When a person is angry in the South, it is common to describe them as “raising Cain”. In my home town, we have a former WWE wrestler for a county mayor. I like to describe our inexplicable desire for recognition and celebrity status, as “raising Kane”.
Glenn Jacobs acted out as Kane in pro wrestling matches. He also sold insurance.
His resume includes hitting people over the head with chairs. He is a legend among certain circles of fans and fanatics in the wrestling world. What follows is not a commentary on any of that.
Several years ago, my wife and I packed up a child and our luggage, and we made our way to Hilton Head, South Carolina. My mind wandered towards my work as I drove and Michelle and Carter slept along the way.
A few days in, we visited a restaurant we enjoy. It sits in a bay and there are boats and ships of all sizes just outside.
When I saw Glenn Jacobs sitting next to us with his family, dressed in shorts and sandals, something clicked. He was running for office then, and he seemed to be enjoying himself.
We were both preoccupied with our different thoughts and also enjoying our surroundings. When Michelle asked me what was on my mind as I considered speaking to the then insurance salesman, I spoke on the merits of a really good hush puppy.
It never crossed my mind that this gentleman was famous for anything other than a race for local office in my hometown. Nothing about raising Kane had ever entered my mind. I never much about pro wrestling.
I wondered what was on his mind, though. Men with too much to think about recognize that look on another man’s face when they have too much to think about also. As for his fame, I was clueless.
As is my custom, I excused myself to smoke an after dinner cigarette outside (and check numbers from a car wash). When I sat back down, I noticed that Mr. Jacobs was finishing his meal. It was never my intention to introduce myself, so I did not.
Not being concerned with local politics, my only inclination was to wonder what he thought about those hush puppies.
That dinner did not impress me much in the conventional sense, but it did create a memory. Now I am raising Kane with political humor and cartoons, just for fun.
Those days at that seafood place seemed simple. When everything made a little more sense in my life.
Now I cannot help but see video after video of Kane on Facebook, and it is a great piece of trivia that our mayor was a wrestler. Regardless of his demeanor (which seems to be kind), I do not think I will cage match him after all.
If I had it all to do over again, I might have taken an extra day for the beach. I might have played a little more with Carter in the pool or hung out in the kitchen with Michelle as she made spaghetti. Nothing about meeting Kane would change.
Really Raising Kane
Here you may have to suspend your belief. When I say “raising Kane” these days, it is to offer some praise. Though I am no politician and I have few opinions on politics, what would some encouragement hurt?
The man reads to children. The man tries to communicate with people from the community.
During the pandemic, he has been transparent, at the very least. People judge him and comment freely on his intelligence, but who knows how smart a man might be?
My hope is that we see the good in others that lives in us. Like it or not, that includes politicians.
Regardless of which side you believe is right or wrong.
Stay awesome. Stay happy. Be the change.