Tammy Faye Messner - 03/07/42 to 07/20/07 genre: Do Not Resuscitate & Happy Remembrances & Video-Philes

Tammy Faye Messner was a living caricature for many years. On Friday, the controversial woman with the trademark mascara tears succumbed to cancer. As I watched her final interview on Larry King, I found myself looking at her to see if her faith was sustaining her or if the fear of death had become overwhelming. I can’t say I came to any conclusion except to say that she remained Tammy Faye to the very end.

Say what you will about Tammy Faye Messner, but the world will be a little less colorful without her here. As a kid, I grew up when television evangelists were just beginning to emerge. On Sunday mornings as I was looking for something to watch on TV, I would often stop for a minute or two and watch Tammy Faye.

As I've thought about why, the one thing I remember was her remarkable ability to cry. No doubt crying can be manipulative, but somewhere in the back of my mind I always suspected she was just a soft hearted person who happened to find her way to notoriety.

In many ways, she reminded me of my great aunt Dorothy...from Kansas. Dorothy was also a very colorful person who always had a new hairdo, lots of makeup, and her signature painted on eyebrows. Many people who didn't know Dorothy probably saw her like Tammy Faye...a strange animated character with a gift for gab.

Like Tammy Faye, she never let it trouble her that her appearance always drew second glances and judgmental whispers. Dorothy was just being herself and those who took the time to actually know her always found a heart of gold. She had a knack for connecting with people in a real way such that anyone who met her knew she saw your heart first and the rest was irrelevant.

I never met Tammy Faye and frankly I don't know that much about her but my instincts tell me she was a lot like my aunt Dorothy. When the Bakker's world fell apart, somehow Tammy Faye found that the gay community had a good heart and she never forgot it. Flawed as she may have been, I suspect she recognized a good heart because she also possessed one.

How ever one sets out to judge the worth of others, one would be hard pressed to find that many Dorothy's and Tammy Faye's...simple people who simply lived their lives as they knew how...people with an innate kindness who weren't afraid to share their unedited thoughts and feelings without reservation. When I think about that, I'm certain the world would be a better place if we had a few more of them.

I found the following tribute video on YouTube. The video is set to Damien Rice's song, The Blower's Daughter. The song gained attention as part of the soundtrack for the movie Closer. I think it was a fine choice.

I've also included the music video for The Blower's Daughter below the tribute clip. You can find more about Rice on his MySpace page here.

A Tribute To Tammy Faye

Damien Rice - The Blower's Daughter

Tagged as: Damien Rice, Larry King, Tammy Faye Messner, televangelists

Daniel DiRito | July 22, 2007 | 8:15 AM
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1 On July 23, 2007 at 9:41 PM, Brian wrote —


Thanks for posting my video tribute. I've had to delete the original and re-upload it, so the url is different. Could you please update it to this one?



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