Nora Ephron was my hero
Nora Ephron was my hero. Crazy Salad: Some Things about Women was my guidebook for how a smart, funny, and conscientious woman should not only live her life, but write about it. (Nora didn’t always write nice things.)
I remember watching her on Phil Donahue. He was clearly enamored by her and bestowed upon her the ultimate privilege: a second taping. When I was in college, I wrote a column based on this honor. No one got it. I didn’t care. Nora was my hero and Phil was smart enough to recognize her charm and wit.
Through film writing and directing, Nora rose above many of the women who came before her. She achieved a kind of acclaim and respect often reserved for men in the industry. She wrote about regular folks with regular problems, yet there was always a twinkle of sophistication as if letting you in on an inside joke.
Nora Ephron seemed unapologetic about the underbelly of humor coming from the raw, exposed places of sorrow and fear. Reminiscent of a younger, polished Erma Bombeck, she presented laughter, not as medicine, but as purgative, the slow drainage of wounds healing defiantly and unattractively.
There is an exercise of the imagination in which you gather people for a great dinner party or a last supper. Mine always included Nora Ephron and a really crazy salad.