of Scholz’s, where Molly forged much of her legend. “As bars go this one is anything but usual, having given long service as a watering hole, debating forum, community center and political staging point,” Molly wrote about the place in The New York Times when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. “It is a grand old dump, Scholz Garten, and has been serving stupefying quantities of beer since 1866. Generations of University of Texas football players, German-American farmers, state legislators of all stripes and chicken-fried intellectuals have adopted Scholz’s as a second home.”

In Molly’s honor, there was more music, more laughter, more tears and, of course, beer. Some celebrants sported makeshift duct tape armbands bearing the letters WWMD—What Would Molly Do?—a question that bears repeating in her absence.

We trust Molly would have been delighted by the ceremonies. Now our challenge is to keep raising hell, as she so clearly directed.

The Observer is deeply grateful to all the folks who have called, written, sent e-mails, purchased subscriptions, and donated money to the Molly Ivins Investigative Reporting Fund. Thanks to our supporters, we are beholden only to our readers, and that’s the way Molly wanted it.

We have also received many requests for extra copies of the memorial issue we published on February 9. We have copies available for $5. You can order them from our Web site— drop us a letter, or come by the office and pick one up.