While the character of Mary Richards moved to Minneapolis in 1970 as a thirtyish single woman,
I moved to Minneapolis that same year with a husband, a one-year old and a baby. I was 28. I had never thought about Minneapolis at all until my husband accepted a job at the University of Minnesota. The Mary Tyler Moore Show helped me in the transition of moving from Cambridge, MA 02138 to Minneapolis MN 55402. If the adorable Mary Richards chose to live in Minnesota, which most of my friends called Michigan, than I could live there too. On Saturday nights, I was single.
I was never Mary Richards. I was Rhoda Morgenstern, her sidekick. Even though I copied Mary in every way that I could, (I loved her clothes) my manner was brassier. I didn't have many filters. Mary was polite, well-spoken and sometimes self-effacing, but in the most charming way.
I don't think I've ever loved a situation comedy more than The Mary Tyler Moore Show. I don't think I've ever loved a character more than Mary Richards.
I've been watching scenes all day from the show. It wears well. It's still funny. Her dying, the actress, and therefore her character, has left a hole in my universe. Where in the hell did all those years go?
Rest in peace, Mary. Rest in peace, Louise.