YOUR OPINION: Clarence Thomas, John Danforth

Bill Stine, Jefferson City

Dear Editor,

I read the News Tribune's Saturday April 8 AP article on Justice Thomas and found the caption a bit explosive. However, the story did take me back to another time 50 some odd years ago when a young Missouri Attorney General Jack Danforth invited Yale Law senior Clarence Thomas and his young wife to Jefferson City He would accept Danforth's job offer in 1974 upon graduation. The couple would live in an apartment on Washington Street.

On a lovely post Easter day, I visited the State Capitol, Supreme Court Building and the State Archives in search of photos, etc. I had not been here in 1973 for Gov. Kit Bond's inauguration day festivities, but found some of Zeil Wright's color negatives at the Archives, including JC, Helias and Lincoln University bands and color images of Bond and Jack Danforth riding in cars with their tops down in the bright sunlight..

I also talked to historian Bob Priddy. He had done a live radio show of the Bond parade from the Central Trust Bank building. He remembered Clarence's daily walks uptown as one of Danforth's assistant attorneys.

Finally, I also enjoyed reading "Clarence Thomas: My Grandfather's Son, a Memoir." I learned a lot about the challenges he faced and the help he received from Sen. Danforth and other former members of the MO Ag's office here in Jefferson City.

In his life, Clarence went a long way from a tiny town near Savannah, Georgia, to Maryville, Jefferson City and St. Louis in Missouri, to eventually the Supreme Court of the United States where he was confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate with Chief Justice Rehnquist presiding in November 1991. The book is available at the Missouri River Regional Library. Please check it out. It is a very good read!