December 8, 2017 – Politics has always been my hobby, I have never missed a vote since I was 21. It probably goes back to my dad who also never missed a vote. We lived on a farm north of Oak Grove in Jackson County. Back then, the road over-seer, which was a lucrative political job, was normally the committeeman. He would come around before every election, hand my dad a sample ballot, and say, “This is the way we are voting this year.” And then he would say, “Shorty, (my dad’s nickname) looks like your driveway needs a little gravel.” The next day here would come a county dump truck and our driveway would have fresh gravel. Of course, that’s not the way politics work today, at least not at the voter level.
I have served as a county committeeman, state committeeman, on the state executive board, honorary colonel on Governor Hearnes’ staff, and the only (gravel) reward I have ever received was the prestige of knowing our democratic state officials, governors and senators, on a first name basis.
In 1968, I was Bill Morris’ campaign coordinator when he ran for Lt. Governor. One morning we were having coffee in Sedalia when a state patrolman came up and shook hands with Morris. When he walked away, Morris had a folded one hundred dollar bill in his hand, which was a lot of money back then. He said, “Quick, Hackley, go get the name of our next Superintendent of Patrol.” Of course, he was joking.
I had a political rally in Blue Springs for Jay Nixon when he ran an unsuccessful campaign for Senate. I had just gotten through telling him if he needed any help or advice, to call me. He then said, “There is one thing I would like to know.”
Gee, I thought, here the Attorney General of the State of Missouri is asking me for advice. I said, “What’s that, Jay?” And he replied, “Just where are the restrooms in this place, anyhow?”
So much for being important.