MICHAEL S. ROBBINS - Thoughts by Jeff Robbins
(The following is from an email sent to Peter Stekel from Jeff Robbins)
Somehow we didn't get to talk after the funeral, but I did want to thank you for your uplifting remarks about my brother. As you know, Mike was a lover of words. He enjoyed a story or an essay or even an opinion that was well stated. He railed at the decline of the English language, whether in casual speech or in "professionally" printed material. He always spoke highly of you, not only as a person but as an author. Many of his intellectual heroes were authors. I know he would have appreciated your eloquence.
But Mike was not one to blow his own horn. If he could've heard you, he might not have realized who you were talking about. I have never heard him brag about an accomplishment or express concern as to whether people found him kind or interesting or worthy to spend time with. Mike did what he did because that's who he was. He did no more nor less than he thought others should do. Being a positive force in society, no matter what portion of it one could effect, was something he thought everybody should do because it came so natural to him. Perhaps, in this, he was a bit naive. It was simply in his nature to travel the high road at all times.
What I learned on Sunday about my brother, from you and the others I talked to, was that my perception of him as my mentor, a friend, a teacher, a life guide, a constant helper, and at times even a father figure (and I already had a wonderful father), was shared by so many others. Several times that day people referred to him as my father. A slip of the tongue that I let slide until John Daniels did it a second time. When I pointed out the error to John, he began to tear up and said that he thought of Mike as his father. It is amazing that one person could so selflessly affect so many people in so positive a manner. I left Hillside on Sunday feeling so proud of him that I'm still riding high and waiting for the shoe of grief to drop.
I'm feeling extremely fortunate: I got to be Mike Robbins' brother for 67 years.