Getting Better All the Time
by Liz Carpenter


Simon and Schuster, 1987. ISBN 0671672193.
Reviewed by Susan Wittig Albert
Posted on 12/14/2003

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Elders; Nonfiction: Active Life

Liz's second memoir, begun on her sixty-fifth birthday, tells the story of her life after the LBJ years, after her husband's death at 53, after Washington political life. It's full of memories of her early life and her roots in Texas; her memories of her family; her views on life as a widow; her recommendations for staying young ("Do something new each week!").

But what is best about the book, for me, are her sharply observant vignettes of women doing things they probably shouldn't. There's Fannie Lou, a black woman running for the state senate in Mississippi, who campaigned through the cotton fields in a Winnebago camper plastered with pictures of her heroes (RFK, MLK, and Jesus), her campaign war chest of $2,000 "wrapped up in an old handkerchief, to pay for air time." Then there's campaigning for the ERA with Erma Bombeck (can you imagine?). And Edna Whyte—a pilot and long-time owner of a flying school—who at 83 was inducted into the Texas Women's Hall of Fame and piloted her own plane to the ceremony.

Getting better all the time? Oh, you bet. You bet!

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