Rebecca Wilson died today.
Jesus that’s a tough line to write. Bec the indomitable, Bec the invincible, Bec the inscrutable.
People throw around phrases like larger than life too readily but our Bec, rather than living large in the sense of reckless abandon or over indulgence, she lived large in truth.
Bec had her artifice and fakery DNA removed at birth and I think in its place was put the finest bullshit detector Australia has ever seen. She seemed actually incapable of saying the “right” thing at the apparently “right” time. She was gloriously incorrect whilst so often actually being correct. Many people saw Bec as a hater – someone who wanted to tear things down, to rip into people and places but they couldn’t be more wrong. Bec was not a hater, she was a lover. She LOVED good people and great endeavour, most especially of course in the sporting world. She didn’t enjoy sport she revelled in it. Those GREAT sports people in Australia, and they and we in our hearts know who they are, loved and were loved by Bec. Ask Freeman, ask Goodes, ask Boyle, ask Tallis – just don’t ask the fakers, the dribblers, the gibberers or the urgers. They loathed her because she shone a light on their fakery, their pretence, their manifest dishonesty. She made mistakes, bloody heaps of them, but they were most often made with good intentions. She made enemies; I said a week ago that if you didn’t have at least one good feud with Bec you just weren’t trying hard enough.
But she had love – real unadulterated, genuine, deep love for people and that’s why racists and charlatans and crooks just got her so bloody mad. They were taking the spotlight from the good guys, the guys (and more importantly the girls) who fought and tried and were honest and decent.
And that’s who she was. To beat around the bush was as foreign an idea to Bec as it was to drink anything other than chardonnay (“Why WOULD I Stu? It’s chardonnay”).
I once, on radio, tried to explain to her what chardonnay actually WAS, a grape variety, it made for some of the most hilarious radio I’ve ever been a part of – she simply couldn’t have cared less; “But how GOOD is it Stuey? How good?”
The woman knew how to encourage – just ask her boys or Harto or anyone who was close to her. If you were doing well or even trying hard you would hear that “Go You” ringing in your ears.
I made a wine Bec; “Go you Stuey”, I wrote a book; “Go you good thing”. I had a baby Bec; “Go you, Go Sal”.
Bec Wilson tried every day to be true to herself and her family and her beloved trade of journalism. Her old man Bruce had been such an incredible journo and such a beacon for young upstart journos at News Ltd like me, and then along came his incredible, loud, opinionated, brash, hilarious, gutsy daughter. And she didn’t just do him proud, she built an even greater legacy to that family name.
God I loved being around Bec Wilson – you would gossip, laugh, hear things you just couldn’t believe were being said, drink chardonnay and more especially feel alive, feel like you’d just spent a few hours with a human tornado.
It’s profoundly sad of course and especially for Harto, the boys, her mum and Jim, but to say she lived a life well would be gross understatement. Bec Wilson was a proper, fearless woman who was a wonderful friend and an epic loss to all of us. And she really did forge a path.
We love you Bec Wilson: Go You.