This is a picture of Dale Hibbs or "Mr. Hibbs" as we called him back in the day at Iowa City High School. He was one of my favorite teachers, not just because he taught wildly fascinating classes, but he probably had the biggest arms and chest I have ever seen on a teacher. Always walking with swagger (probably something he picked up as a member of the Sons of Odom motorcycle gang) no one ever gave him grief.
He loved to talk about politics and gave everyone who turned 18 a voter registration card on the day of their birthday. It was his "gift" to us and I for one, have voted in every Presidential election since he handed me my voter registration card (although as a staunch Democrat I often wonder how disappointed he would be if he knew I was a registered Independent?!?!). He made fast friends with a lot of students when he would ask "Don't you think it's amazing that at 18 years of age you can cast a vote for someone to become the next President Of The United States, be old enough to go to war and die for your country but still not be old enough to drink a can of beer?" Huge cheers would erupt each and every time. He loved it.
He also taught something that I can still remember to this day. His lesson went something like this;
"I want you kids to know, that if I ever find out that one of you has held up a 7-11, I will find the prosecuting attorney and offer my services as a character witness about what a crummy student you were and how the judge should throw the book at you. But, if you embezzle a couple million dollars from IBM, I will find that same attorney and tell him what an upstanding student you were and how charges should be dropped or reduced as a result of your great contribution to this school and community. You see kids, when you factor economics into the equation, if yer gunna steal, STEAL BIG!"
So it is with a chuckle and grin that I have been reading about Bernie Madoff, the former NASDAQ Chairman who was arrested for embezzling $50 BILLION Dollars. I know that I am with Dale Hibbs in offering a standing ovation for a job well done. It takes an evil mind to keep up a 10 year rouse and if it weren't for his kids he'd still be doing it today. So Bernie, thanks for the laugh and to Mr. Hibbs, thanks for the education. After twenty years your lessons still ring true!