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BLOOMINGTON - Long-time Bloomington politician Harber Hall might not be able to stand the Central Illinois weather, but the people are another matter.

"The people are down to earth and wonderful," he said.

Though Hall moved to Florida after retiring from Illinois politics, he makes it back to McLean County at least twice a year.

That's the case even though the Central Illinois climate does not allow him to play the tennis he loves.

"The balls don't bounce well in the snow and I don't either," he said.

Before he left for the warmer climate of Longboat Key, Fla., in the late 1970s, Hall served four years as McLean County treasurer and six years each in the Illinois House and Senate.

He was known as a conservative Republican."I was always conservative and still am," he said.

While that remains constant, Hall believes Illinois politics has changed over the years.

Constituents don't contact their legislators as often as they once did, he said, adding the more constituent contact, the better.

"When you have people contacting you by phone or mail you respond to them," Hall said while in McLean County during the recent Thanksgiving holidays. He was in Bloomington to visit his daughter, Heather Hall, who lives in Bloomington and Chicago, and his brother, Harry Hall, of Bloomington.

He also was here in late September when Harry Hall threw him an 85th birthday party attended by old friends.

Hall served almost three decades in the U.S. Air Force on both active and reserve duty. During World War II, he had 23 bombing missions over Japan.

The former real estate broker attended the University of Miami, where he studied business, but didn't graduate. "I picked it for the weather," he said.

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