In January 1996, I visited William Sloane Coffin Jr. in Appleton, Wis., where he was a visiting professor at Lawrence University. I was 21 years old and in the midst of writing a senior essay about Coffin's sermons. The legendary Yale chaplain had agreed to be interviewed, but only in person; he thought that would be more fun than talking on the phone. And it was. After picking me up at the small airport, Coffin brought me and his dog, which had come with him in the car, to a little cemetery in town. We walked over to a tombstone etched with the name "Joseph McCarthy." The pooch sauntered over to the memorial slab, lifted his leg, and shot a nice, warm stream of urine on the dead senator's grave. "Our daily ritual," Coffin joked, leading me back to the car.
Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., 1924-2006