Pat's View: Today my Dad would have been 103 years old
by Patrick Robinson
He was a fisherman, golfer, businessman, friend, community organizer, salesman, writer, humorist, photographer, husband and most of all father, first to five boys then later after my mother died father to two girls and another boy. He bought the White Center News in 1952 and nearly failed in 1965 but kept going. He bought the West Seattle Herald in 1974 and brought me in as the photographer. We had other adventures (including starting the world's first all digital video production facility in 1987) and he was an incredibly vital man, writing for the paper until three weeks before he passed in 2014.
He wanted so much to be loved and he was. He showed it and demonstrated it by being loving himself. That's probably the greatest lesson he taught me. Love you Dad. Thank you for everything.
He wrote the following in his autobiography.
April 6th, 1930: A Great Day
By Gerald S. Robinson
On my 10th birthday Russell my big brother bought me my first bike. April 6th, 1930. What a day. "C'mon, Gerald," he said. "Let's go up to Killingsworth Street."
"Okay," I answered, and we took off. "Where're we going?"
"You'll see." The most exciting place on Killingsworth Street was Darling's Bike Shop. Many times we had feasted our eyes on the row of shiny bikes in the window. When we turned in there I nearly died. It smelled so good. Rubber-tired heaven.
Russell had already made the choice: a powder blue, 26 inch, balloon-tired baby with steerhorn handlebars. Absolutely the most gorgeous creation from the hand of man. The frame had been broken and brazed down by the sprocket, but I didn't mind. I loved it. Russell gave Mr. Darling a ten-dollar bill and we pushed it out the door. When we got outside I asked him where he got the money. "Out of Dad's dresser drawer," he confessed. We both knew it was wrong, but we guessed right--that Dad wouldn't know he had ten dollars when he went to bed the night before.
Russell taught me how to ride. After a few spills, I got the hang of it. It was a wonderful thing to do for a little brother, so I couldn't complain too much when he'd beat me up and take off on it. I kept that bike for three years, taking it back every few months to have the frame re-brazed. When I was thirteen Russell and I pooled our paper route monies and bought a brand new Royal Blue Schwinn World Bike with knee-action forks and red reflectors on the mud flaps. I wish I had it now, just so I could look at it.