CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As an editor and publisher from Fayette County, I had the opportunity to meet and interview John F. Kennedy when he was running for president, three times on TV and in meetings held before the elections.
Jack Kennedy cultivated a stylish, charismatic persona that moved people to a very brawny scrutiny of him in Charleston and Oak Hill.
Kennedy was tanned and coatless when he spoke at the outside the Capitol in subfreezing weather. Everyone was predicting he would get things stirring. When I talked to him both privately and publicly, he seemed very robust, although he did have several ailments, and his eyes were red from the rigors of work.
Later he established the Peace Corps with an emphasis on the Third World. There was the New Deal with Roosevelt, Truman's Fair Deal and JFK's New Frontier.
JFK had scarcely 1,000 days in office before he was cut down by a killer in Dallas.
Unfortunately, the scattered accomplishments were thin, and his civil rights record was not too impressive because of the short time in his tenure.
Actually, liberals became slow to move during his time in office. Many saw him as a hero, and others did not trust him. If he had lived, he probably would have been one of our great Presidents.
Between the two of us, we talked the most about foreign policy and our local financial system. The coalition of Republicans and southern Democrats hurt education.
Here are a few quotes from Kennedy from those interviews:
* " ... I'd want to have this cheering section at Los Angles, to see and hear this (Collins High) and see your reaction; it makes me think that the high noon has yet to come to West Virginia, but coming in the future ... The gold reserve may not be in the ground anymore, but the schools, colleges and universities will cause an economic revival. ...