Knight finds being Chamber ‘friend’ easy

Published 2:00 pm Friday, May 13, 2022

Robert “Bob” Knight may sound gruff during a conversation, but he’s just telling it like it is, that’s all. He’s a to-the-point no-nonsense kind of person.

But he’s not gruff about everything. Proof that Knight has a soft spot is his work with the Brookhaven Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce — a task he’s not hesitant to say he enjoys.

“They do so much for the county, that anything I can do to help, I will,” he says.

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Knight serves the county as the Lincoln County solid waste coordinator. He doesn’t have anything to do with regular trash pickup (or prices thereof) — his job is to “Keep Lincoln County Beautiful” with events such as yard waste collection and other cleanups the county works to schedule through the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors.

“Bob is a very valuable asset to Lincoln County,” says County Administrator Daniel Calcote. “He is great at finding illegal dump sites all throughout the county and getting them cleaned up as soon as possible. 

“If anyone lets us know about a trash problem in the county, we know we can count on Bob to get it cleaned up quickly. He definitely helps to keep Lincoln County beautiful.”

The Chamber rewarded Knight during its March 24 banquet with the Friend of the Chamber Award to thank Knight for his continuing and consistent support of the Chamber’s endeavors.

“I’m really honored by it,” Knight said, “It really meant a lot to me and I was surprised.” But not too surprised — Chamber personnel tried to get Knight to the banquet without him knowing about the award because they wanted to surprise him. That didn’t go over well; Knight is not much for surprises.

“They had to tell me before I’d come,” he says with a laugh. “I had things to do! But when they told me, I was really honored they wanted to do that.”

Knight feels a kinship with the Chamber because of the projects the entity takes on. 

“The Chamber does a lot for Brookhaven,” he said. “They help to create jobs. They plant flowers and trees and they want this area to look nice. I don’t mind helping them do that. I’m proud to be part of the team that way.”

Knight has lived in Brookhaven for 41 years. He is married to Pattie and they have two children, Brian and Kimberly. 

A Navy man descended from another Navy man, Knight has traveled the world — sometimes two or three times. A military kid originally from Rhode Island, he has an interesting tidbit about his early life — his family lived right next door to where the original Goodyear Blimp was parked.

Knight’s father was a Navy recruiter stationed in Jackson — twice. Later, when Bob was ready to enter the Navy himself, his father checked him in and — to Bob’s surprise — the event instantly became his father’s retirement service as well. The memory is a special one for the younger Knight.

One thing his father told him stuck with him: When the family was readying to move to Mississippi for his father’s job, his dad warned him (and his sister) that their fascination with critters was something he might want to rethink. “Son, you play with a snake in Mississippi, you will die.”

Bob Knight remembered that. Since he’s still with us (as is his sister), I suppose the lesson sunk in well.