Our Burbank High 1968 classmates, Robin Neklia and Don Smith, finally got to the prom — 47 years late! Robin says when they were seniors, “I so hoped that Don would ask me to our prom. Well, that didn’t work so this past April we went to the school prom that we both work at here (in Georgia). We finally made it to the prom together 47 years later!”
They have been married for 42 years and were blessed with three boys, Mike, Christopher and Sean. Mike just turned 38 and Robin says “that’s what makes me feel old because otherwise I don’t feel any older than I did in high school!” Mike and his wife, Angel, have three children and live with them in Guyton, GA (near Savannah). Tragically, their middle son, Christopher took his own life in 2003, but left them with the “wonderful gift of his son, Tyler.” Their youngest son, Sean, lives in Atlanta with his significant other.
Don and Robin have 9 acres of land with three horses, one donkey, six dogs and numerous cats — a real menagerie! Robin’s mom moved back to the area and turned 90 last March. She is in great health and continues to drive to the grocery store.
The Smiths lived in Southern California until 1988, then Don took a job in Oregon with a paper company. They enjoyed their time in Oregon very much except for the rain nearly every day. In 1990 Don transferred to a company in Birmingham, AL, promising Robin it didn’t rain there every day. They spent four wonderful years in Birmingham, meeting lots of great people and becoming Southern! Robin says they “drop the ‘g’ on any ‘ing’ word” and learned to say, “y’all, all y’all (plural) and “fixin’!”
In 1994, Don was asked to help open an office in Savannah, GA, so they moved yet again and have been there ever since. Don had retired but was bored, so Robin got him the maintenance job at the high school where she works as the bookkeeper. They are both hoping that this will be their last year doing this full time, although they might look for something part-time. I guess that they are turning 65 like everyone else in our class!
Robin says, “I’m so glad that there is the BHS blog and Facebook page, Don and I enjoy looking and reading about everyone. If any of you come to visit Savannah, which is a beautiful city, let us know!” She says that she is on Facebook.
Thanks so much for writing, Robin!