Ann Richards is dead. Those who aren’t Texans might have a moment connecting name to face, or more than a moment. But those who are Texans will be … shocked, I guess is the word.

Here are two anecdotes about the former governor from the Houston Chronicle obituary:

“After voting early one afternoon at the Travis County courthouse, Gov. Ann Richards held up her Department of Public Safety detail to admire a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
Richards carefully studied the bike, admiring its shiny chrome in the October sunlight, its size, shape and color.
When a reporter queried the governor about what she was doing, Richards replied: "I am trying to decide whether I want a cruise, or a Harley for my 60th birthday."
It was a short news story, accompanied by a photograph, that got noticed by the motorcycle company's moguls. Within hours of publication, Richards had a letter offering her a Harley-Davidson.
Richards, 73, died Wednesday after a six-month battle against esophageal cancer. Her death prompted others to praise her legacy to Texas and her well-known wit that made her national political star.
Richards' former press secretary Bill Cryer of Austin, recalled the whole Harley-Davidson saga.
"Right after that story, she came into my office and said, 'You're going to have to learn to ride a motorcycle with me.' So, she and I spent every Sunday (the next) August, learning how to ride a motorcycle, out on the Department of Public Safety headquarters' parking lot," Cryer said. "She got her license, and I got my license. And I still ride a motorcycle."
On her 60th birthday, Richards went to the DPS and passed the test for her motorcycle license. She donated the Harley-Davidson to the DPS' motorcycle safety training classes.”
And here is the second one:
“Richards -- and many other Democrats -- used to frequent a small Mexican food cafe on Congress Avenue, Las Manitas.( Republicans go there now.)
Once, Richards ordered a cappucino, and the waitress apologetically explained that they only had coffee. True to her generous spirit (and selfish to her love for cappucino) Richards bought the owners of the small restaurant a beautiful, copper cappucino maker.
There is an official portrait of Ann Richards next to the cash register at Las Manitas. With her irreverent sense of humor, Richards signed it: "Thanks for all the great food. Love, Meg Ryan."”
It isn’t that LI unequivocally loved Ann Richards – we know how responsible she was, in the early 80s, for developing Travis County. And at one time that was still a very sore topic. But shit, I’m tired of grudges - beware of the carcinogenic quality of memory. She may have been the last Democratic Texas governor in this state, or at least for the next fifty years. And she was one of those Dixie governors – the populist governors, like Earl and Hughie – for whom politics was inseparable from appetite – not like the pinheaded ideologues of today, not the policymaking wonks, not the exercise freaks, the people Burke despised, the theoreticians. This shouldn’t pass from the world without a few tears.


new york pervert said…
Roger--I think you'll find that a lot of us outside Texas were in love with Ann Richards too. She was just beautiful. I remember when she was on the cover of New York Times Magazine in blue jeans and holding a dozen or more yellow roses. Also, once she and Mario Cuomo were talking about who would get the Republican nomination in 1996, she thought it would be Phil Gramm because 'he's got the money.' Cuomo said 'I just love to hear Ann talk. She says the truth.'
roger said…
It is always hard to judge what people outside Texas think of, or know about, what is happening inside Texas. Cause this state is like a planet.

Well, it is cool that Ann is remembered elsewhere. I did notice a big obituary on the Washington post page.
new york pervert said…
I had thought she was maybe 4 or 5 years older, though, and I, too, was shocked on seeing it last night.