Modern-day oratory

Those who didn’t attend the Ann Richards memorial at the Erwin Center yesterday or who didn’t view it live or record it may find the unedited program via the KVUE site. Liz Smith was oustanding in a very folksy and anecdotal way. Her peroration ended: “Ann Richards was the most alive person I’ve ever known in my life. Let’s keep her that way. Let’s keep her that way, in our hearts.” Hillary Clinton was surprising, speaking very conversationally and going all the way back to 1972 and the McGovern campaign, mentioning good times at Scholz’s, the Armadillo, and other places and occasions that, with a smile, she declined to name. AWR grand-baby Lily, now all grown up, spoke endearingly of her “almost perfect grandmother.” Ron Kirk was the master of ceremonies and also gave an introductory talk. Henry Cisneros spoke. The gospel choir sang one old-style and one new-style song, and Jessye Norman sang as well. As the camera panned across the audience, it captured some expected faces and some unexpected ones. With a photo- and video-montage interlude, the coverage may run as long as an hour and a half. Catch it while it’s available, if only to see and hear a wide range of speaking styles of the non-stemwinder type. Liz Smith’s funny and touching talk is very close to the beginning of the program (after the choir’s first song and Ron Kirk’s intro). Consider staying at least for the tale of George Clooney and the DeLay pinata.

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