“Dad was considered Hollywood’s pastor because he came on the air when few other ministers were using the television medium for communication. He was so believable and approachable about faith that people trusted him. Celebrities wanted to worship in private so others wouldn’t gawk and bother them in the brick and mortar church. They loved Dad.
His library was where our family gathered on Christmas morning. Many of the items in this sale dressed that atmosphere. The leather club chairs were loved by all, including the grandkids who would tilt them back so that the wheels stuck to the side and the “back” of the chair became the seat flush to the floor. The wingback chairs flanked his desk where his letter openers and silver plate phone covers would live. Calls from U.S. Presidents, correspondence with church matters, many of his letters with Billy Graham and celebrities were read and kept in this area.
We could not go to a dinner out without multiple people approaching for a handshake, a hug, an autograph. Many times, we just wanted Dad to ourselves. Once, we were at the San Bernardino mountains and my sister and I disguised him in a Russian hat, big sunglasses, and an oversized parka hoping we could walk the shops in private. People still knew him, and we all had a great laugh because he was a bit embarrassed at his get-up.
He had privacy overseas, and this was where he could peruse antique shops and began collecting his chattel. Celebrity life is challenging but it’s also very rewarding, particularly when you are able to be there, spiritually and emotionally, for others who want access to spirituality but who have a hard time trusting the motives of the public [or being taken advantage of because of their fame, status, or wealth]. He was a safe place for high-profile people to go to with questions and Dad would go to them when they were not “presentable” for the public — when they were sick or dying. Dad’s life was a privileged one, not because of his access to fame and success, but because of his access to those moments when people need to be known and heard and hovered over, so that loneliness and the fear don’t alienate them from God.” –Carol Milner, daughter
“He really loved the large bronze garden Chinese “flying” horse. As kids, we’d climb on its back. He gave a duplicate to Gregory Peck, and there’s a Polaroid photo of it that Gregory sent to my father with a thank you note."