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Blind man has memorized his every step in downtown Little Rock

Jim Robertson has been blind for over 60 years after a scary accident. Thanks to professionals in Little Rock, he has maintained his sense of independence.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Meet Dr. Jim Robertson, who's a Sunday school teacher at Parkway Baptist Church in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. 

If you were in Little Rock around 10 a.m. on Friday and had passed by Capitol and Main, there's a good chance that you would have seen him. 

Dr. Robertson has been blind since an eventful day January of 1960, which the tragic accident happening around 7:15 in the morning as he headed to college to take an exam that day.

"I crashed my good looking Fairlane Ford into the side of a County dump truck," Dr. Robertson said.

That accident would leave him blind. Fortunately, he discovered the Arkansas World Services for the Blind. That service would also be the reason why he returned tp Little Rock, 62 years after the accident.

"It was down here [in] downtown [Little Rock] where I made what we call in those days, my solo walk," he said. 

It's been decades since he received the aid from Little Rock professional, but he can still tell you the whole route.

"I went from 5th and Main [Street] up to 2nd and Main, turned left across Louisiana cross center," he said.

Robertson's first solo trip earned him the World Enterprises for the Blind pin, which depicts a cane with wings.

"One of the proudest moments that you could imagine because I knew from then on that when I needed or wanted to go somewhere by myself, I could do it

That wasn't the end of his journey either. Robertson would go to Mississippi to get multiple college degrees and become a college professor. He also went on to author several books, serve in Mississippi's legislature, and serve as executive director of the Hattiesburg Habitat for Humanity.

No matter where his journey takes him, Dr. Robertson attributes his time in Arkansas as one of the big reasons he was able to achieve those milestones.

"I couldn't have done it without the training I got in beautiful downtown Little Rock, Arkansas," he said.

That's why returned to Little Rock, so he could retrace those meaningful steps.

"The fact that I wanted to do it and prove to myself that although I'm now an 82 year old man, I can still enjoy my independence and have a little security in the knowledge that my mind is still reasonably good," Robertson said.

Despite all the years that have passed, time had not erased his fondness for the city that had enabled a life well lived.

"If something happened to me right now, and all of a sudden the end was [here], I tell you I'd go out with a smile," Robertson said. 


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