Robinson sets standards for Easley Rotary Club

EASLEY — Bill Robinson is well aware of his family’s role in local history.
“We have been here ever since Easley became a town,” Robinson said last week as the Easley Rotary Club honored him for his longtime service to the club and perfect attendance to the club’s meetings since 1952.
Robinson was surrounded by his family — his wife Mary, his four children, their spouses, and his eight grandchildren — as S.C. Sen. Larry Martin and S.C. Rep. Phil Owens came together to present the Order of the Silver Crescent to Robinson last Tuesday.
Martin, looking around the room and noticing the many who were there to support Robinson, suggested the club be renamed the “Robinson Rotary Club.”
Robinson graduated from Clemson College in 1942 and went to law school at the University of South Carolina.
During World War II, Robinson was an aircraft mechanic. He flew one combat flight from Iwo Jima before the Japanese surrendered. He was the Ground Crew Chief on a Boeing B-29, First Bomb Group, Ninth Bomb Squadron VH (Very Heavy), 20th Air Force until 1946.
His first charitable job was as secretary-treasurer of the Pickens County Library.
He served as a trustee on the Pickens County School Board from 1962 until 1971. Gradually during this time, the county school system evolved from 53 schools and several individual districts to the current one district with fewer, larger schools.
“Everything was set in motion for the strong schools we have now,” Robinson said.
Robinson remembered the board spending different amounts of time discussing issues, with no connection on how important it was to the school district.
“We would spend 20seconds discussing spending, let’s say, $1 million,” Robinson said. “Then we would spend 20 minutes arguing on whether or not to buy a used truck.”
Robinson said he was thankful for his time on the school board because it had made him more “education-minded.”
Rep. Owens said it gave him great pleasure to join with Sen Martin in presenting the Silver Crescent. Owens read a congratulatory note from Gov. Nikki Haley, who praised Robinson for his lifelong devotion to the community, always holding the “highest ideals.”
Robinson was typically humble about his accomplishments.
“You are looking at one of the last of the old-time country lawyers,” Robinson said. “With my law degree in one hand, I would put my coat and tie on each day, and now 63 years later I still practice country law.”
Robinson said during his career he has represented six alleged murderers, none of which were executed. He even spoke of one woman who was accused of using an ax to commit a murder.
“She got off too,” Robinson said.
Robinson shared his concern about local education, saying people in this area do not realize how fortunate they are.
“If not for Easley High School and Clemson University, we would just be another Horry County,” Robinson said.
Despite the many problems we face, Robinson said he cannot imagine a better place to live and raise a family.
“I’ve been to Scotland, Canada … pretty much all over the world, but I’ve always come back to Pickens County, because I haven’t found anywhere that they’ve figured out how to do it better,” Robinson said.
“This is still the greatest nation in the world.”