He was a conjunction of time and eternity, of God and man. To quote an authority, he united the vertical of divine revelation with the horizontal of history's meaning. In so doing, he made great claims about himself that some believed religiously.
Yet his best buddies disclaimed him when they feared being on an enemies list. While they slept, he stayed up all night talking to his dad. When they couldn't sleep because of a storm, he slept like a baby.
Some say this is his birthday. Scholars have debated that for years. Nobody really knows when he was born, just that he was — and in a most unusual way.
And he left the same way he came, following a short career that flourished, floundered, revived, died and then lived for a little while longer. He named as his successor an Advocate, who is still on the job.
Birthday greetings to you, kind Sir.
And, a happy return.
This editorial by Opinion Editor J.E. McReynolds first ran in The Oklahoman on Christmas Day 1994.