News of the Weird
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Ruth Bell Graham, the frail wife of evangelist Billy Graham, has split with her elder son Franklin by rejecting as her burial place Franklin’s planned memorial library for Billy near Charlotte, N.C. (in favor of her mountaintop retreat west of there). According to a December Washington Post report, Ruth’s long-time friend, the crime writer Patricia Cornwell, told Ruth that the largely bookless “library” is “truly tacky,” featuring for example a mechanical cow that greets visitors, and straw on the floor to resemble the barn of Billy’s youth. Franklin’s thinking is that the memorial should draw a new generation of worshipers and donors, including kids who would be attracted by the farm motif.
In November, Arkansas’ outgoing Gov. Mike Huckabee and his wife, who have been happily married for 32 years, nonetheless set up a wedding registry at two department stores because it was apparently the easiest way for them to receive going-away gifts. Arkansas law prohibits gifts to public officials of more than $100, with a few exceptions, such as wedding gifts.
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