Being Big Daddy: KSSN’s Bob Robbins Shares the Joys of Grandparenting
One only has to spend a short time with KSSN’s Bob Robbins before a few things become abundantly clear: he loves his job, country music and the State of Arkansas. But above all that, he loves his family, which includes grandchildren Harley Spears (14), Hagan Spears (12), John Mitchell (12), Dorsey Mitchell (11), Blake Mitchell (10), Sarah Mitchell (9) and Bryar Spears (1).
A native of Florida, Bob was raised in the South. He started his radio career as a teenager, doing a high school request show in Tampa. He was a radio operator in the U.S. Navy. “My first ‘real’ radio show consisted of an hour-long polka music show,” he wrote in a recent email interview. He started working for KSSN in 1979, when the station first went on the air, and he’s been there ever since.
“The best part of my job is people,” he said. “I have met so many wonderful people through the years, some of which have become life-long friends. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and spend time with many legends — George Strait, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and Toby Keith, to name a few. I also have the privilege to go out on remote locations for the radio station and meet people from all over the state of Arkansas. What could be more fun?”
Fun with the Grands
The Mitchell brood lives in Sheridan and often spends time with “Big Daddy” on his farm. “Being a grandparent is the greatest joy in the world because you are getting to love your children’s children,” Bob said. “We fish, hunt and go for ice cream. I take them for tractor rides, and the boys help me with the daily feeding of the animals while Sarah gathers the eggs every day.
“This summer I took all seven grandkids to Panama City Beach and we had a blast,”
he continued. “We went out deep sea fishing and just basically hung out. I just sat back and enjoyed watching them eating, riding go-carts, boogie boarding, and having fun.”
Being a grandparent, however, is not all fun and games. Bob takes his role very seriously and strives to ensure each grandchild knows he loves them unconditionally. “The biggest difference between being a grandparent and a parent is the fact that you have more patience and tolerance,” he said. “You realize that little things are important — that trying to work two jobs is not necessary because all any child wants is your time … and maybe just enough money to buy ice cream, fish bait, hair bows or BBs. But the most important thing I can do is give is my unconditional love. I want my grandchildren, as well as the world, to remember me as a person that loved them with all my being — and that they made my life worth living.”
When asked what he would teach his grandchildren if he could only teach them one thing, Bob replied, “I want them to live their lives as if every day were a page in a book about their lives. Someday, somewhere, someone will pick up your book and read it. It may be your teacher, your spouse, your children, or grandchildren. It could be anyone, and you want to be proud of everything you did each and every day.”
The Lowdown on Big Daddy
- Favorite Place in Little Rock: Toy Hill in War Memorial Park. I am so proud that the Arkansas Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is the most successful per capita in the nation.
- Favorite Restaurant: Riverfront Steak House & Benihana in North Little Rock
- Last movie watched: “True Grit”
- Last book read: “Mules and More”
- Guilty pleasure: Eating ice cream
- When I was little I wanted to be: A cowboy and a professional football player
- Actor who would play me in the movie of my life: No actor could do it or enjoy it as much as I have. My life has been no act, it’s been a blessing of God and I’m always thankful that He’s given me the blessings that I have received and receive every day.