"These won't be new words heard today about Joe...kind, insatiably interested in subjects he wanted to know about, look-you-in-the-eye caring, loyal, trusting, lived a life marked by the spirit of adventure, inspired questioning, sweet...and there I want to pause and share that three days before Joe died, I received a box of 'Shirley' tulips from him. We had only days before shared in the Harris Teeter parking lot, (accompanied by Bev Kowalec), a plan for him to visit our farm and see our gardens in the spring. Joe had sent me three such boxes in the past. He is, and will be, a very real part of me. In each tulip face I will see his sweet, jovial, light-up-the-world smile and will be encouraged to reflect it in the world. Thank you Joe."
"I don't have anything profound to say. Joe was just such a constant presence in local Democratic politics and a dependable and wise counselor for me that my political world seems out of balance without him. For me, he provided some kind of solid link with what is right about the Chapel Hill/Carrboro community. I didn't ever see a chink in his armor, and I disagreed with those who did. I just wanted to be with other people who had the same kind of experience with him.
I'll be thinking about you all and Joe on Thursday."
N.C. Rep. Verla Insko