Sunday, June 26, 2005

Reverend Billy Graham

I have been reading about Billy Graham's final revivals in New York. I cannot help but think of the night in 1973 that I attended one in Atlanta in the baseball stadium. It was my first revival event of any sort and I was amazed at how people flocked to the stage, and put money in the large buckets passed throughout. It was truly memorable.
While I am on the topic -- we went to St. Martin, in the Caribbean on our honeymoon. On the flight home, I noticed the woman next to me and her mother across the aisle say a blessing over their meal trays. The mom was editing in the margins of an old book entitled "Billy Graham in St. Martin", writing things like "update", "rewrite". My husband had not noticed any of this, but asked the daughter if they buy much liquor in St. Martin as it had been our first trip and we discovered Creme de Grand Marnier. She said they did not drink much. Then he asked where they stayed, and she replied the name of some famous resort, "as my father needs to have his privacy." I finally whispered to him who I thought they were as a result of this peaceful glow about them. Later the son, the now heir apparent, came back to coach to say hi. She said to me that her dad had to be in first class to have privacy. When we hit a bunch of horrible turbulence, I told my husband that I believed we would not have any problems as Billy Graham was on the plane. When we got off to go through customs, we kept a lookout, and it was him. They all got escorted through a private line, but I did get to smile at the daughter so she knew that I knew who they were. It was 1983 and he looked old then, so I can only imagine how he must be now. Only a few people recognized him, but I heard his voice and knew it was him.
He had a powerful style that impacted millions around the world. I like that President Clinton said that he was "the only one who truly lived the way that he preached." He is an honorable, humble man, more so than many of those to whom he has preached and advised. I wish him well in his final years, whatever they may bring.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Brief Hiatus

Yes, I did take a blogging hiatus as I focused my life on planning a "family lifecycle event." It was more fantastic than we could have imagined -- and my planning paid off as the events and personal interactions were successful. I achieved my goal of reading a Hebrew blessing over the Torah as my husband read from the Torah. Our daughter shined. We so appreciated the out-of-town family and friends in attendance, but regret we did not get more one-on-one conversations with them as the weekend passed by like a dream, as if it were happening to someone else.
But, we resurfaced with a quick NY trip as we tagged along with my husband on a work trip. It was highlighted by two emotional visits to the World Trade Center site; seeing "Putnam County Spelling Bee" and almost getting selected out of the audience to be part of the spelling bee; some great bread; getting lost and overwhelmed on the subway.... and, of course, the place we have talked about for years -- getting to "The Pickle Guys." Though Emeril was coming later in the day, we bought (and are savoring) our pickles, sourkraut, pickled celery and peppers. As I told the guy, we will be back. He responded, "thanks for the warning."