I Hear It Reported
I've just heard that Rev. Jerry Falwell has passed away today. I was not a particular fan of his but I think we lose something when a man of faith, unafraid to engage the secular world with his belief dies. I have actually, once, spoken with the Reverend albeit for a fractional moment.
I was working at the fact-checking desk of a national news magazine when the death of Ryan White from AIDS was an issue. There was some controversy about what the Rev. Falwell had said and another of the fact-checkers had put in a call to his offices. When he, the Reverend, called back (and he called himself, not some functionary on his behalf), I answered the phone before passing it along to my colleague.
Let me tell you - he had The Voice. Big, deep, rich and commanding. I have no doubt that hearing him give a sermon would have been a tremendous thing. When I was in college, the Rev. Martin King (pere to Jr.) spoke at the Duke Chapel one Sunday and it was broadcast on the campus radio station as getting into the chapel was nearly impossible. He had the same kind of voice: big, orotund, commanding. Some people were born to preach.