back to top

SCOTT DREYER: Tribute to A Great American (III): Robert Robison (1927-2021)

Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly (….)                        –Leviticus 19:31

In Parts I and II, we have been looking at the remarkable life of a member of the “Greatest Generation,” Robert Robison of Greenwood, Indiana, who passed at age 94 this past June.

Chief Seattle said, “All things are connected.” That has become a mantra of my life and teaching career, and it relates to us today as well. 

If not for Robison–”Uncle Bob” to many, including myself–you would probably not be reading this right now. Here is why:

A crucial moment in Dreyer family folklore involves a long, Sunday afternoon conversation in my grandparents’ driveway between Uncle Bob and my father in 1954 or 1955. Dad had just returned from service in the Korean War, and at that time and at age 23 or 24 his life ambition was to return to the family dairy and farm in southern Indiana, raise a family, and drive a truck. 

Uncle Bob, however, seeing a potential for greater things in my dad, spent several hours that afternoon explaining to my dad about the new GI Bill, and how that would pay his way through college and open up new doors for him.

Since Robison had served in the US Marines at the end of WWII and the early Cold War in the Pacific and China, he had used the GI Bill and knew first-hand what a blessing it could be.

Providentially, dad heeded his brother-in-law. That caused dad to become the first in his family to go to college. He studied chemistry while raising two children, earned his pharmacist license, and later was hired at Eli Lilly.

Fast forward to 1965, and my dad’s supervisors at Lilly headquarters in Indianapolis saw his potential and suggested he make a career advancement by moving to an oddly-named place my parents had never heard of: Roanoke, Virginia.

Mom and dad flew to Roanoke for a brief visit to check it out. They liked what they experienced. And, intrigued by the idea of raising their family among the mountains and history of Virginia, they moved to Roanoke that fall and brought their four children, including a baby named Scott.

Fast forward to spring 2020: feeling led to pursue a “quarantine project,” I reached out to Stuart Revercomb, founder and CEO of the Roanoke Star. Revercomb graciously offered me a shot at a sample column, liked what he saw, and has since given me an open door to share with you, dear readers, via this space.

So there you have it. If not for Uncle Bob, dad would not have gone to college. Had dad not gone to college, he would have never worked for Eli Lilly. Had dad never worked for Lilly, he would have never moved to Roanoke. Had dad never moved to Roanoke, I would not be writing this for the Roanoke Star right now, nor would you be reading it. 

So, that is why “old sayings” are old sayings: because they are true and stand the test of time. Examples include: “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” “No man is an island.” “All things are connected.”

Now, back to the life of the remarkable Robert Robison.

To be continued…


Scott Dreyer in his classroom.

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Latest Articles

- Advertisement -Fox Radio CBS Sports Radio Advertisement

Related Articles