I came across a blog post about Pat Robertson’s call for the assasination of Hugo Chavez, the elected leader of Venezuela, and had a flash of self-realization: when I see the name Pat Robertson I think not of religious extremism and dangerous hubris but of shoes.
When I was 17, I lived with my uncle Dean and aunt Shirley in the Tidewater area of Virginia, because of my friendship with their daughter Cheryl (and longstanding enstrangement from my own family). I attended their church, where Dean was a fiery preacher and touchingly tone-deaf singer.
One day my cousin Gary turned up after church with a young woman. Gary was in his usual jeans and tshirt–he was a backsliding Christian and a sorrow to his mother–but his friend had obviously just been to church herself. She must have been about Gary’s age, 19 or 20, but she was wearing a knee-length skirt, neat blouse, and a pair of pale pumps. This was 1975 and I had never seen someone close to my age in pumps–what the English call ‘court shoes.’ My uncle introduced her and said she was Pat Robertson’s daughter. To this day when I hear his name I think of that odd meeting on the church porch, of court shoes, and of rebellious Gary who died a year later in a DUI car accident.
And I am left wondering if Robertson will be banned from the UK under new counterterrorism measures? Here’s a post on that subject.