Distinguished speaker Kay Goss spoke to the Heber Springs Rotary Club on October 1.

Distinguished speaker Kay Goss spoke to the Heber Springs Rotary Club on October 1.  Goss, whose husband served as Chief of Staff for famed Arkansas Senator Wilbur D. Mills, was visiting the area for the 50th anniversary celebration of the dedication of Greers Ferry Dam that took place October 3.  She was a graduate of Springdale High School and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.  Her list of accomplishments includes working for President Bill Clinton, in the Governors Office, and at FEMA.  She recently published a book titled “Mr. Chairman:  The Life and Legacy of Wilbur D. Mills” and spent much of her time at the Rotary Club recounting stories about one of Arkansas’ political legends.

She recalled her husband meeting Mills at the original dedication ceremony 50 years ago.  “On that day, Mr. Mills hired my husband to be his Chief of Staff,” said Goss.  She recalled the relationship Mills had with President John F. Kennedy.  “President Kennedy and Mills were really close,” said Goss. “In those days, the President and the Congress worked well together.”   Kennedy decision to attend the 1963 dedication was due in no small part to his friendship with Mills. 

Goss regaled the attendees at the meeting with personal stories and quips about the life of Mills.  Some of those present had their own personal memories of Mills that they shared in turn with Goss.

Goss praised Cleburne County for it’s dedication to honoring this historical moment that was proved invaluable to the county and it’s future.  She also discussed her excitement regarding the possibility that the proposed water garden that was approved and supported by Kennedy in 1963 may come to fruition.  “It’s thrilling to see a community acknowledge its history,” said Goss.  “I’ve been please to get to know Judge Jerry Holmes and his vision for the future of this county.”