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Letters: Helms a God-fearing, Southern Baptist gentleman

Helms a God-fearing So. Baptist gentleman
Senator Helms did not take a poll to determine what position to take on an issue. As many have said, they might not agree with Senator Helms, but at least they knew where he stood on the issues. When he changed his position, using his support for AIDS research and treatment as a prime example, he did so because his mind and heart had been opened by someone he trusted. There was never a hint of scandal or personal wrong doing by Senator Helms. He was a truly a God-fearing, Southern Baptist gentleman.
Senator Helms’ kind heart and love for people never quite received the attention I thought it deserved. For example, he and his beloved wife, Dot, adopted a child with a disability because the young boy wanted a home. Another example occurred in Morganton many years when I was seated at the lower head table at a Republican dinner with two young daughters, Angela and Wendi. Senator Helms came down from the head table, took the two girls to the buffet table and served their plates for them and brought them back to a proud father. He sent a letter to my father when he was ill and it was obvious that he personally typed it on the old typewriter on his Senate desk. He met with EVERY school group which came to the U. S. Capitol to see him, more than 70,000 students at one point in his career.
One time he tried to call me at my Raleigh home and he got “the other Phillip Kirk,” a die-hard Democrat; however, he talked with him for nearly 30 minutes and never did call me that day! He truly loved helping people and he did not do so just to get re-elected. He did it because that is what his parents taught him to do.
In my many contacts with him in my previous jobs with Governors Holshouser and Martin and Senator Broyhill, I found Senator Helms and his staff to be responsive, honest and most helpful. He was truly one of a kind and I wish we had more like him willing to serve in public office.
ó Phil Kirk
Salisbury
Proud to serve Helms
During the 1990 Helms for Senate campaign, I served as the Rowan County campaign chairman. With angst in the hearts of many of the moderate wing of the local GOP and lukewarm lipservice from others, we pulled volunteers together from across Rowan who were true believers in Helms’ conservative values.
I was proud to serve Senator Helms and be a part of winning the 1990 race.
While Jesse may have left us, his principles and legacy will live on.
ó Ken Upright
He didn’t prevail
My impression of Jesse Helms is of a man who wanted to drag our country back into the 1930’s, when blacks couldn’t vote, or get an education, or heaven forbid, hold public office; where our country was protected from foreigners by 3,000 miles of ocean; and where “respectable” people ran the country, at least locally.
Unfortunately for him he lived in the second half of the twentieth century, where blacks voted and went to real schools, where ICBMs eliminated the safety of oceans and where working people wanted a say in how the country was run. Fortunately, he didn’t prevail and in the long run did little damage to America.
ó John P. Burke
Salisbury
A man with true grit
Senator Helms was one of a few recent senators that would tell the public what he believed and would stand up for what he said!
He was a ram working in a Senate full of sheep.
When we went to the polls to vote, we knew exactly what we were getting, and knew he would vote the way the people of North Carolina wanted him to vote in the Senate. We are all better off today as a state and a nation because of his service to both.
ó John Davis
Salisbury

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