In the years that followed and up until his death, he'd come to see me every time he was in California. We'd have interesting philosophical conversations. We'd exchange personal Christmas cards. He'd show me pictures of his grandchildren. I was with him in Florida once when he complained about his health and his weight, so I suggested that he go on a diet that had worked for me. I faxed a copy to his wife when I got back home.
The truth is, the reverend and I had a lot in common. He was from Virginia, and I was from Kentucky. His father had been a bootlegger, and I had been one too in my 20s before I went into the Navy. We steered our conversations away from politics, but religion was within bounds. He wanted to save me and was determined to get me out of “the business.”
Now that's an odd couple.
I also think it's neat that Larry Flynt has nothing but good things to say about Jerry Falwell, showing that one doesn't have to be a Christian to forgive and forget, or at least, be friends with your enemy.
When the waiter brought us the check, he mentioned that we caused a fellow member of the wait staff to quit. It seems that when we were seated, the “wrong” waiter was assigned to our table, which upset the “right” waiter so much that he quit, right then, after working there for some twenty years.
And here I thought I left that back in high school.