Monday, July 23, 2007

Tammy Faye... RIP

I wasn't going to write anything about the passing of Tammy Faye, but then I saw this wonderful tribute video to her on Towleroad.

Before the days of cable, in the summer I would often stay up all night watching television in the basement. WGN late movies, Infomercials, and PTL for late night TV, that was it! I have fond memories of watching Jim and Tammy Show every night. Thinking back I watched it pretty regularly; Perhaps because I was still coming off of my 'born again' phase; or because there was truly nothing else on. I clearly remember the fundraising everyday for Kevin's House. Kevin was a teenage boy who was only a torso. At one point I was tempted to send in money, Jim and Tammy were so persuasive. When the scandal hit, it was a shock, but not a surprise. Jim always seemed like a snake oil salesman to me.

Through the years I've seen Tammy Faye on one thing or another; but it wasn't until the past few years that I've come to really respect her for being the patron saint of all misfits. And, as the video below shows, a really fantastic person. In this world where religion is beign used to promote intolerance and fear, Tammy was all about acceptance and joy. Her presence will be missed.


Mike Lynch said...

Oh yeah, I remember all the televangelists. They were pretty silly to me -- until I moved to Akron in 1982 and saw the huge giant architectural thing that was Ernest Angley's Grace Cathedral in a middle class suburb. It was jarring. Chain store, strip mall, rundown motel, GRACE CATHEDRAL, donut shop, strip mall, auto parts, chain store. And people came from all over every week.

A lot of the white kids I went to college with were born again. They didn't follow Ernest per se, but more than half of them were "born again in spirit" and fussed over those who were not. That number included me, and, many times, people in their own family. I would always ask them, How do you feel that you own parents or brother aren't going to heaven with you? They held out hope that they would see the light.

Never made sense to me to think that people like Abraham Lincoln, the Reverend Martin Luther King, et al., were roasting over the eternal spitfire in hell because they were not "born again."

I wandered off topic, Johnny. Yeah, I think Tammy Fae was the patron saint of misfits. Thanks for another thoughtful HitH entry.

Aaron said...

I remember watching the PTL Club when I was 12 and 13 years old, first when it was on late-night TV, and then early morning TV in Peoria. Something about Tammy Faye always struck me as sort of sad, even with her clownish appearance. I guess it's because she seemed to be going along good-naturedly for the ride with Jim, without necessarily wanting to reach the same destination. Sure, they made tons of money, but after he went down, you never heard from him again, whereas she still proclaimed her faith.

Anonymous said...

Patron Saint of Misfits, that's perfect! My first awareness of TF was with the PTL scandal so my impressions weren't that rosy- but I saw that episode of the Surreal Life that was featured in this video, and heard her tell that story, and really was impressed. She was the real thing.

BC said...

My girlfriend in high school first showed me their show, in like 83. She loved how her mascara ran. Have you seen the movie, Eyes of Tammy Faye? It made me a fan of hers.