To the Editor:
After reading so many state, national, and international tributes to Pat and Tom, I thought I’d add a local Letcher County tribute from a ‘furriner’ who has known and loved them and their family for almost 50 years.
Pat and Tom welcomed me and so many others to their office across from the funeral home and their home up on Harris Loop, and later offices and Thornton home.
As a community organizer, I appreciated their hospitality and advice. I appreciated Pat and the girls coming and taking pictures at our wedding.
As a teacher, I appreciated the opportunity to teach some of their bright children. As a teacher organization leader, I appreciated the coverage they gave to teacher issues and the opportunity for me to write a series of commentary articles in The Eagle on the new Kentucky Education Reform Act.
I appreciated the courage and concern Tom showed serving on the Kentucky State Board of Education, and the leadership Pat showed at Eastern Kentucky Housing, building homes for lowincome people, including my 89-year-old motherin law.
I and other Letcher Countians appreciate Pat and Tom’s legacy through raising up and nurturing a family of community servants in journalism, education, medicine, social work, recreation, and the environment.
Thank you Pat, Tom, and the Gish family. May God bless and reward you all.