It was four years ago — Feb. 25, 2009 — that the happily raucous voice of writer, poet and observer of all things political Bill Holm was silenced. Missing my frequently needed “Bill Holm fix,” on Monday I turned to his book “The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth.”

In the chapter “Blind is the Bookless Man,” I found his observations on freedom of thought and belief. Bill’s father, a Democrat, thought Republicans to be “shrivel-hearted, suspicious, smug” — among other things.

On Tuesday, I read about the threat by the National Organization for Marriage to use its money and influence on any Republican — in this case Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover — who dares to speak in favor of gay marriage (“Marriage group will ‘take out’ GOPers who support same-sex union,” Feb. 26).

The threat brought to mind images of a schoolyard bully with clenched fists or a handful of rocks, red-faced in anger, shouting, “You can’t say that … I’m going to get you!”

Oh, Bill, wouldn’t you be having fun these days.

Wayne L. Hornicek, St. Paul

• • •

Sen. Petersen and I have had spirited and contrary exchanges at several political forums (he is a Republican; I am a Democrat). Perhaps it is time to reward a senator who puts principle and humanity above political gain with an equally principled action: my vote.

Dee A. Christensen, Coon Rapids