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Madness centered on God

"Madness centered on God" Continued...

Issue: "Crackdown," July 18, 2009

Bible study was good but by January our savings were running out. It was evident, particularly after the church split, that the study center was a will-o'-the-wisp. No Indianapolis jobs were in sight. Not much was in sight, as the snow kept falling. Still, when I came inside there was the yellow light that Sam Gamgee treasures on the last page of The Lord of the Rings-and Susan drew me in, and put Pete on my lap.

Desperate times, desperate measures. I thought wildly that I could continue my fight against communism, and provide for my wife and son, by going to work in a corporation that would stand up for free enterprise. Sure. I had never set foot in a corporate headquarters. None of my friends or relatives had corporate connections. But I did have newspaper experience and a Ph.D.: Ever since being cut from my sixth grade baseball team I had realized that my best chance to make a living was through writing. I thought I had become good enough.

So off went 100 individually typed letters to 100 large corporations, offering my writing services. Ninety-seven companies either ignored the letters or gave desultory responses. Three-Standard Oil of Illinois, Monsanto, and DuPont-offered interviews. Oil and chemicals, two industries beleaguered by environmentalists and attacked by academic leftists. My cup of tea. The longest set of interviews was with DuPont in Wilmington, Del. Irving Shapiro, the first non-DuPont family member in nearly two centuries to lead the company, needed a junior speechwriter. He had an exceptionally talented senior speechwriter, Carl Kaufmann. Shapiro was a lawyer, not a chemist or an engineer, and he was Jewish. The DuPont public affairs department wanted to hire someone who could be on the same wavelength as Shapiro and Kaufmann.

After an early March interview, DuPont hired me. The corporate personnel office asked how quickly I could come to work, since it usually took new hires a month or two to tie up their current activities. "How about next week?" I responded. We stayed for several days at the venerable Hotel DuPont as we found a Wilmington apartment, eating one evening in the august Brandywine Room amid corporate executives with three-piece suits as Pete overturned a bowl of spaghetti.

God's sense of humor: From communism to the Christian right to the heart of corporate power. But I was not above overturning some bowls myself.

To be continued . . .

Read other episodes in this multi-part biographical series.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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