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Excerpt: Last visit to Senator Kenna

    "There was a great deal of pathos in our last visit to him.  He was then in his second term in the senate and he had been mortally ill for quite a long time.  Joe and Will Chilton and I had gone together to Washington to see him.  We thought it was the last time we would see him alive.  Throughout the whole conversation there was not one allusion to his illness.  He knew he was not going to get well and we knew it also, but with all, it was a pleasant conversation, dealing with the facts of the day, the politics of the state, and the news from home.  It was nearly train time and we got up to leave.  We had all been diverting our minds from the one thing we knew was imminent.  As I say it had be a very pleasant party.  When we got up we stood by the bedside.  He said 'don't go, stay a little while longer.'  We told him it was train time; and then the thought that was in each man's heart came to the sick man also.  He reached over and caught Joe Chilton's arm and we all stood there - for just then it seemed to strike all of us and him, that this would be the last time he would see us or we would see him alive, and he dropped his hand from Joe's arm and in a voice which I can hear today, said 'boys, stay a little longer.'  There was a silence.  After a moment his hand dropped from Joe's arm and we walked out."

Source: Gov. William A. MacCorkle, The Recollections of Fifty Years of West Virginia (1928)


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