I grew up in West Virginia and spent the first 25 years of my life there learning about politics. I remember the first time Senator Byrd ever spoke to me. It was a hot late summer day on the island in Southern West Virginia and Senator Byrd was there working to get reelected to the Senate. He walked up to a small child and asked me if I would vote for him. I promptly informed him that if he wanted to be reelected to the senate that he should speak to my daddy.
Senator Byrd though that was very funny and most likely had a good laugh with my father over the conversation. Senator Byrd was a good man who worked hard for his home state acquiring many benefits. Although not always proud of every choice he made he still had a great impact on West Virginia.
He was a plain spoken individual and always encourage children to express their views no matter who they were speaking to. There are time when I wonder if maybe that was more of a bad influence on me then a good one.
Senator Byrd was the longest serving senator in our country’s history and knew more about senator rules on a bad day then most new senators will lean in a life time. Education was an important issue for Senator Byrd and he will be missed in a time when the value of public education is not always well understood.
I can only hope the governor of West Virginia appoints some one like Congressman Rahall to the Senate to fill the empty seat.