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December 06, 2016
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In the wake of Frank Robisch’s passing

Isaac Green Diebboll

What are our differences? What are their limits? Can we live together, be friends together and be different? How different? Where is the line? Where is the bridge?

After the funeral I drove up to my childhood home on Robisch Hill Rd., which the Reynolds family has recently vacated.

I looked at the broken window on the second floor and at the scattered remains of furniture strewn across the lawn.

When I looked at the house I missed the Reynolds and then my childhood, too, even though the house looked nothing like the one in my memory.

Suddenly death overcame me. The sky was grey, the dog house was empty and a wild cat darted into the bushes.

I looked to my land, full of potential, and then back to the abandoned house I hoped to return to—“I will transform this land and this house into a school, a place for all, for everyone to have the chance to learn about one another.”

Sitting here typing at my computer I strangely don’t feel nostalgic or sad, just heavy with responsibility for the work I feel ahead of me.

So many bridges that need building. So many words that need listening.

In the end, I really just love humans.

I love the human presence that is evil and good.

I love that we make mistakes, that we get angry, that we are passionate, that we love and laugh.

I love the complexity of who we are. I love what I don’t understand about us.

We are truly that aspect of nature that is beyond all logic. We make this planet the earth that it is, whether we kill it or save it.

[Frank Robisch passed away on September 1 at age 85. He was laid to rest on September 4 in North Branch Lutheran Cemetery, North Branch, NY. The author, Isaac Green Diebboll, born in New York City in 1989, is in the process of starting a school on his family’s property in the Town of Delaware to honor his father, John Joseph Diebboll, The Diebbolls and the Robisches were neighbors on Robisch Hill in the Town of Delaware. For information about Isaac Diebboll’s school, visit or email him at]