Mr. Hill was elected as a state representative in 2002. Since that time he has been serving our interest as it applies to politics.
Mr. Hill and his wife, Cheryl, have been blessed with children and grandchildren. They had a beautiful life together. However, this summer Mr. Hill was diagnosed with leukemia. Always a fighter, he vowed to do what he could do to defeat this disease that had found him.
Several years ago, Mr. Hill agreed to be roasted to help raise money for the Boys and Girls Club. There were things said at his roast that would have made anyone blush. But he took it like a man with grace and dignity. He did it for the unfortunate boys and girls that desperately needed the help provided from this fundraiser.
One of the first times I met Mr. Hill was at his home. I had been invited to a campaign fundraiser for Patty Baker, our Clerk of Superior Court. We were introduced and Mr. Hill did everything a person could do to make me feel welcome in his home.
There were many people there that evening. He and Mrs. Hill were the perfect hostesses. But that is only where this story begins.
From that night forward, I never failed to see Mr. Hill out that he didn’t call me by name and ask me how things were going. Each time, it made me think of the many politicians I have been introduced to that required a new introduction every time I saw them because they had no idea who I was.
This wasn’t the case with Mr. Hill. For whatever the reason, I mattered to him, for he never forgot who I was. And he always took time to talk to me.
You see, I’m sure he knew that there was absolutely nothing I could do for him politically. I had no money to contribute to his elections. I had no influence that would help him at the state Capitol. I was just a working man that happened to attend some of the same functions. I had nothing to offer him.
But none of that mattered to Mr. Hill. He was nice to me because that’s just who he was.
I won’t even pretend to know his specific stance on political issues. And to be truthful at this point it doesn’t really matter.
I have seen Mr. Hill many times interacting with his family. He loved them and they loved him. You simply can’t fake it when it’s real.
When Mr. Hill entered the world of politics there is no doubt his life changed. At the same time he made decisions that changed the lives of others.
The roast he endured was for fun and for charity.
But think about the many hateful and hurtful things that were said to him because of his political position. These things must have hurt his family. But they stood by him because they knew him as a husband, a father and a grandfather. And they knew his heart.
I’m not sure why anyone would want to get involved in politics these days because of the nastiness that goes along with it.
And in reality, I’m not talking about elected officials. But I am more talking about want-to-be politicians that make it their life goal to personally destroy anyone in office.
These are the people without the courage to run for office themselves out of fear of exposing their own skeletons. No, they had much rather hide in the shadows and ambush with the intent to personally destroy the lives of others whose politics they disagree with.
Agree with me or not, you know it’s true. And that, my friend, is a sad existence.
So Mrs. Hill, children, and grandchildren, please let me say this. You will hear of many great things Mr. Hill accomplished in the coming days, months, and years. And you will be even more proud.
But know this. Mr. Hill had a heart to make someone like me, someone with nothing to offer anyone, feel as though my words to him were as important as the governor’s.
He was nice to me. And that is the greatest compliment anyone can offer. God bless!
Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Cherokee County.