My Mother is the Docent in Robert Kirby’s Column: Here is What Actually Happened


The following is from an email my mother sent out on February 21, 2019 to her children, grandchildren, and some close family friends:

We had quite a scene at the Beehive House yesterday morning.

This guy comes waltzing in requesting a tour, right behind him a second group of 6, we decided to make it one tour, so no one had to wait.

I was not the docent, but did suggest everyone take off their coats and back packs.  The guy tells me, he was not taking off his jacket “because he had a gun.”   

The tour started and we called security, they came within minutes.

Security walked into the tour as the docent was talking and announced: “I have to talk to someone in this group.”  The guy said: “that must be me.”  They took him in another room and questioned him and then showed him the door.   

The guy threw a handful of candy on the desk and said: “I hope you will not mind seeing your name in the paper tonight.” 

There was no gun.

Turns out and this makes the commentary interesting…..the guy’s name  is Robert Kirby from the Salt Lake Tribune.  He writes a humor column for the Salt Lake Tribune and everyone knew of him, but I had never heard his name. [My daughter] did and she told me. The director of the Beehive House called the Church Public Affairs Office, which in turn called the editor of the Tribune, who was furious.  He said there most likely would not be a column about the Beehive House and “if Kirby got to write anything, it would be after a serious discussion with him.”

So far, that is all I know, and we are secretly hoping the jerk got what he had coming.  Who in their right mind would joke about bringing in a gun these days?  That is so inappropriate to say the least!!

My boss told me me, he would make sure that all the Beehive docents would have personal panic buttons they can carry around their neck.  He also thanked us for being so brave, which is an exaggeration since we all thought it was pretty exciting at first until we realized it could have been serious.

It was also a good exercise to see how quickly Security came, within just a few minutes we had three guys there, they did have guns, handcuffs as well as sun glasses, black coats etc. which made them all look like James Bond.  My fellow docents all sighed as they left, commenting we had not encountered a better looking bunch of guys in the BHH since we started.  We also moaned, as they were all married and way too young for this good looking, but senior bunch of Beehive docents.

Before this incident, my mother had no idea who Robert Kirby was. My late father is likely looking down proud of his decision to subscribe to the Deseret News when he and my mother retired to Utah.

Tonight, my mother mentioned that the family of six on the tour had four young children under 10.

I didn’t publish about this incident because my mother is a private person, unlike her blogger son. I also trusted that the Salt Lake Tribune would do the right thing.

On April 8, they publish a column by Kirby which mentioned the above incident. However, he left out a few details. I am left wondering whether they ever had that talk with him.

Of course, I don’t know who at the Salt Lake Tribune who was contacted by the Church Public Affairs office. But in this age, we need to stop protecting bullies, like Kirby, that exhibit misogynistic tendencies and behaviors.

Categories: Blog

2 replies »

  1. I don’t get why Kirby’s odd humor at the Beehive House constitutes misogyny.

    Tom Walker San Jose


  2. Umm, well, because it wasn’t humorous at all. In this day and age joking about having a firearm, especially as he was joining a group of people is flat out odd, stupid, wrong and NOT FUNNY. Kirby was totally in the wrong. You don’t get a pass for doing something egregious and then trying to pass it off as “odd humor”.

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