Right after my father died, my mother was contacted by a member of Senator Robert Byrd's office. She was asked to call the Senator, after we were "settled in" at our new place, after some more time had passed.
A short time later, she called his office and talked to him personally. Senator Byrd gave his condolences and asked how we were getting along. The topic soon got around to the son of the deceased and his future education. The Senator said the time would come when I would be attending college. If I wished to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, the Naval Academy at Annapolis or the Air Force Academy in Colorado, then Senator Byrd would see to it. He would be my sponsor. Or, for that matter, he would write a letter of recommendation to any college where I wished to attend. If we needed anything, we were asked to call. We never did and I graduated from The Ohio State University in 1979.
When I started doing family research, some 20 years after graduation, I purchased Jim Wood's wonderful book on Raleigh County, the birth county of my father. I smiled when I came across the picture of a Senator, who was also a native of that county. I called Mom. Neither of us realized that Senator Byrd was from Raleigh.
My family will always reserve a special place in our hearts for Senator Robert Byrd, no matter his political affiliation or position on major issues of the day. When we discuss him, my mother refuses to call him Senator, Mr. or even Robert. To her, he is just "Bob." They established their friendship 34 years ago on the phone.