It’s almost Thanksgiving and while most people will be celebrating time with their family and loved one’s , there is one family who still today are reminded that this time of year is when they lost their one and only beloved son to a tragic auto accident involving a driver under the influence.
What does this have to do with ELECTRIC FOOTBALL? Well, Read on…
When I first got back into the game and hobby of electric football (in 1997), one of the first persons I was able to meet with and play a game with in person was a young man by the name of Darryl Kimbrell. Darryl lived in Killen, AL with his mom and dad and I had recently moved back to Loretto, TN and was living with my dad.
I don’t remember exactly how I was able to connect with Darryl, but more than likely it was through the Miggle Toys Electric Football Forum where I had posted that I was looking for someone located in the Northern Alabama or Southern Middle Tennessee area interested in starting an ELECTRIC FOOTBALL LEAGUE. As it turned out Darryl was also looking for someone to play electric football with from that same area. Killen, AL and Loretto, TN are located approximately 20 miles apart, each on US Hwy 43 with the AL/TN State line about half way in between.
Of course, this created a natural rivalry between us, with Darryl being a lifelong ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE football fan and me being a lifelong TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS football fan.
(SORRY!!! Just couldn’t resist throwing that last one in there. ) OK, Here’s one for you ALABAMA Fans!!!
Darryl and I met a couple of times, at my Dad’s, in Loretto, over the course of the next 2 years, playing some games with our Alabama and Tennessee teams. Both teams were custom painted since Miggle did not sell college teams at that time. Darryl’s Alabama team was one of the first teams that I saw using ITZ’s original custom figures and numbers. They were really cool looking!!
Anyway, Darryl and I had made plans to get together over the Thanksgiving weekend of ’99 and I began calling his home on that Wednesday to see when we could get together. Several calls went unanswered over the weekend and I just sort of gave up trying to get together again. It wasn’t until about 4 months later that I learned about what had happened and why my calls had gone unanswered.
On the morning of Sunday, November 21, 1999 at approximately 6:30 am. Darryl Kimbrell, age 31, was driving to work when another vehicle driven by 43 year old George “Trey” Soule III, while under the influence of a controlled substance, struck Kimbrell’s vehicle at the intersection of Florence Boulevard and Cox Creek Parkway, one day before the victim’s 32nd birthday. Soule was arrested three months after the wreck. He was convicted of murder Aug. 25, 2000.
I still think about that time, every Thanksgiving (and many other times through out the year) and what his mom and dad thought about this person who kept calling for their son to play some electric football.
Really the only thing Darryl and I had in common was electric football. He was 10 years younger than me, never married, a pipe welder, grew up in rural AL and never even traveled that far away from home. I on the other hand, had been married and divorced, worked in retail, grew up in a small town in TN (small but not rural) and had traveled quite a bit through out the country. Darryl was very quite and resevered and a had a very gentle spirit and personality. Me not so much. BUT we both loved ELECTRIC FOOTBALL.
In doing some research I found the following articles about Darryl and the work his Father and Mother has been doing since his death. Kimbrells preparing for another trip to parole hearing _ Crime _ timesdaily.com 2 / Killen man receives state volunteer award _ Archives _ timesdaily.com
As I make plans for an eventual building to house The National ELECTRIC FOOTBALL Game Museum, I plan on honoring Darryl’s memory in some way. I haven’t quite decided yet how, but it will probably be in some way connected to the ELECTRIC FOOTBALL COMMUNITY Game Room where people can come together and share their memories of electric football and play a game or two.
Electric Football is just one of those kinds of games, where people from all walks of life whether it be cultural, religous, educational, political, age difference or otherwise, can get together and just have fun playing and enjoying a simple game and hobby.