A long-time Missouri GOP operative sent along this story on Wednesday about 17-term Congressman Ike Skelton who died Monday.
“I was at a Bates County Farm Bureau meeting in the late 70s or early 80s. I remember it as being in Amoret (south of Kansas City). Skelton was main speaker.
“After the meeting, I talked for maybe 20 minutes with several members. As we filtered out, I saw Skelton still talking at the door, in topcoat, with an elderly lady, small and frail.
“He only listened, she talked. It was about her Social Security. All he had to do, of course, was listen, assure he would try to help, and promise that his office would call in the morning. Instead, he listened for as long as she wanted him to listen, period. I don't remember seeing Bob H., (a Skelton aide) but he probably was warming the car. Skelton and the lady hadn't come out when I left the lot.
“This deepened my respect for him -- that he was for real, actually cared. He had nothing to gain from extraordinary courtesy and grace -- there was no one to see it, as I would be logged a non-persuadable voter. He respected others, wasn't carried away with himself.
“I had much contact with him in different jobs, lots of recollection, but the lady at the Farm Bureau meeting is very clear, as if yesterday.”