“Charge hell with a bucket of water.”
That’s my new motto.
Liz Carpenter died this week at 89 in Austin, Texas of pneumonia.
From The New York Times:
A dedicated feminist, Ms. Carpenter was a founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus and joint chairwoman of ERAmerica, an organization that unsuccessfully fought for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.
Before joining the White House staff, she had covered Washington as a reporter for a news service she founded with her husband, Les Carpenter.
Widely known for her caustic and sometimes bawdy wit, Ms. Carpenter was irreverent about herself and her access to power during the Johnson years in Washington. She was also one of the few White House staff members who had no qualms about giving as good as she got, no matter the source.
“Why don’t you use your head?” Mr. Johnson once bellowed at her. She bellowed back: “I’m too busy trying to use yours!”
Reported the Houston Chronicle:
Feminist Gloria Steinem also recalled Carpenter with love. “She has always been a touchstone, the kind of original, irreplaceable friend about whom one thinks in good times and bad, ‘What would Liz do?’ or ‘I wish Liz were here,’ or ‘I’m going to call Liz,’ ” Steinem said. “I don’t want to think about a world in which she’s not at the other end of the phone.”
Carpenter is a member of the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame, chosen by the three-campus Texas Woman’s University. One of the nation’s greatest resources, for anyone interested in women’s history, is their library in Denton, where I did some research for my book on women and guns. It was astounding, and moving, to sit in a room whose stacks were entirely devoted to books by and about women.
I wish I’d met her. She sounds like feisty, fiery fun.