My parents and I moved out to Bucknell Heights in June or July of 1959 and I've lived here about 18, 19 years. I'm an alumnus of the school and now treasurer of the Groveton High School Boosters and that is my basic involvement, but I have a great love and a great belief in the young people of today.
I started at the first G. H. S. of Popkins Lane in September of 1959. We had a fantastic basketball team. We were undefeated in Fairfax County play for I believe 32 or 33 straight games. That was back in the time when Northern Virginia was divided into Fairfax County, Arlington County, and Alexandria City. We could beat everybody but it seems like when we played the powerhouse, Washington and Lee, over in Arlington, we'd always come away on the lower end of the score.
I remember the days when Stoneybrooke was a mansion and lots of vacant fields and when Beacon Mall and the apartments up there were an airport and a neat place to go driving cars and just hiding out and doing things. I remember when Fort Hunt High School wasn't there! All the area down there was woods. The biggest change is in the continued development. I remember when I was just a little kid riding my bicycle from Alexandria down to Bucknell Heights (it must have been about 1955) and Route 1 was a four lane road at best and there wasn't much traffic. The Dixie Pig was still where it is now, but there weren't so many people out here.
Believe it or not, I liked it when the airplanes used to come in over my house on the final approach to Beacon Field, and Popkins Farm was truly a farm, but we've kept pace with the rest of the nation and we've grown and things have gotten better in the way of services provided by the county, and things to do. But I still kind of yearn for the old days when you didn't have to fight a major traffic tie-up just to get across Route One at Beacon Hill Road.
My basic philosophy on today's youth is that all the youth are good and they're where it's at. The youth of today are tomorrow, they're the future. I think some people get high on drugs and alcohol. I get high on working with young people, that's my emotional high.
When we were growing up and going to G.H.S. we used to go over to Mount Comfort Cemetery and we'd play football and hit golf balls. One night we were camped out and we saw what we thought were ghosts. We weren't really quite sure. We used to run on the grave sites at Mt. Comfort Cemetery and I suppose we rattled a few of the people up, and they'd come up to get us one night.