Wednesday, September 13, 2006
The rooster crows but the hen delivers
One of the greatest women politicians in the history of the country died today. Ann Richards was 73 and died of esophageal cancer. Here is the obit. I can't tell you how sad I am about her passing. She was such a pioneer for women in politics. We can have a potential woman speaker fo the house because of Ann Richards. How many doors did she open for women and minorities? I am definitely one of the beneficiaries of her work and legacy.
I saw the Governor three times her live and in person. The first time was when I was working for then candidate Tom Udall in New Mexico. He is now Congressman Tom Udall. They had Ms Ann in for a fund raiser and I was privileged enough to get a photo with her at a gathering prior to the event. Unfortunately the picture is Ann Richards and my eight chins. Most unattractive.
The second time was at the 2000 Democratic Presidential Convention. I had spoken at the Convention earlier in the day, becoming the first and only Latina lesbian to ever address a Presidential convention. So there I was, hanging around the convention in my stage make-up, trying to make my two minutes of fame last longer. And who do I see walking down the hallway, her hands full of hot dogs but Governor Ann. Of course she was a one term Governor and was the ex from Tex at that point but does that matter to me? Of course not, I just saw Ann Richards again. This time with hot dogs.
The third time was in San Francisco. By now I had mastered the art of marching up to important Democrats to announce myself and my profound respect for them. This time it was real. I reminded her where we had met and I was able to squeak out a couple of sentences that actually sounded like I had a command of English. She was gracious and entertained me with the banalities that politicians can muster up so quickly. Gave me a little pat on the hand and moved on.
In the obit she talked about getting sober. I had no idea that she and I shared that perspective. But we apparently did have the same understanding of the profound change in a life that can come from battling a demon. I, too, was afraid of losing my sense of humor when I stopped drinking. But really the only thing I lost was the hangovers. The first reggae concert I went to sober I couldn't remember how to dance.
Well as the saying goes, this too shall pass. So Ann Richards has passed. But she did leave us with this - the rooster crows but the hen delivers. Thank you for everything, Governor.