I’m in New York City for about a week and staying the first part at the Algonquin Hotel.
A Molly Ivins Story
Many years ago when I was in here for a short trip, my friend Molly Ivins (now of blessed memory and then a journalist with the New York Times) suggested we meet at the Algonquin bar, the legendary watering hole of original The New Yorker staff put together by Harold Ross, the first editor.
The Algonquin Round Table
The group called themselves the Algonquin Round Table and included writers such as James Thurber, E. B. White, S. J. Perelman, John O’Hara, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Vladimir Nabokov, and J.D. Salinger.
Molly and I had put a few drinks away. Fueled not only by the alcohol but also by the heady history of the location, I struck up a conversation with an elegant black man who said he was a United Nations delegate from Somaliland. The conversation started pleasantly enough but his undemocratic take of how his country should be run provoked Molly.
Molly was an insistent, persistent conversationalist and interviewer with a rapier-like wit. It was not without a solid basis that a billboard went up that said “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?” which became the title of one of her collections of columns. The conversation got quite heated, which either he or I cooled down by paying for the next round of drinks.
I guess I’ll go downstairs and hoist one for Molly.
“There are eight million stories in the naked city.”
This is one of mine.
~ July 4, 2019