Letter from Richard A Rollins.

As soon as I received the email address of Mr. Rollins from Mr. Cooke I sent him a Reunion invitation/notification. Below is his response. I thought you might have a memory you'd like to share or just may take this opportunity to say "hi".  You can respond via this website where it will be shared and others 68/69ers and teachers can read and reply; or you can email him directly and privately at RARollins@charter.net  In typical Mr. Rollins style here is his eloquent response to our invitation:

Jo, et al:

Thanks so much for your kind invitation to your FIFTIETH (that’s half a CENTURY!) high school reunion.  Let me say immediately that I will not be able to attend (explanation to follow).

I heard about this up-coming event from Al Cooke, who told me that you were looking for other teachers of the vintage.  I got his the same day I got yours, so you did follow-up immediately with new info.  I still am good friends with Mr. Cooke as well as with Robert Thomas, who you may remember as one of your elementary teacher or, if you ae now a Manassas City resident, as the elementary principal of one of your children  (or in the case of Dennis Miller, the principal for whom you worked.)

Even though I can’t believe that it’s YOUR 50th HS reunion, I have recently celebrated my 55th HS reunion and my 50th college reunion.  Time does pass by.

I started teaching at OHS in the fall of ’66, so that would be one year before these two years that you’re celebrating.  I do so hope that some of you may say that your learned SOMEthing in one of my classes.  That’s all any teacher really wants to hear!

I do remember those years fondly; however, I left teaching (I thought) soon after and moved away to Knoxville, TN, where I completed work for a master’s degree in Journalism.  Never thinking we would return to Manassas and teaching, the job market was slow when I finished (as many of you may remember, too) but I was fortunate enough to have a few friends at OHS, and I returned thereto.  Over the next few years I taught at OHS (county), OPHS (county), then back to OHS (city) as an original Eagle.  (While we lived there this time, our son, Rick, was a student in Dennis Miller’s 5thgrade class.  – rather off the subject, but an interesting sidelight.)

                Again, things changed and we moved from Manassas to be closer to home and widowed mothers who were needing more attention. I left the field of teaching (again, I thought) and worked as the front-end manager of a Mon & Pop’s grocery store, until it closed due to big-box stores competition.  I THEN went back to teaching in the Bristol Virginia system, even though my children (a boy and girl both born in Manassas ) went to school where we lived in Bristol Tennessee.

                I generally am well with a few problems that may go with old age or may have been my luck to entertain.  About the same time as your Reunion in the spring, I will be going to Bethesda MD, for a follow-up visit for a cancer that has been in remission since 2011.  (Mr.  Cooke and Mr. Thomas both visited me while I was hospitalized there earlier that year.)  I have nothing to complain about, as I have been greatly blessed with good doctors (of which I have many), good friends and a great family.  My wife and I have the aforementioned two children and six grandchildren.

I hope you have a wonderful time together, and if you produce a booklet about your classes, I would love a copy.

                Again, thanks for remembering me so kindly.


Richard Rollins


PS:   Sorry about the length, but I’ve always been a great talker.