- Ada, Oklahoma


October 7, 2009

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

When I was in my 20s I remember Senator Bellmon coming to our town and conducting what would be called now a town meeting.

As he was speaking a guy at the back of the room interrupted saying, “ I want to know why we don’t stop welfare.”

Senator Bellmon said, “First of all, that is a state matter. Second, most of welfare goes to Aid for Dependent Children. A mother with a child gets a $168 per month. How would you like to live on that?” He then went on with his speech.

The heckler (every town has one) then interrupted and said, “What are we going to do about all that foreign aid?” Senator Bellmon paused and said, “Eighty percent of our foreign aid goes to Israel, our only secure ally in the middle East,” and once again went on with his speech.

I remember not long after that he cast two unpopular votes. One was to give up the Panama Canal. The other was in favor of school busing to hasten integration.

Both votes were votes of principle. He probably lost 10 or more points in the polls. My intuition is he never considered how others would view his stands.

I learned a lot from Senator Bellmon. He always stood for what he thought was right whether it was the politically correct sentiment of the day or not. He was also not afraid of compromising with Democrats.

I think he was a simple old fashioned Marine who stood for what he believed in, backed down from no one, and left no Oklahoman behind.

Mike Cantrell, Ada

Dear Editor,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all the warm wishes and offers of friendship that have been extended to me. The outpourings of graciousness and hospitality from this thriving community have truly made my heart glad.

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