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Remembering Billy G.

November 11, 2012 - Jim Bartholow
Sad news indeed about the passing of longtime Marietta Times sports editor Billy G. Robinson.

He was here when I came to work at The Times in 1972 and quickly learned everyone knew Billy. He had an incredible memory for local athletes and kept in touch with them long after the headlines of their exploits faded into the past. For a few years in the late 70s and early 80s I covered high school sports and it didn't matter if I went to Frontier, Belpre, Beverly or Waterford when people found out I was from The Times, they always ask,"How's Billy?"

Bill has that effect on people; he was interested in them and they were interested in him. He made friends quickly. He had an infectious laugh that lit up a room. You felt special to be counted among his friends. Billy always had a story to tell, too. My favorite was the time he went to New York and when he got off a hotel elevator he came face to face with Marietta's own Gabe Zide! It is a small world.

I also learned that a lot of people knew Billy as a voracious walker. He walked all over town, never driving a car although at one point he owned on — go figure.

I talked to Bill a couple weeks ago on the phone. He was getting his belongings together to finally move out of his apartment and into a nursing facility. "Then I'll be going home to Milan (Tenn.)," he said. I know what he meant. Milan is his old hometown.

I told him thanks for all the help and good times over the years. The words were tough to get out. As it turned out they were my last words with him. Thanks again, Billy.


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