Saturday, September 16, 2006

River Guide

People are so private about their money...If you think about it, you've let more people see you naked than have seen the inside of your checkbook...Ann Richards

I'm still thinking about this woman and trying to come up with someone to take up her charge. Nobody yet...Here's what Molly Ivins says:

AUSTIN, Texas -- She was so generous with her responses to other people. If you told Ann Richards something really funny, she wouldn't just smile or laugh, she would stop and break up completely. She taught us all so much -- she was a great campfire cook. Her wit was a constant delight. One night on the river on a canoe trip, while we all listened to the next rapid, which sounded like certain death, Ann drawled, "It sounds like every whore in El Paso just flushed her john."

They were camped at Dick's Creek on the Chattooga river and I was one of the river guides. The rapid they would run first thing the next morning is featured prominately in the movie Deliverance. "Isn't this where that Drew guy died?" they kept asking.

In those days I considered myself invincible and near immortal, so I had no fear of the river or it's rapids. I do admit to total intimidation by the wheelbarrow of booze we had to wheel in each night to set up camp. It was over a mile from the closest point we could get a vehicle but it was the one unnegotiable demand. Every morning we wheeled out a much lighter load of completely empty bottles, but other than some grumbling when I tried to herd everyone into the canoes they never showed ill effects that I could tell.

I bore the brunt of masterful one liners every time I gathered them up on a scouting rock and said, "OK, here's how we're gonna run this..." All of it foul mouthed and all of it funny." The second night one of the men had to be hiked out of the gorge to go handle a stiuation back in Texas. "Willie's wife got busted at the airport," they said. I can't remember the guy's name but they called him the "Fixer." Yeah, it was THAT "Willie" but I don't know which of his wives it was.

They were the biggest tippers I had ever run into.

Molly on Ann

Peace, Ann...


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