During his return to Trinity, he also will recall what it was like being raised in a small community. “It was a great place to grow up, a town where all of us had a lot of mothers,” he said. If you misbehaved, it didn’t matter whose kid you might be. If someone else’s mother were closer, she would get to you and straighten you out.
He remembers attending class the first day of his seventh-grade year, when “the new school opened. Our principal, George Nancarrow, ran a neat ship. He made us behave, too, and the teachers really went out of their way to help prepare us for life. It was that way all through school, until graduation in 1968. Robinson graduated from The University of North Alabama in 1972 with a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry.
He worked as a chemist for Martin-Marietta Cement Co. in Atlanta for 12 years before moving to Birmingham to join Allied Products as the firm’s technical director. “We manufactured cement, lime and even had a coal mine in Jefferson County,” he said. After two years, I became plant manager and when the Chemical Lime Co. bought Allied Products, Victorian house inspections they promoted me to operations manager over three Alabama facilities. After 15 years, Chemical Lime transferred Robinson to Fort Worth to be general manager of its Texas business unit, responsible for sales and manufacturing at three plants and several terminals.
Later, he became general manager of the central business unit, which included operations in Missouri and Texas. In 2001 after the company reorganized, he became vice president of operations for the western United States and Canada. He met his wife, Joan Adkison, when both worked in Atlanta. In a passing football note, Kimbrell said when he and Robinson were sophomores, they won the first B-team game ever played at West Morgan. “I realize that’s little consolation for what lay ahead with the varsity,” he said. Kimbrell also has fond memories of the two attending church and going on trips together.