Clark Hollow Ramblings: The Volunteer

This is another column that I wish I didn’t have to write. You see, my friend, Frank Huff, passed away last week. The name Frank Huff was synonymous with the Flint Hill Volunteer Fire and Rescue Company. Frank was always there. He helped with anything that needed to be done. His father before him played a large role in the formation and development of the fire and rescue organization here in Flint Hill.

Frank held many different leadership positions in our fire department. He was always involved with the operational end of the organization. Our house is situated just across the old carnival lot from the firehouse. We have been here about 14 years, and on more days than not, Frank’s car was parked in the first parking place next to the front door of the firehall. I can’t tell you how Linda and I will miss seeing that big four-door sedan parked in that spot.

Frank was often the representative of our fire department to the county fire organization and to the county government, as a whole. He knew how things worked and he was an excellent spokesperson, not just for the volunteers in Flint Hill, but for all the county volunteers who worked in the various fire departments and rescue squads.

It is hard to know what to say about Frank and his spirit of volunteerism. It went deeper than that with Frank. It had to do with community and, indeed, with a sense of belonging. It had to do with giving back to the community and keeping our citizens safe and their properties protected. And while Frank often served in a leadership role, he was the kind of leader who would work right alongside you to get the job done.

On a somewhat more personal basis, let me tell you some of the things Frank and I had in common, and these activities were a large part of the many conversations we had over the years. Frank liked motorcycles and riding his Harley. My big old road bike was a BMW, but that didn’t matter. We talked motorcycles and riding when that was on our minds.

Frank was a sharpshooter with a rifle. Many a tale passed between us about what I had done with my .22-250, and what he had done with his latest acquisition in that area. He had a few more rifles than I did, and he certainly knew more about punching tight groups in paper. But it is safe to say that between us we kept the county safe from being overrun by groundhogs and a few other varmints.

And Frank and I shared a deep and abiding love of hunting the white-tailed deer. We never hunted together, but the way we told and retold and embellished our stories, you would have thought that we had spent many a night in the same deer camp. The truth is, we both tended to be solitary hunters. And it hurts me to know I won’t have Frank to share my stories with, and to listen to his.

Frank Huff will be sorely missed by his friends and neighbors here in Flint Hill and in the county at large. To Sherry and Robbie and to the rest of Frank’s family and loved ones, you have our deepest sympathy and condolences. And you have our sincere gratitude for sharing with us this good man who did so much for the community and the people he loved.

Rest well, my friend. You will not be forgotten.

Richard Brady
About Richard Brady 151 Articles
Richard Brady was born and raised within sight of Rappahannock Peak, as was his father, grandfather, great-grandfather, great-great-grandfather, etc. He graduated from George Mason University and was employed for 35 years with various agencies of the federal government. He retired in 2001, and he and his wife, Linda, live in Flint Hill, Va.