West Virginia has lost an icon. Robert Byrd was one of the most colorful members ever to take the Senate floor. One of his most memorable actions was the time when he stood at the mike on the floor of the Senate for 14 straight hours reading passages from the bible and favorites among his grandmothers cooking recipes.

Those were the days when the rules of the Senate required the continuation of active debate to maintain filibuster status to block voting on legislation to which you were opposed. Freedom to frame those arguments howsoever you choose is basic to our principles of government. Sen. Byrd applied the principle of freedom of speech and made a fool of the rules. You must respect the old curmudgeon for that.

Few people knew it, but until his death, as Secretary Pro-Temp of the U.S. Senate, Sen., Byrd was 4th in line for the Presidency. In practical terms it is little more than an honor as there has never been a tragedy requiring us to need to reach to the 4th on the ascendancy list.

In life we were adversaries, after his death we are not. We are glad his vote has been lost but sad his life has come to an end. We would not have had it this way. His inimitable elegant diatribes shall be missed. May he rest in peace.

Watch and listen to the video and meet a Robert Byrd you never knew to exist.

Bob B

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