Kesley Colbert

Apparently, not everybody went to Kindergarten

We were practicing democracy before we could spell it. Miss Katie would give us the opportunity right after lunch to vote on whether we wanted to go outside and play, or would we rather stay in and eat some ice cream. We never thought about doing both. Time was of the essence in our kindergarten class….and let me tell you, Miss Katie ran a tight ship!

Me, Yogi and Bob Edwards voted to go outside. Every chance we got, which was usually each Friday. We didn’t get to vote every day. 

Most of the girls were all in on the ice cream. Vicki would sometimes side with us. And there were a couple of other swing votes, depending on how hot it was in the house or how rainy it looked, or didn’t look, outside. We’d have a lot of seven to five votes….to stay inside and eat ice cream.

Listen, me, Yogi and Bob didn’t roll on the floor and have a hissy-fit. We didn’t start a hate campaign. We didn’t write a spiteful, name-calling minority opinion. And we certainly didn’t go home and demand our parents put an end to this unfair and irresponsible treatment aimed at limiting our social opportunities to run and jump and play.

We actually thought a double scoop of vanilla ice cream was not a bad second choice.

We also, at age five, in kindergarten, understood the concept of majority rule. It seemed to us to be a basic tenet of any democratic society.

Choosing up sides in our baseball “pick-up” games took this to another level. Eating ice cream is one thing, winning a baseball game against the friends and neighbors you are growing up with moves into the “life or death” category!

We’d pick two good captains and they would choose-up sides. That was pretty straight forward. Their knowledge of the “pool of players” would get the teams fairly even. The problem arose when “Squeaky” Ridinger showed up in the bottom of the second inning and we had four guys on each side. 

He had to play. That rule was universal. I quickly remembered the “other team” chose the last guy. “Squeaks with us. Y’all picked last. It’s our turn.” I might have said it a couple of times. Pretty loudly!

“Yeah, but y’all are ahead by six runs, it would be more fair if he joins us….”

Dang it! It was a pretty good argument. But Squeaky could really play defense, and he could hit those screamers down the leftfield line, “But it is our turn!”

It was like being back in kindergarten….except the vote would be quicker. We were holding up the game!

“Kes has got a point but it WOULD be more fair for the team that is behind.”

“I agree.”

“I agree.”

“I agree.”

“I agree.”

We used the “voice-vote” a lot back in those days. Well, guess what? I didn’t take my ball and go home. I didn’t have time to pout because Jackie Burns was coming to bat and he’d hit one right down your throat if you weren’t ready! That vote was over and done.  

We had a six-run lead to protect. And a game to win. Life moves on quickly. But I did kinda, sorta, start praying that Don “Crusher” Simmons would be the next guy to show up. He’d automatically be on the team that was down one player….

Democracy kept our games on track. And allowed everyone to be a part and to have a say, but it sure didn’t let me have my way all the time. And, boy howdy, that is really a pretty good thing….for lots of folks in this nation.

It also helped us concede a point gracefully. What started out in kindergarten was reinforced as we moved through those formative years. The way “you see it” ain’t necessarily the way the world sees it.

Or the correct way for that matter! 

Democracy was never designed for one person, group, party, or smart oil guy to “have it their way” all the time….

I voted for Diane Stoner for homecoming queen. She was nice to me when I was a struggling sophomore in high school. We never went out or anything like that. She was a year or two older, but still nice enough to stop and talk to me. You don’t forget someone like that in your life, ever!

Diane didn’t win. My heart was crushed but I didn’t attack the new queen. I made no disparaging remarks about the crown sitting sideways on her head. I was genuinely happy for her. If Miss Katie had seen that she would have patted me proudly on the shoulder and said, “Now, that is showing some class young man.”

Too bad Miss Katie didn’t teach everybody….



Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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