The Washington Post offers fine play-by-play of mourners paying their respects to Effi Barry today at the Wilson Building. Unlike H.R. Crawford‘s incredibly lame recent Q-and-A on the Post‘s Web site, the reporters actually found people who had interesting stories about the woman who endured so much public and private pain.

What can also be said is this: Effi Barry was by far the coolest of Marion Barry‘s wives. Mary Treadwell became a crook. And let’s face it, Cora wasn’t any reporter’s idea of a good time. Sure, she could be polite. But, shit, Cora staring out from behind her sunglasses could be a little intimidating. She did, though, get her tennis center in Southeast, which we have to admit is an amazing facility.

But Effi Barry wins easily. She could at least count a Supreme as a friend. And she put up with her husband’s bullshit with dignity, as everyone has said. She didn’t parlay her link to his scandals into lucrative book deals or tons of publicity. She simply left for university life. When she finally did return to the city, in part coyly helping Barry win election to the city council, she didn’t end up in a sweeping mansion. She ended up as a District government employee.

So it’s nice to see people honoring her. Even if one of those people is her former husband. Funeral services are Friday at 11 a.m. at the National Cathedral.

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