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Everyday Hopkins

170111 ROBINSON Billy Bizzo_7819

Billy “Bizzo” Robinson, security guard, East Baltimore campus

I needed a job when I came to Baltimore in 1972. Seems like I found a home; I haven’t been anywhere else since.

I get out here at 6 a.m. during the week. I’m outside all day, every day at the corner of Caroline and Jefferson streets. Since I’m getting old now, my legs bother me sometimes, so I try not to spend that much time in the booth. I look out not just for the employees, but everyone in the area.

The biggest thing that really sticks out of my mind? I think this was about 1980 or ’81. I came to work one Sunday morning—it was either Sunday or Saturday because everything was basically dead—that’s when the hotel was there. Before they built CRB I and II, before JHOC, there was a Sheraton hotel.

I got a call to go in front of the hotel. And it was some people from Mexico, and the lady was in labor. When I got up there, the lady at the front desk said, “Bizzo, she’s in labor. She’s about to have a baby!” At that time, when patients came to the hospital, some of them had nurses. One of the patients had a nurse with her. I was the only one with rubber gloves, and the lady said, “You ever delivered a baby before?” I said, “No, ma’am.” She said: “I’m going to tell you what to do. Hold your hands out, when the baby comes out. Just hold it, just hold it.” And as the baby’s feet came out, the ambulance came and I said, “What do I do now?” She said, “Just hold him until the ambulance people get here.” That was a new experience for me.

The other thing that sticks out of my mind: The dialysis unit used to be around the other side before they built CRB I and II, and this man, I used to call him the General—he was a colonel in the Air Force. His nephew brought him here for dialysis treatment. And I hollered: “Hey, General, how you doing, man, how are things going? Give me one of those war stories.” He was talking and then all of the sudden he went down. I called to him, “General, are you all right?” All of a sudden, he just died. We did CPR on him, but it didn’t help any. He died on the spot.

Out of all the things going on in the world, the little things you count are blessings. Sometimes somebody might give me a bottle of water or words of encouragement. I usually say something crazy to get people laughing in the morning—after two cups of coffee, I can usually start working.

When you think you're not influencing people's lives, it's kind of funny what you find out. As you go through this life, if you're not helping or encouraging somebody, you're not really doing anything.

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