Paul Harvey (...pause...) Good day! was his signature line at the end of virtually every broadcast. This past weekend saw the the passing of that American icon, Paul Harvey Aurandt (September 4, 1918 – February 28, 2009) The picture on the right was taken when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the nation's highest civilian honor.
I enjoyed listening to Paul Harvey through the years. Long before Internet news sources, before today's talk radio format, and before the choices now available on cable TV for honest, thorough news coverage, Paul Harvey was unique in serving up insightful news that no one else was reporting, as well as off-beat or heart-warming stories about people, both famous and obscure. He will be remembered by many for his The Rest of the Story segments. Here's a neat one called "Gentle Legacy." (If you're reading this by e-mail or in a blog reader, you will probably have to go to the blog to view this video clip.)
He will also be remembered for his distinctive, resonant voice and for what has been been described as his "pregnant pauses." Danny Thomas once told Mr. Harvey, "You'd better be right, because you sound like God." (It's a unique voice, but I don't know if I'd go that far....) On another occasion Danny Thomas commented, "You can almost hear the amber waves of grain." Obviously, Mr. Thomas was a loyal Paul Harvey fan.
In my files I had a piece attributed to him that I especially like. I was able to determine at truthorfiction.com that he indeed wrote this piece.
If I Were the Devil
by Paul Harvey
© 1999 WorldNetDaily.com
If I were the devil...
I would gain control of the most powerful nation in the world;
I would delude their minds into thinking that they had come from man's effort, instead of God's blessings;
I would promote an attitude of loving things and using people, instead of the other way around;
I would dupe entire states into relying on gambling for their state revenue;
I would convince people that character is not an issue when it comes to leadership;
I would make it legal to take the life of unborn babies;
I would make it socially acceptable to take one's own life, and invent machines to make it convenient;
I would cheapen human life as much as possible so that the life of animals are valued more than human beings;
I would take God out of the schools, where even the mention of His name was grounds for a lawsuit;
I would come up with drugs that sedate the mind and target the young, and I would get sports heroes to advertise them;
I would get control of the media, so that every night I could pollute the mind of every family member for my agenda;
I would attack the family, the backbone of any nation.
I would make divorce acceptable and easy, even fashionable. If the family crumbles, so does the nation;
I would compel people to express their most depraved fantasies on canvas and movie screens, and I would call it art;
I would convince the world that people are born homosexuals, and that their lifestyles should be accepted and marveled;
I would convince the people that right and wrong are determined by a few who call themselves authorities and refer to their agenda as politically correct;
I would persuade people that the church is irrelevant and out of date, and the Bible is for the naive;
I would dull the minds of Christians, and make them believe that prayer is not important, and that faithfulness and obedience are optional;
I guess I would leave things pretty much the way they are.
Bet over at Dappled Things did a post yesterday on Paul Harvey. She found a quotation from him describing his entry into the field of radio at age 14: "As a boy, I fell in love with words and ran away from home and joined the radio."
Harvey is credited with coining or popularizing such terms as "skyjacker," "Reaganomics," and "guesstimate." I find it ironic that this post on Paul Harvey falls so close on the heels of my post on Dr. Seuss who also loved and coined words.
Do you think it would be fair to say that Paul Harvey was also a "word nerd?" Do you have any memories of or reflections on Paul Harvey's career?
"If there is a 50-50 chance that something can go wrong, then 9 times out of ten it will." - Paul Harvey
"I've never seen a monument erected to a pessimist." - Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey ... Good day!