“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

One of my personal heros and role models died today.

Ann Richards, Former Governor of Texas, lost her battle with esophageal cancer at 73.

She was at once nail-tough and achingly humane, both towering icon and touching, fallible, human being.  She showed the world that women could play hard-ball in the rough and tumble field of Texas politics, in a gubernatorial race that couldn’t have been harder or tougher.  She gave the working woman her mantra, by resurrecting the Faith Whittlesey quote –  “Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, only backwards and in high heels.” 

Only she didn’t do everything her male predecessors did.  She did a lot more.  Breaking racial and gender barriers in Texas public service, overhauling both the state’s education system and it’s male-dominated cowboy image.  And she did it in all in four years, before losing her re-election race to George W.

 A reformed hard-drinker, she celebrated her 60th birthday by getting her motorcycle license.

 And what would she have done differently?

 “Oh, I would probably have raised more hell.”

Thanks, Ann, for putting a little of the devil in all of us. 

September 13th, 2006 at 11:28 pm