Mr. Gibson entered the U.S. Border Patrol as a member of the 85th Academy Session in January 1966. He furnished this oral history to the National Border Patrol Museum via e-mail on May 17 2009.
Q Growing up: Date & place of birth parents occupation etc.
A – I was born 10/10/1935 in Scranton PA to Alexander and Dorothy Gibson. My father was a butcher but went to work in about 1939 for Crown Can Company as a mechanic. He repaired Closing Machines (put tops on cans) in canning plants. My mother was a housewife except for a brief period during WWII when she worked for Glen L. Martin aircraft company in Essex MD.
Q Where did you grow up schools attended.
A – From age 6 I grew up in Dundalk MD. The first few years we were bussed to several different schools till arriving in Dundalk Jr. Sr. High School. I was there from 7th through 12th grades.
Q Why did you decide to apply for a position in the Border Patrol when? Where?
A – I was a police officer and I shot in local competitions including a league in Baltimore that included many state and federal agencies. I was bored with my job and looking for something else when I met two guys on the federal team. Sheldon Coon was with Immigration and the other fellow was with Customs. I applied for both and Immigration called first. This was in 1965 in Baltimore Md.
Q What was your starting salary?
A – I have no idea what my starting salary was.
Q Where did you attend the Border Patrol Academy?
A – Class number 85 at Port Isabel TX.
Q Where were you stationed and what positions did you hold?
A – McAllen Texas Patrol Inspector: Sould Ste Marie PI and BPA; Miami FL. BPA Detroit MI. Investigator; Miami Fl BPA; West Palm Beach Fl. Patrol Agent in Charge; Miami Fl. Anti Smuggling Agent.
Q What significant details did you participate in?
A – The poor peoples campaign in Washington DC; Operation Intercept Calexico CA.
Q During your career were you detailed to activities outside the Border Patrol?
A – Designated US marshal for the Poor Peoples Campaign.
Q Please describe your favorite activities or special expertise in the Border Patrol.
A – I had no special Expertise I was a slogger. I guess my best trait was I didnt let go.
Q Identify some of the other Border Patrolmen you worked with. Which ones impressed you the most?
A – I thought Kerry Jacobson was the smartest agent I ever came across. He had the whole case detail by detail layed out in his head and could instantly retrieve and part of the puzzle.
Q How many Sectors did you work in? If you wish please name the Sector Chiefs.
A – I worked in the Detroit Sector under Warren Long and the Miami Sector under Eugene Chaput and Carl Reidenger There was another chief at Miami but I will not name him because he was crook and a disgrace to our uniform.
Q What supervisory positions did you hold? Which was your favorite?
A – I was the PAIC at West Palm Beach Fl. Thats the only one so I guess its my favorite.
Q An example of your most frightening and/or funniest situation?
A – I have used up all of my war stories.
Q Did you remain in the Patrol until retirement or did you pursue other Service activities?
A – I stayed till the end of my career.
Q What changes would you have recommended during your career?
A – Take the guy who made the decisions about the weapons we could carry and put him in charge of a pre school nursery.
Q What did you do after leaving the Border Patrol?
A – After retiring I bought a Subway franchise and built it in Charlotte NC. I enjoyed building the store (I was prime contractor) but once I opened I discovered the joys of supervising low pay employees. I spent most of my days and night in the store because the employees just didnt show up for work so I had to. After selling the store I did insurance investigations for American International. The pay was good and they treated me fine but I found I was in a hotel room somewhere four nights a week.
Q – Then what did you do?
A – I found a job as a criminal Investigator with the common wealth of Virginia. I investigated odometer rollbacks counterfeit titles false drivers license applications and fuels tax evasion. I finally found something I was genuinely good at. They left me alone and I put a lot of bad guys in jail. It was fun. I retired after 9 years and came to Florida. Since 2001 I have been doing background investigations under contracts with the department of defense Treasury and Homeland Security. My cup runneth over. End of Oral History Statement.