Earlier this week I posted “A Tribute to West Virginia,” a short column written by the soon-retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller. It was a moving tribute to his adopted home state, but the comments it received were pretty moving all by themselves. I’ve post a few below:
Cris Myers writes:
I came into WV from Michigan and couldn’t find my way back out of those crooked roads for 7 years. I took a wife from there and started my family there. Now live in VA but get to visit several times a year. Rich or poor its people are true to who they are. This is a fact that anyone should be able to appreciate.
This one’s from Naomi Murry:
My deceased husband Dr. John H. Murry spent a few weeks in WV when he was completing his residency at the Medical College of Virginia. He was from Lancaster, PA but fell in love with the people of West Virginia and decided he wanted to live and work in McDowell County. I met you when he was working so hard to bring a new health clinic to the area. I was so impressed by the way you listened to all the needs of the area and promised to see that they were accomplished. I think you have been a blessing to the people of West Virginia and I wish you only the best in your retirement.
I met Sharon when your son and my daughter Deidre were competing in a state math contest. I enjoyed conversing with her while we nervously awaited the outcome. This daughter followed in her dad’s footsteps and is a physician and my older daughter is making a difference by returning to McDowell County as a high school English-Lit teacher.
This comment comes from Tom, who didn’t provide a last name.
My grandmother met you when you first were running for WV office. Of all the Christmas cards she received she always kept yours in a special place and pointed it out to all the visitors over the Holidays. She spoke of you and your family as though you were kin and to her you were. She always repeated the story of your wife changing a diaper right there at a gathering. She respected you and your family because you were “real” people and “did not put on airs.” My grandmother appreciated that in people and taught us as such. She was a great lady who held you in the highest regards. That was good enough for me.
Thank you for blessing our state!!!!
Finally, Liz Finklea, who lives in Morgantown, left us this thought:
I’ve only been here for 26 of those 50 years but echo every sentiment. Strange for one who identifies herself as a Scot to find that this is truly home. Thank you Senator Rockefeller. You will be missed!