Saturday, March 01, 2008

William F. Buckley Has Died

William F. Buckley died this week.

I have very strong memories of my dad watching Buckley and Firing Line when I was a kid. My dad was very interested in politics and conservative ideology. He believed that Soviet Communism was a great threat to the Church and Christianity. My dad used to sketch, just line drawings on scrap paper with ballpoint pen, but he had a really good eye and technique. I remember him drawing a picture of Buckley's face, very lifelike. Buckley's forehead looked like a lizard, and my dad could capture it perfectly.

When I was in High School, I discovered Buckley for myself. I started reading National Review, and my dad gave me a couple of Buckley's books.

In 1990, I met Buckley. I was pastoring a church in SE New Mexico, and Buckley was speaking at an event sponsored by College of the Southwest, a liberal arts school in Hobbs NM. (Hobbs is my hometown, I graduated High School there.) The president of College of the Southwest was a friend of my family, attended the church my dad pastored, etc. So I called her and told her I wanted to meet Buckley, and she told me when he'd be arriving at the airport and invited me to come along.

So I met him, got his signature on one of his books, heard him lecture, etc. I got to talk with him for about 15 seconds, before he had to go. He was very pleasant, and the lecture was good.

Buckley was very conservative, of course; big supporter of Ronald Reagan and later of Jack Kemp. But he also argued for legalizing marijuana, at least for medical purposes, something which most people find inconsistent.

He was an interesting guy.



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