Rock on Ann

The big news across Texas today is the death of former Gov. Ann Richards at the age of 73. It could be said that she was the first woman governor of Texas to be elected without having to share what little power a Texas governor has with her husband. I refer not to Ann being a divorcee but rather than the “two-for-the-price-of-one” governance by Ma and Pa Ferguson who ruled the state during the first two decades of the 20th century.

Ann was one of those characters who could not have been invented if she didn’t exist. Her folksy Texas twang was unique among all of us Texans who, outsiders claim, speak funny. Her voice and persona could not have been cloned, just as there will never be another from-the-heavens voice as that of another Texas woman who was a political trailblazer — Barbara Jordan. Ann was like your mother if your mom had been a rock star.

Only once did I interview Ann. It was during her re-election campaign and she had stopped on a bus tour of East Texas to tour our local jail. I was invited to finish the bus tour which would go on to a neighboring city but for some reason I had to decline. That is a pity because one does not often have the opportunity to share space for a little while with such an extraordinary figure.

Thanks for everything Ann. Rock on.

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