Wednesday, September 9, 2009


In 1972 some business men from town came and asked if I would consider running for county commissioner. I had run for sheriff before and lost by one vote and I was glad I did after thinking what the office requires. So I told them I would have to think about it. I didn't make a decision on "Oh, that would be great to be a county commissioner." A couple weeks later they asked if I had decided to run and I said 'yes'. So in November 1972 I was elected to the office of commissioner of Ottawa County, Kansas. This happened 6 more times for a total of 24 years. I had opposition each time.

Our county has 3 commissioners and they govern the county business. The County is the strongest form of government. One of our functions was to try to solve complaints and problems people had. One thing I learned is what Proverbs 15.1 says. When some one would come in the office with a problem that upset them and they wanted to vent it out it was best just to listen. In James. 1:19 it says " My dear brother, take note of this; Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." NIV At first if someone came in the office angry about something that was not true I was totally the opposite. I was slow to listen, quick to speak, and quick to become angry. Then the fight would be on and no one would win. I found out if I would just listen to them they would usually answer their own question and solve their own problem. It's not good to fight fire with fire! There was only one person in 24 years that we couldn't reason with.

About 4 years ago I had an appointment with the V.A. in Topeka. It was early in the morning so we left early because it is 125 miles from our home. That morning, about 40 miles into the trip, the fog got so bad we had to slow down and that made us 15 minuets late. We checked in and the doctor said 'You're late and I'm not going to see you'. We told him about the fog but he wouldn't listen, he said 'I have people waiting on me' but there wasn't any one in the waiting room and his next appointment was 1/2 hour away. We didn't argue with him. We thanked him and got ready to leave. He said 'Well, I can see you for a short time'. So we went into his office and all the time he was grumping and growling we just listened and smiled. He told us that he was from New York and he had to get up early that morning and fly to Atlanta, Georgia because he had an apartment there. From there the government would fly him to K.C International three times a week where he would rent a car and drive to Topeka. All this time we were just loving on him. Finally he said 'I'm going to give you a scooter if you can pass the driving test'. (ed. note--Giving an old truck driver a test to drive a scooter??? :-) ) He told us to go to the physical therapy room and to tell them to give me the driving test. So I was taking the driving test and he came down to see how I was doing. They told him I passed the test. He told me to tell them that I wanted a red scooter because the blue ones were ugly and he liked the red one. So I told them I wanted a red scooter and his personality changed, he stayed and talked and joked with us and I'm sure his patients had to wait on him because he was in no hurry to get to his office. My appointment was just for psychiatric evaluation for my Parkinson's and I ended up with a red scooter and got to see the Word of the Lord work and set a man free.

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