The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...

The driver of tomorrow is not thinking Green...
He's thinking Classic. (click on photo)


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Aug 19, 2009

Paul Harvey Aurandt

I grew up listening to this man with my parents. One of those great childhood memories, his voice on the radio, that bring warm fuzzies. Good article I found on the Focus on the Family site -

Paul Harvey Aurandt was likely the most overlooked and understudied Christian evangelist on earth. His sermons, offered in the form of entertaining vignettes, poignant commentaries, and a million subtle asides, were often as powerful, insightful, and effective as the words spoken from the pulpits of America's most acclaimed preachers. His faith was the foundation of his life.

Anyone who brought it up to him received the same response, typical of a man of his generation. Scoffing at the suggestion that he had pastoral aspirations, he would say in a dismissive tone, the pulpit "is a responsibility infinitely higher than any to which I would aspire!"1 Yet, formal distinctions notwithstanding, Harvey's on-air evangelistic fervor was unmistakable and undeniable.

During his last appearance on CNN's Larry King Live in 2003, a caller asked Harvey about a "religious" television program he supposedly hosted in the 1960's. They actually were misremembering his daily three-minute television commentary. "Oh, bless your heart," Harvey responded in his typical folksy manner. "You're the first person who ever considered it a religious program."2 Turning to King, Harvey noted that in those newscasts, he was only attempting "to separate rightness and wrongness" — not to proselytize and convert. Many in Harvey's audience heard Judeo-Christian themes in it. At times it was subtle, like when he would refer to the "basic ten" rules of life —rather than quoting chapter and verse from Exodus of the Old Testament.3 There were other times when he was more explicit. Each year right before Easter, Harvey would offer the "shortest sermon you'll hear all year" — "Jesus lived a good life in a wicked world to show us it could be done. And he died. And he rose again. To show us . . .we could do that too."4

To be sure, Paul Harvey liked to talk and write about God. His faith not only shaped and framed his thoughts, but it also defined his view of the world and everything in it, both past, present, and future. "I am no preacher," he said, "but I am a student of history and therein our professions overlap. This is history. Jesus was born in Bethlehem less than two thousand years ago. Anybody could have known he would be . . . through the prophets of Israel, God spelled it out. Where He'd be born, how He would live, and when He would die — on a cross against a Galilean sky."5

He believed in the authority and authenticity of the scriptures. "There is but one lamp by which my feet are guided and that is the map of experience," he said. "This history book is the experience of the world. This is the Master Plan."6

"Men may ignore this history book or reject it," he reflected thoughtfully. "Scorn it, burn it, crown it with thorns, nail it to a stick. But when they have done their worst it will still be there. Judging them, shaming them, haunting them, calling out to them — Believe."7

Paul Harvey's demanding broadcast and speaking schedule always kept his circle of good friends small, but during the 1960's and 1970's, the Harveys enjoyed some delightful vacations with Dr. Billy Graham and his wife, Ruth. In his 1997 autobiography, Just as I Am, Graham referred to Harvey as his "best friend in the American media."8 And he had many. "He has always been very supportive of us and often keeps his many listeners informed about our work," Dr. Graham continued. "We have been guests in his home many times, with his delightful wife, Angel."9

Celebrities are always in danger of losing perspective when they reach a certain level in their career — it's the point that they begin to believe the hype from their own press clippings. For the Harveys, the Grahams were a source of accountability and reason during their meteoric ascent in those early days of national radio. Both Billy and Ruth helped keep the rising stars grounded in reality. But the relationship went both ways. "I used to worry about Billy," Paul reflected, "When he started out, there was all that adulation. I was worried he might be tilted off balance by it. But then I met Ruth. Then I relaxed, knowing he had that strength on which to lean."10

Most of the time, they were just a fun-loving, down-to-earth pair of couples who enjoyed traveling, visiting, playing, and eating together. When Lynne and Ruth would shop, Paul and Billy would golf — and regale friends with stories of their exploits on the links. They made quite the pair, these two tall and dashing high profile men. Though they loved to play the game, both often joked about how bad they were at it. Paul used to quip that "golf [was] a game in which you yell 'fore,' shoot six and write down five."11 Graham used to explain away his poor play by saying, "I never pray on a golf course. Actually, the Lord answers my prayers everywhere except on the course."12

During one particular vacation to the historic Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, Virginia, the two men encountered a swarm of bugs while out on the course. "They were everywhere," Paul said, "and no matter how you batted at them with your hand, they'd still be there when you started to putt."13 Undeterred, the men played on. Paul described the scene. "The only thing that worked was to take the steel shaft of the club and arc it backward and forward at chest level. I don't know whether the reflected sunlight caused the insects some concern and made them disappear or not, but it sure worked the trick."14

Concerned about the appearance of such an alarming spectacle at the swanky resort, Harvey remembered confiding his embarrassment. "I remarked to Billy that the other folks on the course must have us classed as some sort of nuts, standing there flashing the golf clubs back and forth across our chests."15 In his classic dry drawl, Graham responded. "Oh no, they won't think that at all. They'll just say that those folks are down there with Billy Graham and he's already got them doing some sort of fanatical religious exercise."16

The Tulsan once remarked that the benefit of a clean vocabulary was that its owner would never have to worry about cursing in front of an open microphone. During a golf outing with Graham, Harvey remembered watching the great evangelist tee off, but only hit a dribbler fifty feet. "All the caddies waited to hear what kind of expletive he was going to utter," Paul said. "He turned and faced them and quoted the bible: 'That which the Lord hath decreed hath come to pass.' "17



1. Marc Fisher, "Still Going," American Journalism Review, October 1998, p. 31.
2. Paul Harvey, "Interview with Larry King," CNN's Larry King Live! June 22, 2003.
3. Paul Harvey, "America Needs Spiritual Revival," Jefferson City-Post Tribune, June 13, 1968.
4. Paul Harvey, Remember These Things, 18.
5. Paul Harvey, Autumn of Liberty, 188.
6. Ibid., 191.
7. Ibid., 192.
8. Bill Graham, Just as I Am (CA: Harper San Francisco, 1997).
9. Ibid.
10. Ruth Graham was Husband's Anchor, But Shined on Her Own," The Asheville Citizen-Times, June 15, 2007, p. B4.
11. Paul Harvey, 1918-2009; "About the Game,", see: (Assessed March 22, 2009)
12. David Briggs, "Church Has Stiff Sunday Competition: The Grass is Greener on the Fairways," Constitution Tribune, May 12, 1994, p.2.
13. Bill Williams, "Paul Harvey Likes to 'Play Down the Middle,' " Gastonia Gazette, September 27, 1967, p.25.
14. Ibid.
15. Ibid.
16. Ibid.
17. Ibid.


Excerpted from Good Day! The Paul Harvey Story. Copyright © 2009 by Paul Batura. Used by permission of Regnery Publishers, Inc. Excerpt may not be reproduced without the prior consent of the publisher.

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