It takes less than five minutes of visiting with Ron Fedler to understand that family, public service, and community are the true treasures in his life.
“They are what mean the most to me — and, of course, my love and respect for country,” he says, sitting in his living room in this Lee County town, home to 966 people and the state’s largest sweet-corn festival.
In a state where corn is the driving commodity, having the largest festival is a pretty big deal.
It takes not much longer to understand that Ron Fedler should be a true treasure for the Democratic Party. His living room walls are a kaleidoscope of family photos. Large and small frames are filled with children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, all dotting the walls of the modest red-brick home he built himself. To the left of his easy chair is a framed black-and-white print of his parents and 11 of his 12 siblings: “My older brother had already left for Vietnam and missed the family photo.”
Across the room from his overstuffed lazy chair, an 11-by-14 framed color photo of former President John F. Kennedy sits atop a coffee table; it’s a copy of the iconic 1961 official photograph by Fabian Bachrach, showing Kennedy seated at his desk in the White House — frozen in that innocent moment at the start of “Camelot.” A moment of promise — before the Bay of Pigs, before the Cuban missile crisis, before his assassination.
“He is my hero; he will always be my hero,” Fedler says, smiling broadly.
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