Sunday, June 26, 2005
A Word about My Personal Experience with Senator Byrd.
As I said in the previous post, senator Byrd was considered the more conservative of the two Senators and Randolph was the liberal. Some liberals openly accused Byrd of being bigoted, because of his well known early relationship with the KKK.
I became Deputy Director of AAY-Community Development in 1967. I ended up being given responsibility for dealing with all the problems originating during the Grey Areas era. Without detail, these amounted to about $450,000 in disallowed expenses, generally as a result of a lack of knowledge and experience with Federal Government standards of documentation Eventually these were resolved, but I made many calls to the offices of both Senators.
Randolph was the liberal. A white voice always answered the phone. Randolph had power and seniority, his staff promised action, it almost never happened without several follow-ups..
When you called Byrd's office, a black voice answered. The staff member you talked to said what they could or would do. and it was done, you could count on it.
A very bright young black girl worked in our office in Charleston. She decided she wanted to move to Washington, DC. She contacted Byrds office and asked for help. His staff arranged an interview for her with the FBI, and she received an internship in the document section of the FBI.
I had lunch with her in Washington later, and she was so happy, and certain to be hired after her internship. She was so appreciative of what Senator Byrd's staff had done for her.
How ironic, that later, Byrd got the FBI to move their entire document section to West Virginia. I've always wondered if she had to move back.