Kirbo addresses Lions

Published 4:53 pm Friday, December 12, 2008

Charlie Kirbo Jr., reviewed major events in the life of his father, Charles H. Kirbo Sr. for whom the Bainbridge College Regional Center is named, during a Wednesday address to the Bainbridge Lions Club at the center.

He began his remarks by making a reference to the classic Jimmy Stewart move “It’s A Wonderful Life,” pointing out that events in his dad’s and other people’s lives make a big difference.

“If you go out the Camilla Highway about 10 miles, you will find a little road called Kirbo,” he said. “That is where my dad grew up. There was also a Kirbo store across the street where he hung out.

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“Dad’s father, Ben, later moved the family to Bainbridge where he became clerk of court. They lived on Clay Street.”

Kirbo said his dad returned to Bainbridge in 1939 after receiving his law degree from the University of Georgia.

“In the summer of 1939, dad took a job with a small law firm in Albany,” he recalled. “In 1940, a terrible hurricane hit Albany and wiped out his office and all his records.

He came back to Bainbridge and met a man named Vance Custer, who passed the Bar at 19 and was very interested in trial law.

Kirbo said Custer taught his dad a lot about trial law and they built a great business together.

“About that time, Dad joined the Lions Club and bought the property where the college is today. It was a farm that was owned by a man who wanted to move back up north. Dad borrowed the money and bought the land.”

Kirbo said that in 1961 his dad moved to Atlanta and joined the law firm of King and Spalding.

“About the time dad moved to Atlanta, there was a guy in Plains named Jimmy Carter, who took over the family business and was District Governor of Lions.”

When Carter became president in 1976, Kirbo went to Washington to work in his administration.