Legacy left on the page

SAN BENITO — Charles M. Robinson’s classmates teased him when he wrote his first book.

Then he received a call from a publisher.

“We want to buy your book,” said a voice on the line. And Robinson’s fellow eighth graders weren’t laughing anymore.

Robinson, a former San Benito News editor and Valley Morning Star reporter, died Sept. 18, 2012 at age 63. His first book, “The Coins of Guatemala” is difficult to find. However, the late author has 33 books to his credit.

For his sizeable body of work, adventurous life and humorous legacy, he was honored yesterday at the fourth annual Charles M. Robinson Day. The event was held at the San Benito Public Library in conjunction with the San Benito Historical Society.

Lee Joseph McNamara, a member of the San Benito Historical Society, had a wealth of stories to tell yesterday during the presentation at the library at 101 W. Rose St.

“He was a really interesting character,” McNamara said. He talked about Robinson and his friends who carried slide rules and were members of the science club.

“They were the high school nerds,” McNamara said. “Charles dropped out of high school and hit the road. That’s when he did all his traveling.”

Robinson traveled throughout the world as a seaman, but a back injury and a nasty case of malaria ended that career and he returned home.

His daughter recalled her fondest memories of her late father.

“It was going with my dad,” she said. “I would just travel with him. When he wrote the forts of Texas, we went to all the forts in all of Texas. He knew the stories, he knew the history. I can’t begin to tell the excitement.”

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