Former L.A. Times feature writer-turned-novelist Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez had been a victim of journalist Cathy Seipp's gratuitous mean side, and gave it back to her. But she was sad to learn recently of Seipp's death in March. Valdes-Rodriguez blogs a belated farewell:
I will not lie. At the time, I hated Cathy. I was petty and cruel to her, and she was nasty right back.
But as I began to read her work, I came to recognize the truth: Cathy was a great writer, a quick wit, and she was fearless about having an opinion that was completely and utterly independent. She was a beloved conservative, but she was not the kind to toe the party line. She had real opinions based on real thought. I grew to respect her, even when I disagreed with her politics.
When THE DIRTY GIRLS SOCIAL CLUB finally came out, Seipp surprised me by writing a generous review of it. (Generous considering how much reason she had to hate me.) She did not back down from her stance that I was a nutjob, an opinion I suspect she held her entire life, but she did have the guts to say I was a good writer, and to slap down the envious journalists (many of them liberals) who were picking me apart. Cathy said they were petty, and envious - and I think she was right.
Here's a 2003 piece in CityBeat where Seipp rehabilitates Valdes-Rodriguez, and my first post about the author with the colorful place in L.A. journalism lore. In 2005 she was named one of Time Magazine's 25 most influential American Hispanics.