By Jay Kibbe
The civil environment in our country is strained at best and openly hostile at the worst. This is distressful and dismaying for me as an American. We should ask every person who considers themselves to be a true American if they believe in liberty. If they say yes ask them if they also believe in “justice for all”. If they have a problem answering that question in the affirmative they should think about moving to a country where oppression and intolerance is an acceptable practice of the government.
I am a middle-aged white male, practicing Republican who grew up in the south and voted for Trump. That’s a pretty bold statement these days given the political climate. I do not however, subscribe to a lot of the ideologies that have been painted on him by the press and his opponents, whether they be true or not. I am the furthest thing from a racist and I cannot fathom why it exists. I can see how one person may not like another person but to discriminate against a whole race of people without knowing them is incomprehensible.
I was fortunate to play professional baseball at the minor league level with the California Angels. On the flight to my first assignment,
I sat next to a black kid from LA who was also going to join the team in Idaho Falls. His name was Darrel Miller, brother of Reggie and Cheryl. We enjoyed a nice flight sharing chapters from our lives and looking forward to the start of what we would hope to be successful baseball careers. Towards the end of the flight, we decided to be roommates for the season.
When we got to the hotel we immediately started calling apartment complexes looking for a place to settle for the 2 1⁄2 months we would be there. The first phone call I made was classic Abbot and Costello. I was speaking to a lady had to be battling early onset Alzheimer’s. When she asked me my name I told her, Jay Kibbe.
Joy, Kibbe? She responded.
No, Jay Kibbe, J-A-Y K-I-B-B-E. Oh, Jay Kible?
No. the last name is K-I-B-B-E, Kibbe. Joy Kible?
This went on for at least 5 minutes with her throwing out an amazing array of versions of my name. I think Darrell busted a spleen laughing and rolling around on the bed until he fell on the floor still howling. We finally got it settled and enjoyed a nice summer in Idaho. Darrel went on to play in the big leagues for several years and I played several years in AAA but never crossed the major league threshold.
What brought me to this story is a nice moment I had with a young Latino woman at the parking garage payment kiosk at the mall today. I was having a little trouble getting it to accept my debit card (I was putting it in wrong) and she pointed to the meter and said “$1”. I did not have anything less than a $20 and she handed me a $1 bill. I tried the card again and it was accepted but I thought as I handed back the dollar bill, how nice, that is how the world should be. It is pretty easy to get along with people, you just have to be willing.
Grew up in Atlanta, GA and moved to Houston, TX junior year in high school. Went to Louisiana Tech where I played baseball.
Drafted by the California Angels in 1979 and played until 1986. Have been in the insurance industry since 1990. Wife-Doreen, two kids, Kenny 25 and Katy 22.