WICHITA, Kan. — People of all ages, from war veterans to school children sat expectantly Wednesday morning waiting for former senator Bob Dole to arrive at Wichita State’s Metroplex.
He spent time talking about his experiences working to get things accomplished locally, statewide, and nationally, and the importance of compromising to get things done.
“When I first went to Congress, I was very conservative but I learned that sometimes you can’t get everything you want in legislation,” said the former senator and presidential candidate, “sometimes you need to compromise”
For Kansans that made the trip, it gave them the chance to do something they never imagined was possible. Randy Wray showed up with a painting decades old from Dole’s hometown, Russell, Kansas.
“I’ve had it for 10 years,” Wray said, “I never thought, I thought he’d never be around for me to show it to or have him sign or autograph or whatever.
For the Grigsby’s, it was a trip down memory lane.
“My late father in law was chairman of the Harper County republicans,” said Leona Grigsby, “they asked him to fly Bob Dole around in southern and central Kansas, and that’s where these posters came from. They are from 1960.”
And for Randolph Cabral, it was an opportunity to honor the man who did so much to help the disabled, giving him his first flag made for the blind.
“We had two monuments made of this flag and placed at the Robert J. Dole Veteran’s Center in Wichita,” recalled Cabral, “but we hadn’t given him one personally because he was in DC, so to be able to be here today to personally give him one was a real honor for us as well.”