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The final book by the legendary and inimitable MOLLY WINS AN IMPASSIONED AND SEARING DEFENSE OF OUR RIGHT TO THE FIRST AMENDMENT-replete with Molly Ivins’s trademark biting humorBill of Wrongs is a testament to her life’s work. One year ago, properties on the 22 miles of Galveston Island west of the seawall were collectively worth $1.6 billion, four times the value of taxable property on the 10-mile stretch of city behind the seawall. refuges, and I initially couldn’t think of a third friend to ask to shelter us from the storm. Finally, thanks to strong encouragement from a friend and hospitality from another who generously accepted the three of us in her Austin home, we left Galveston for Austin about 7 a.m. Friday, September 12, some 17 hours before Ike’s eye began its two-hour passage over Galveston. The gridlock was gone, and I drove the posted speed most of the way. Unfortunately, I wasn’t so persuasive with those I encouraged to do likewise. Though I advised my determined-to-remain and gridlock-averse ex-wife that the coast was clear, by my second, pre-10 a.m. call, the bay near her Strand-area first-floor loft had risen so precipitously that she couldn’t get out by car. The water rose all day and much of the night, at 2 a.m. reaching a height of 7 feet in her apartment, which is 3 or 4 feet above the street. She, three friends, and two dogs holed up in a second-floor hallway above her loft for two days until the water went down and they could make their way out through the evil-smelling, diesel-laced mud that coated the streets. Meanwhile, my first cousin, his daughter, Fish Village house. They used the surcease provided by the eye of the storm, around 2 a.m. Saturday, to wade with their new puppy and 84-year-old neighbor through waist-deep water to the third floor of a low-rise condo. They spent the second act of Hurricane Ike hunkered down there in exterior doorways, pelted by wind and rain. That morning, the neighbor went home, and a police officer gave the remaining trio a lift to Broadway and 41st Street, where they faced another eightto 10-block trek through waist-high water to the shelter-of-lastresort at Ball High School, which they found chaotic. Sunday morning, following another trip home and back to retrieve their grown dog, they were bused with their pets to a shelter in San Antonio. p recisely a week after I’d left, I was back on the Gulf Freeway mired in miles of stop-and-go traffic headed for Galveston. Pleasure, fishing, and shrimp boats of various descriptions and in various states of dis repair littered the roadsides. Approaching the island, Galveston had never looked sadder or more bedraggled, despite the fact that the initial cleanup had already taken place and most streets were passable. Just over the causeway in Galveston, another armada of beached boats was stacked chockablock on 10 THE TEXAS OBSERVER OCTOBER 3, 2008