A friend who was traveling told me he saw Stephen's name in the paper Wednesday about him meeting Al Gore. Here is the article, a copy of the letter he gave to Gore is attached: Gore takes his campaign to new level: Face-to-face By Jill Lawrence Wed., Oct. 27, 1999 FINAL EDITION Section: NEWS Page 16A NASHUA, N.H. -- Al Gore stood very close to 13-year-old Stephen Neckorcuk, who has juvenile diabetes, as he read Stephen's letter asking him to support more money for research into the disease. ''When I was 6, I wrote a letter to God asking for a cure. I was unaware at the time that it would never reach him,'' Gore read aloud, then stopped. ''How do you know it will never reach him?'' he asked the boy gently. ''We'll talk about that in a minute.'' And the vice president did talk about faith and God and tragedy and hope, all through a town meeting Monday night that swung wildly from esoteric policy to high-spirited quips to intensely personal discussions of death by gunfire and tobacco. ''I loved it,'' Gore said three hours later, standing in the Fairgrounds Junior High School auditorium after 200 fans and undecided voters had trickled out. ''It's almost like coming home . . . coming back to a forum that I always enjoyed in the past.'' And one that he's missed, he says, in seven years as vice president. The town meetings Gore began holding last week are but one sign of how the vice president is working to reconnect to voters, to his roots as a congressman and senator, even to himself as an individual. In a strategic about-face, he is no longer running as a vice president. Now he's a job applicant who must prove himself in the face of surprisingly stiff competition from former New Jersey senator Bill Bradley. On its most superficial level, this has meant wearing comfortable clothes -- khakis, casual shirts and windbreakers -- and not playing down the high-tech junkie that he is. Only a month ago, Gore started wearing his Palm Pilot, a computerized organizer, conspicuously on his belt. He's had one for years, however, and in fact is a ''beta tester,'' an avid tech consumer who tests computer hardware and software so companies can fix bugs and improve products before putting them on the market. On another level, the shift in Gore's campaign has taken him to union halls and suburban sidewalks to sell himself and his candidacy to small groups, to individual families, even to people who aren't home when the vice president of the United States unexpectedly knocks at the door. He is cuddling babies and signing autographs for kids as he strolls neighborhoods far from Washington. ''Are there any questions you need answered?'' Gore asked the LaVoie family at 75 Linwood St. in Manchester. Down the block, no one home, he slid a Gore pamphlet behind the door. ''Sorry I missed you,'' he had written on it, then signed his name and added: ''P.S. I'd like your vote.'' On the most profound level, the ''new'' Gore recognizes that he must reveal more about himself to voters. He has been highly partisan at a series of Democratic functions, and he has been mounting pointed attacks on Bradley. But he displays a different side of himself at town meetings. There were moments Monday night when Gore lapsed into plain politics, such as hauling out his mother's French roots for the fourth time that day to claim common ground with French-Canadians in this area. But he also demonstrated command of issues and an ability to say no to some questioners, kept his promises to a minimum, and perhaps most important, given his image as scripted, came off as patient and caring. ''I really wasn't sure what I was going to do, but he got my vote,'' said Robert Vaughn, 48, a salesclerk at Wal-Mart. ''He spoke from the heart about issues that are affecting the people all around here.'' One of the most striking things was how often Gore brought up faith, prefacing his remarks more than once with an apologetic ''Forgive me, I'm not proselytizing.'' Gore suggested to Stephen, the letter-writer with diabetes, that his faith in God at age 6 was not misplaced. ''I believe that all of us are called upon to put our faith into action, and when we do, I think that is the way that God acts here on Earth,'' he told him. At another point, Gore said he found his themes for a Columbine victims' memorial service in Scripture. When tragedies occur, the former divinity student said, ''I go back to my roots'' to make sense of them. ''He's not afraid to talk about God,'' said Janet Erickson, 48. ''I'm very touched by him.'' Gore managed to encourage Stephen without promising any extra research money for juvenile diabetes. He also refused to sign a petition calling on the government to redirect money toward juvenile diabetes. He said all his proposals have to fit in a balanced budget, and if this is redirected money, ''I need to know where it's reallocated from.'' Gore told another woman he does not favor abolishing the estate tax, as she would like. ''There are some candidates out there who want to do away with the estate tax,'' he said. ''You may want to look at them.'' He said he would work toward passage of the nuclear test ban treaty, tough campaign finance reform, prescription drug coverage under Medicare and gun-control measures, including a photo ID licensing system for handgun buyers. The audience included nervous students and the parents of a girl whose best friend was killed by a suicidal gunman. Gore lightened the mood by asking Robert Vaughn, 14, what starts fights at his high school. ''Do you use the word dis?'' he asked. ''Dis me. Use me as an example.'' Said Robert: ''Your accent stinks.'' At one point, Gore asked Manish Antani, 16, ''What grade are you in?'' ''I'm a junior,'' Antani replied. ''What grade are you in?'' ''I'm in the seventh year of my vice presidency,'' Gore said, convulsed with laughter. ''And I'm about ready to graduate, and I hope I do.''