Era Margaret Hollady
Era was born in Greensboro, N. C., June 23, 1904. She was the second of five children. Her father. Manley L. Hollady, was a Quaker Preacher and also in the construction business.
Era was raised a city girl in a household with all the modern conveniences of the day. At 16 she was living in St. Petersburg, Fla. Her father was constructing a building for the government there. This is when she met and married her husband Fred T. Robinson, age 24 or 25. He may have been working for her father at the time. They were married Dec. 16, 1921 and lived for a while in Florida.
Their first child, Mary Elizabeth, was born in 1922. There were six children in all. Freddie Margaret was born in 1923, James Manley in 1925, Charles Luther in 1928, Donald Thomas in 1935 and finally the hind-ender, Max Calvin, in 1942. The family eventually moved to the countryside near Cliffside, N. C.
From Charles Robinson’s The Music Maker, a tribute to his mother:
Life in the country was strange and much harder than city life Era was used to. Fred, in the construction business, worked away from home. He was only with the family on the weekends. Housework, a growing family and the Depression made life awfully difficult and lonesome. All of this may have been too much to bear except for the gift of music and sunny optimism given her by God. Era’s life revolved around her family, the church and the opportunities given her to play and sing. Just naturally she began to teach her children the joy of music. Music was one of the ways the family worshipped God, ministered to neighbors, or just entertained each other at home, or anywhere. That music became the bond that held the family close then, just as it does today. The love of God and scripture embedded in the heart of each of her six children led them to follow in their parents’ footsteps in worship and praise through music. Her husband Fred passed away suddenly in 1954 at the age of 58. Era lived another thirty years in the little white house out from Cliffside. Max was only 11 at the time. Those years were spent in loving and nurturing her family and ministering to people all around with her gift of laughter and especially music.
Era Margaret Robinson went home to be with the Lord on Nov. 10, 1984. This was the eulogy delivered by her grandson, Dean Sisk:
Be thou faithful unto death and l will give you a crown of life.
By this world’s standard my grandmother would not be counted among the great. To me she was more than great, she was faithful. She was a faithful wife, always introducing herself as Mrs. Fred Robinson. She was a faithful mother and grandmother. You never saw signs of favoritism.
She was always looking for ways to encourage and stand up for each one of us. She was a faithful friend, never criticizing anyone. She was faithful to her church, always serving in whatever way she could. She used the gifts God gave her to minister through music and encouragement to all.
Some of the most vivid memories I have of her were imprinted during my childhood. I remember hot summer afternoons playing in our yard and hearing the sound of the piano coming from her house down the road. I remember Robinson get-togethers at her house catching lightning bugs and eating homemade ice cream. Gathered around the piano in the living room would be those loud Robinsons. Ingrained in each of them was a love for each other and a love for gospel music. She lived her faith and in being faithful she was all that our Lord ever expects or demands.
Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy Lord.
Era sometimes wrote poetry. For a sample of her work go here.