I have always believed that the best stories have a moral or a lesson to be learned involved. My hope is that the one you will read below conveys the same. Unlike many that have been told before, this one is not a fairytale but about a real person, one that the people of Jackson Parish and the surrounding area knew and loved. This is about the life of Glen Roy Robinson.
For those of you who didn’t know this man he passed away a couple of weeks ago at the age of 88 years old. When you consider the countless number of people he made an impression with you would probably think he was from a large metropolis area. In fact he never strayed far from where he grew up and lived out his life in the small hamlet of Danville, located just south of Jonesboro.
I bring this up because it brings to light the first moral of this story which is it doesn’t matter where you are from, a big city or small rural area, you can make a difference in the lives of people. Glen Roy Robinson is the perfect persona as the title character in this moral.
His impact on those around him began early in his life while going to school at the now defunct Friendship High School. In the late 1940’s this school had the premier basketball program in north Louisiana and for a three year period the home of one of the best prep teams in the state, regardless of classification. The Louisiana High School Association basketball annals verify this as from the period between 1948-50 Friendship played for two Class C titles and barely missed making it three years in a row.
Leading the charge was Glen Roy who along with Odell Thomas and Sonny Parker led Friendship to its most glorious period in school history. Dressed in their all black uniforms adorned with this white side stripes down the sides and with each player wearing black knee pads they not only looked good they played even better. This is verified by them playing for the Class C state title in 1948 and again in 1950 losing close decisions to Meaux and Florien respectively.
Glen Roy’s talents were so respected that even though he came from such a small area he was offered multiple scholarships from school as far away as Baylor University as well as every local university in north Louisiana. He ended up signing with what then known as Northeast Louisiana State College (NLSC) which became Northeast Louisiana University (NLU) and is known today as the University of Louisiana-Monroe (ULM).
The main reason he wanted to go there was that he didn’t want to be too far from the love of his life and high school sweetheart Billie, whom he started courting while he was 16 and she was 14 and shared a wonderful marriage with for 68 years.
Glen Roy made an immediate impact on his coach Cary Phillips who had him in the starting lineup from the very first game he played. While there he later teamed up with Jonesboro native James “Flop” Shively and former JHHS head basketball coach Arnold Kilpatrick.
Upon graduation he served a stint in the Army as all young men were required to do back then before coming home to go to work in the wood procurement office for Continental Can in Hodge where he stayed for 14 years.
Toward the end of his stint as a “working” man he made a decision that ended up changing the lives of all those who were fortunate enough to be associated with him. He decided to begin teaching and coaching and as fate would have it he got the opportunity to do so at Saline High School. His position wasn’t what you would call a “glorious” one as he taught drivers education and junior high studies as well as coaching both junior and senior high basketball, mostly as an assistant.
This leads to the second moral of this story which is you don’t have to be the “top dog” in your profession to make a difference in people’s lives. It all boils down to the character of a person. If you have the right kind of character and the desire to make people’s lives better no matter what your lot in life is you will make a difference in theirs.
Glen Roy lived a simple life. He spent his adult life in the same house on the hill just a matter of yards from where he grew up and spent his spare time raising his cattle, who he loved like his own children. His greatest joy came from taking care of his bride and children.
He left this earth as one of the few that leaves a legacy of making a difference to the people he met. In my opinion nothing can be said finer about a person and nothing is as important as doing so.