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The Passing of Ike Skelton: A Personal Note

Ike Skelton
Ike Skelton (Getty images)

I have interviewed a lot of politicians as a newsman. Some I liked talking to and some were just part of my job. Ike Skelton was someone I liked talking to, something that had nothing to do with his political leanings.

I always found him a sincere man no matter what the subject of my interview was, and I don’t believe he ever gave me an evasive answer to a question. Sometime he and I would disagree on a political point, and he would always respond like the gentleman he was. He did not treat my point of view as naive or out of touch, but he explained why he thought I was wrong.

As I spoke to Sedalia Mayor Elaine Horn about Ike’s death this morning (Oct. 29), we both remembered the fact that he always knew our names something that impressed both of us. Before I became involved in radio as a newsman, I had very little contact with politicians of any kind, except Ike Skelton. This contact came about when my mother turned 65 and was having a hard time verifying her birth because she was born at a time when a lot of people were born at home, and the only record might be a notation in a family bible. Mom had tried for six months to get her social security started without success. I wrote a letter to Congressman Skelton explaining the situation, and within a couple of weeks, the issue was settled and Mom started getting her social security.

When I reminded him of that help his office gave mom while he couldn’t recall helping he liked hearing the story.


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