Thursday Apr 23 2009
Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson, helper extraordinaire
By: Michael Kirby
In her small space tucked away in Old Town, Linda Robinson moves about her women’s clothing store with ease, breezing between the tightly spaced racks filled with colorful womens’ apparel. Brightly colored tops, scarves, hats and accessories hang from the clothing racks, walls and ceiling. Robinson greets each customer with warmth and kindness like that shown to an old friend. Robinson’s story is unique and full of twists and turns, each one seemingly like a predestined event bringing her to the Auburn area. Entrepreneur, cancer survivor, career woman, jobless and homeless for a while, Robinson has lived all facets of her life to the fullest. She believes that each experience we have, good or bad, plays a part in the big picture of our lives and brings us to where we currently are and meant to be. “Even the bad moments in my life I wouldn’t change for anything because they have all brought me to this moment today,” Robinson said. “There is a purpose in all that.” Robinson has owned Sun River Clothing in Old Town Auburn since purchasing the store in 1995. She runs a very successful small business, and is attentive to her longtime customers’ needs. Robinson has seen good economic conditions and less good, like we currently find ourselves in, and even survived a total store loss in a fire that badly damaged her building in May of 1997. At the core of Robinson’s soul is a desire to participate and help her community, and from the time Robinson was a young mother she has always been busy and involved in community causes, striving to help with making her community a better place to live. As a mother with two school-age children Robinson first got a taste of public service. Actively involved in the PTA, Robinson was the president, vice president, health and safety chairwoman. “That’s when I really started my volunteerism, I drove the fundraisers getting trees and playground equipment for our new school,” Robinson said. “These were all the things young mothers did in those days and still do.” In 1981 Robinson relocated to Colfax in search of a lifestyle change, and though she took a respite from community involvement, she wasted little time. In 1984 Robinson again got involved with the local schools, raising funds for the football booster clubs and other local efforts. “When we first moved to Colfax we were called ‘flatlanders’ and I didn’t know what a flatlander was,” Robinson said. “When I found out I was devastated, so I got a couple of horses, chicken, ducks, dogs and I bought all my supplies in Colfax. I wanted to be involved in the community.” Robinson’s community service involvement over the years includes numerous civic groups. She has served on the board of directors of the Auburn Area Chamber of Commerce for seven years, and as chairwoman of tourism for the chamber for three years. Robinson has immersed herself in the Old Town events promoting the street fairs and Country Christmas. She has been president of the Old Town Business Association seven times (when not president she was the first or second vice president). Robinson is a sworn officiant of Placer County and can perform weddings on a special permit, is a board member of the Old Town Auburn Preservation Society, and a board member of the Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund. Her volunteer efforts have not gone unnoticed as in 2007 she was awarded the prestigious McCann Award for community service. Robinson lives in Colfax with husband Chip Perley, though she jokingly admits he answers to Chip Robinson.