Steve and Kappy Scates of Shawneetown are attending their fifth Democratic National Convention this week, Kappy said.

“I’m not the delegate this time — Steve is,” she said. “I’m looking forward to hearing the nominating speeches tonight and the acceptances on Thursday night.” Although weather has forced a move to a different venue (“It’s rained here every day,” she said.), she is hoping everyone will get to hear the speakers.

The couple has attended “both of Clinton’s conventions, John Kerry’s, and both of Barack’s,” Kappy Scates said. She was looking forward to hearing Clinton’s speech on Wednesday night.

“Clinton is an excellent speaker,” she said. “He seems to enjoy it a lot.” She also has enjoyed “getting to see our Illinois friends at receptions and other events,” she said.

When they attended the 2008 convention in Denver, Kappy was the delegate and most events were held outdoors, she said.

A highlight vacation for the Scates family this year was a trip to Washington, where they were invited to visit the White House. The Scates clan, 26 in all including kids and most of the grandkids, made the trip in style.

“Our daughter in Nashville has a friend who has a tour company — he drives country stars around in a bus,” Kappy Scates said. “He hauled us all there and visited the White House, too.” One grandson missed the tour because he was in Africa doing soybean research, but the others thoroughly enjoyed it, she said. One of the youngest grandsons complimented Obama on his cool living quarters, she said with a laugh.

After the convention, the Scateses plan to visit relatives in Charlotte, Raleigh and Columbus before heading home, she said.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon took time to text a few observations from the floor.

“Sister Simone Campbell just spoke — she was fantastic,” Simon said. “She appealed to the best in us — and our responsibility to look after all in our society.” Sister Simone is executive director of the Roman Catholic Social Justice Organization.

“Sandra Fluke talking now — she got a huge round of applause. Also the head of the UAW talked about the President’s courage in saving the auto industry — very persuasive,” Simon wrote.

Simon also was impressed by the size of the crowd at the convention and its enthusiasm.

“The floor is packed,” she texted. “Lots of excitement and not a seat to spare in the Illinois delegation.”

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