I haven't heard from my unlikely friend, Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr. in a while, but I know the reclusive multimillionaire--heir to the Home Savings & Loan empire, an empire he has subsequently donated to every wacky right-wing cause you can imagine--continues to read Navel Gazing, leaving comments every once in a while. But it's his wife, Roberta (pictured at right), who's under the media spotlight right now, with a lengthy profile in the January issue of Christianity Today. Writer Christine A. Scheller goes at great lengths to portray Roberta as more than just a wife, something I know very well.
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Far from the troglodytic image painted of them by the mainstream media (save the occasional hagiography by theOrange County Register
, Roberta's former employer), the Ahmansons love to spar with opponents, and I have gotten into email scuffles with Roberta--never histrionics, always logic and smart questioning. She promised me coffee once--what about it, Roberta?
The profile isn't up yet on the Christianity Today website, but make sure to read it for many revelations about Roberta's worldview and passions. She comes off as the feistier half of the Ahmansons, but still an individual. I personally wished the reporter found out that the Ahmansons were funding even more crazy political candidates than usual, but what are you going to do?