[The Brazil Times nameplate] Mostly Cloudy ~ 53°F  
High: 64°F ~ Low: 55°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Scholarship set up by Dan and Jane Robbins

Friday, June 16, 2006

Dan and Jane Robbins had a great love of family, a strong fondness for music and a passion for the Northview Marching Knights Band, Drill Team and Winter Guard.

Jane's relationship with music began as a member of the Van Buren Blue Devils Band when she was in high school.

Her allegiance turned to the Northview music department when her daughter, Jennifer Hayes Jervis, joined the Drill Team and Winter Guard in 1985. Dan, who married Jane in 1980, immediately shared her enthusiasm.

They attended all the concerts and contests. Dan was a father in the pit crew and drove the maintenance truck. They became consumed with the Marching Knights.

"We were band groupies," Jane said. "We breathed, ate and slept Northview Knights."

Jennifer graduated in 1987, but Dan and Jane couldn't stay away.

The band had difficulty with their 1994 show. In previous years, many of the kids were able to attend a live, theatrical play about their performance. That helped them better understand the theme and have a feel for the story line.

In 1994 there was no play available to them. They were doing "Sunset Boulevard," a show about Norma Desmond, an over-the-hill movie star in her 50s who was trying to make a comeback.

The kids didn't seem to get the concept.

Jane pondered their dilemma. One night, laying in bed, she came up with an idea and woke Dan.

"We're going to perform for the band," she said.

Half asleep and a little perplexed, Dan asked, "What are you talking about?"

"We're going to perform for the band kids at the Thursday night party they have before the Saturday State Final show," she said.

The next day they worked on a poem and script about "Sunset Boulevard," made costumes and rented a limousine.

Near the end of the last Thursday band practice, director Bob Medworth asked, "Is that a limousine pulling up back there?"

The limo came to a stop and out stepped Jane, dressed as Norma Desmond and Dan dressed as the male lead, Max.

They read their poem and did a skit to demonstrate what "Sunset Boulevard" was all about.

On Saturday, the Northview Marching Knights became the 1994 state champions.

Later, Dan and Jane added a song to go with their annual poem and skit.

David and Ettie Evans from Old Glory made a float for them.

For the 1998 show, "Mass," Dan dressed as a priest and Jane as a nun. In 1999, they were Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart for the show, "To Tame the Perilous Skies." In 2003, the show was "Music in the Key of Green," so the couple rode in on a float depicting the TV series, "Green Acres," dressed as Oliver and Lisa Douglas.

Unfortunately, Dan's health problems began escalating. Within two years, he was diagnosed with large cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma, had blood septicemia, had a partial leg amputation and suffered from congestive heart failure. In October, he had a heart attack and his kidneys began to fail.

By November, Dan was on kidney dialysis three times a week.

Dan stopped his dialysis treatments on June 2. He passed away early on June 10.

Dan and Jane treasured the special relationship they had with the band members and wanted it to continue.

With the help of Brian Deakins of the Clay County Community Foundation, the Dan and Jane Robbins Northview Marching Knights Scholarship Fund was established. It will provide a scholarship to any accredited institution of higher education or vocational school in Indiana to a Northview High School senior. The senior must be an eligible member of the Northview Knights band, Drill Team or Winter Guard.

Jane plans to continue working with the Knights. Her grandson, Kyle Hayes, is a junior in the band. Granddaughters Sydney Hayes and Taylor Dickison are in the Cadet Corps.

Two verses from their poem about "Sunset Boulevard" express the feelings the Robbins had for the band:

"We know we're old and a little crazy, too,

"But we feel you're ours -- each one of you.

"A bigger fan you'll never find,

"For you're stuck with us till the end of time."

"We want to take this time to say

"To the Medworths, staff and band,

"We thank yo and we love you

"'Cause we're your greatest fans."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: