Clinton resident Richard Roberts recently received the Clinton Human Rights Commission 2017 award. Find out more about him in this week’s edition of Meet Your Neighbor.
How did you earn this award?
I was nominated by Deb Vath with Clinton Housing Authority and that’s where most of my work had been done.
How does it feel to win this award?
I was very surprised. Deb came to our house a couple weeks before and I thought she was going to talk to me about reapplying to the housing authority but instead she hit us with that. I was astounded. How it felt, it was far more emotional than I thought it was going to be. I could feel the tears well up a few times.
What is your best memory of helping someone?
The housing authority has a daycare, Stay N Play, and going out there was always neat. I’m a member of Prince of Peace Parish and we have a group that is partially Prince of Peace members and Sisters of St. Francis called Pax Christi. Every year we put on Peace Soup five Tuesdays in Lent. This year our subject was our invisible neighbors, people who sometimes we just miss seeing. One of the sessions we had was on housing and every year we have a different charity that we support. We have a box for donations and this year we had Stay N Play as our charity. We got over $1,500 collected and a lot of children books. Each child had a book of their own. It was like we had given the children a bar of gold. It was just amazing.
What is your favorite thing about Clinton?
I fell in love with the river right away. I married a native Clintonian, she had her own boat, was considered at that time one of the best water-skiers on this part of the Mississippi and she taught me all about the river. There are a lot of good people in Clinton, too. It’s certainly home.
What do you do in your free time?
I really like to read. This is kind of weird for someone who worked in science but I like medieval history. I’m currently reading kind of a sickening book about the 100 years war between England and France back in the 14th century. When I say sickening it’s because he describes some of the battles in such gruesome details and I suspect some of those details are historically correct, too.