Rep. Joe Clarke once took one of my sons to the legislature for a day, which certainly made Mr. Clarke his hero.
Our paths did not normally cross that often and Joe probably would have had to be reminded to even remember the occasion. But our family followed the career of a man who had the respect of even those who lacked the courage to pay the price his ethics required. Over and over, we heard him described with words like integrity, honesty, allegiance to the good of the state, rather than "pork barrel" or the party.
I remember his being begged to take the position as speaker of the House when Frankfort needed its tainted political image repaired, and I remember that he was basically removed by some of the same people when his impartiality stepped on their toes.