Betty Manning, 1924–2015
There will never be another Betty Manning. Betty was for most of its history the guiding force behind The Wild Cascades and much else. Betty was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known. She was a true woman of letters in the oldest and best sense of that term. Occasionally during the time she edited The Wild Cascades I would try to slip some sort of literary reference or double entendre past Betty but she would always see them. It was simply not possible to fool Betty on anything, whether it was something small and inconsequential or something big and important. Betty could spot a phony a mile away.
While I am not sure whether Betty played any personal role in bringing down Joseph McCarthy, I would not be surprised if that was the case. Betty always stood for what was right, and against what was wrong. She was a natural born progressive. She had a lively interest in almost everything, and as is usually the case with people who are interested in the world, she was interesting herself, and seemed to know at least something about every topic imaginable.
Betty was a giver, not a taker. As far as I know, she had little or no interest in material possessions or luxuries of any kind. She didn’t care about amassing wealth, or collecting things, with the possible exception of books. She cared about doing what she could to make the world better. She gave freely of her time and energy, and was the polar opposite of selfish. If the world could just have more people like Betty, what a better place it would be. Betty was for many decades a great friend to the Cascades, and all of us who care about the Cascades will always miss her. -Rick McGuire