Randolph-Macon Academy changed my life

Published 6:43 pm Monday, September 12, 2022

Upon graduation in the spring, the Class of 1967 scattered like a covey of quail.  Some went on to college, others joined the Armed Forces and some stayed home to help their parents in private business.  For me, it was Randolph Macon Academy in Front Royal, Virginia.  I had not played my senior year due to knee injury in either football or basketball and had not been much of a student.  RMA taught me three important lessons in life; the world did not revolve around Harold Robinson, showed me my best friend and taught me the meaning of brotherhood.

I went up to the Academy as their third-team quarterback but quickly found a way to be the starter.  Oh, not at quarterback but at linebacker.  The Academy had recruited the starter and it was up to me to find a position.  Also, I did not like the military life and Col. Arvin S. Williams soon found a way to teach me that it was going to stay whether I liked it or not.  He sensed it and called me into his office one day. He said, “Harold you don’t like military life do you”? My reply was that I didn’t. He said, “He came up there in 1935 and they had military life then and my cousin Bunk came in 1955 and they had it then, so why did I think they were going to drop because I didn’t like it”?  Made a lot of sense and they didn’t drop the military life.

Bucky Hill and I are the best of friends.  Throughout life if you can find one true friend you are lucky.  Bucky and I roomed together and Bucky is everyone’s grandmother and a good friend as well.  We lived together and he covered for me during study hall while I slept in the closet after a hard football practice.  Not a day goes by that I call him or he calls me even after 50 plus years.  There isn’t a thing I would not do for him and my girls call him Uncle Bucky.  His wife Gwen and Tracey are also close.  He awoke every day at 5: 00 a.m. and being the son of a cattle farmer, he got the milk into the cafeteria.  Not to my liking!

Some of the cadets were suspended before the morning for breaking the Honor Code, which was serious business.  The Brotherhood is what it is called and even to this day, I thank the cadets for accepting me into the Brotherhood.

The last thing that RMA taught me was the meaning of Brotherhood! There was nothing to do “on the hill” so we found things to do. They were strict with their honor code and enforced it.  If you were caught telling something that was a falsehood you were suspended and you got caught cheating you were suspended.

RMA helped change my life all for the good. That one year made a real difference in how I perceive things going forward in my life! I bet Mac Currin, Dick Leach and Mac Jones will tell you the same, as would the late Kenneth Snow, Herbie Perry, Jimmy Hill, Bunk Roberson, Horace Cowell, Billy Jarman, Howard Smith, Sam Lee, Dirk Dixon and Sam Cox.

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.! The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.