CAT Tracks for July 16, 2010


It's been a long time comin'.

When you think of rain...

Do you have negative thoughts?

Or, do you remain positive?

  • Knowing that those April showers bring May flowers?
  • Realizing that without rain, there would be no rainbow?
  • Do you love a rainy night...such a beautiful sight ?

Maybe you're ambivalent, rationalizing that...

  • Into each life some rain must fall.

Hell, maybe you're defiant, shouting...

  • I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain!

Well, whatever, take your pick, because...

It's raining in Springfield. (Where we thought the IELRB hearing would be.)

It's raining in Carbondale. (Where the IELRB hearing was actually held.)


Most importantly, the rain is landing on CAT's feet in Cairo School District Number One! (The scene of the crime.)

Excuse me while I digress...

It was on February 4, 2008 - almost two-and-a-half years ago - that I wrote about "Rain" on, and that was almost two-and-a-half years after Julie A. Newell told James Gibson..."Don't you quit."

James Gibson, a man of faith...who defines the term "perseverance".

If you have not walked in his shoes, you cannot understand. You can only imagine.

I walked beside my wife during her "exile" from CSD #1...helping to fight her wrongful dismissal for over two-and-a-half years. I walked beside James Gibson during a year of demeaning abuse, a wrongful dismissal, and his four-year "exile" from CSD #1.

And, yet...I can only imagine.

As an observer, I know that the emotional and physical toll is devastating...literally life threatening.

How does a person weather such a storm?

It depends on the individual...

My sister-in-law Rachel nailed it for my beloved when she picked a Tom Petty song for Julie's funeral service..."You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won't back down."

James Gibson is literally a man of God, one of the ministers who presided over Julie's funeral service. Accordingly, James took the "high road"...placed his faith in God, put his fate in God's hands.

(Oh, don't get me wrong...James fought tooth and nail for five long years. The Archangel Julie is very proud of James Gibson! But, it was James' religious faith that sustained him.)

And, James never wavered.


I wavered....

When District officials offered James $20,000 in February 2008 to simply walk away, I had my moment of doubt. I was afraid that James might put a sense of loyalty to Julie's memory (she having just recently passed) before what was best for him. I reminded James that Julie had taken a monetary settlement (Plus her job back) to drop her lawsuit. James reminded me that the District was NOT offering his job back...only money. James said "No...God wants me to do this. I have faith."

The District would repeat its offer - increasing amounts of money, but no job - over the next two years, including the morning of the IELRB hearing in Carbondale, where it reached "low six figures". James never hesitated, saying "No" every time.

James looked upon each District offer of money as a test of his faith, like Elijah in the "Rain" story on Elijah remained strong in his faith - although tested seven times - and was rewarded with rain to end the three-and-a-half year drought. James remained true to his faith and persevered through an even longer "drought".

Finally, on July 15, 2010, James' faith was rewarded. During its regular monthly meeting, the Cairo Board of Education voted to hire James Gibson as Junior High School Science Teacher for the 2010-2011 School Year. The Cairo Financial Oversight Panel is scheduled to make it official during its regular meeting on Monday, July 19th.

Five looooooooooong years of financial, emotional, and physical hardship.

That is why...

Now that the end is here, well, as the song says:

What a glorious feelin'...

Singin' In The Rain
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Performed by Gene Kelly


I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again...

Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face

I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin'
Singin' in the rain

Dancin' in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I'm happy again!

I'm singin' and dancin' in the rain!

On a final note, another musical note...

Visitors to know quite well that I have a fondness, a reliance on music.

Well, not long ago, James told me that he too had a favorite song that had given him strength over the years...even involving a doo dee doo dee doo dee doo dee occurrence.

If you have broadband, you can click on the title link below and take a listen...sing along if you like.

If not, the lyrics are below...

A Change Gonna Come
Lyrics by Sam Cooke
Performed by Sam Cooke

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I've been running ever since
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

I go to the movie and I go downtown
Somebody keep telling me don't hang around
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Then I go to my brother
And I say brother help me please
But he winds up knockin' me
Back down on my knees


There been times that I thought I couldn't last for long
But now I think I'm able to carry on
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come, oh yes it will

Actually, in light of last night's hiring of James Gibson, we can now update the tense of that final phrase...

Oh yes it has!