A memorable prep year thanks to Frank

Published 1:38 pm Monday, August 21, 2023

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At the beginning of The Skyline Drive is a town in Virginia named Front Royal where I spent a year of my life.  Billy Jarman and others went to school in this town.  At the advice from Mrs. Jarman, my dad decided I should attend in order to get my grades up after high school.  I met many friends there that are lifetime friends now.  One was the late John Charles Frank Grimaldi, who I have not seen since graduation, but will never forget him.

On the day we were to report for early football practice, my mom and dad took me to Randolph Macon Academy, where I spent the best year of my life.  That is where I met Frank Grimaldi.  After unpacking my belongings into my room, my mom and dad departed back home to Washington, N. C.  I was sitting on my bed waiting for my roommate and feeling sorry for myself.  It was the first time I was away from home and I didn’t know when I was going to see my mom and dad again.  I sat on the bed shedding a few tears, then Frank walked by.  He said to me, “What you feeling so bad about”.  My mom and dad just left for home, was my reply.  His reply was, “What if you did not have parents”? Frank was an orphan and had been dropped off to play football for RMA, Of course, I did not know that.  He told me when I felt like it, I could come down to his room and have cookies and meet the other guys.  That dried my eyes up and I felt at home with Frank.

Frank soon became my defensive tackle on my right side, along with George McIntyre (nose guard) from Virginia Beach, Va. and David Farely (DE) from Egg Harbor, New Jersey.  Between the three, I have never felt so protected, having never played linebacker.

I did not know that Frank would become the Tour King.  A cadet got a tour when he got so many demerits.  Frank had so many he could not walk them all in year.  The tour line was right in front of the exit when you walked downtown and Frank never went down to Front Royal.  He always got what he had ordered from town by me.  He would place an order and wrote it down on paper so that I would not forget it.   That was the least I could do for some one that made me feel at home.  There other stories I would like to share with you about Frank but you can ask Mac Currin who resides at North Shores.

Young people, do what you can to feel at home. I did not know Frank was an orphan and it never crossed my mind.  So, as you leave for home going to college, do not take anything for granted and appreciate all that you have at home!

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.