By Jim Freeman
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – We would be remiss here at WLAF if we did not remember our long time friend Jim Robinson on this, the 50th Earth Day. Earth Day was a very important day for Jim. In fact, he lived it everyday.
The La Follette native returned home in the 1990s after retiring and influenced a couple of generations of us when it came to loving and caring for the earth. He was a regular visitor here to WLAF and was always keeping us updated on what he was doing especially when it came to his work at Valley View School. In fact, he encouraged us to begin a recycling program, and it continues to this day at WLAF.
I’d say we started recycling here at the radio station in mid-’90s. That even carried over to our homes. Most of us at the station began recycling at home and continue all these years later.
Jim passed away last September and a memorial service was held a month later. In January, he was honored by Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton and the county commission . The commission declared Jan. 22, 2020, as Jim Robinson Appreciation Day.
Robinson’s wife Joy accepted the award from the mayor and commission for her late husband Jim. In January, he was recognized and honored by the county for his “vast” community service in the Valley View area and the creation and support of the recycling program. He established the first recycling center in Campbell County at Valley View and taught recycling to students and staff at Valley View School beginning in the 1990s. Robinson secured a grant from TVA in 1991 to start the program. A recycling and nature area was even constructed behind the school.
Every spring for 28 years, Robinson led a day long Earth Day celebration on the Valley View School campus. For his work in recycling and nature related projects, he was also named the Tennessee Environmentalist of the Year.
A Navy veteran, Robinson, was also an accomplished sky diver and underwater diver, and motorcyclist. At the January ceremony, Mayor Morton said, “Although Jim Robinson is no longer with us, his legacy of community service inspires us today and sets a high standard for future generations.” (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 04/22/2020-6AM)