67 miles one way. That’s how far Rocky drives to work each day from his home near Skyline Drive to his job at Green Hedges, and he doesn’t mind you knowing that he’s been making that drive since he was 17 years old. Since 2000 Rocky has worked for Green Hedges full time, so full time, in fact, that one former Head of School had to talk him into staying away on weekends.
At the beginning of his career Rocky worked as a helper to his uncle Lloyd Jenkins, who served as Green Hedges buildings and grounds keeper for many years. The family tradition of working on campus has included Rocky’s father, two of his brothers, two uncles, and some nephews, and they have always done it with gusto. Rocky takes care of maintenance and construction projects that can be done in-house, and he has done his share of heroic snow shoveling, sometimes in the middle of the night. One of Rocky’s most creative moments came a few years ago when the library had to be moved from its former location on the second floor of the Stable to where it is now, in Kilmer Hall. Carrying all the books down so many stairs would have been difficult, so Rocky and his uncle invented a slide that could support milk cartons full of books being launched from above, pitched at an angle that caused the cartons to decelerate safely as they arrived below. Not only was it a practical solution, it also made moving a lot more fun!
Remarking on his years of working at the school, Rocky says, “I used to be so shy. I’d walk away if anybody tried to talk to me. But over the years some of the people here kept after me, and now I feel so comfortable, I’ve turned into a chatterbox.” At his home in Rappahannock County, Rocky lives on acreage shared with members of his immediate family. Here, at the other end of his drive, he seems to feel just as much at home.
Contact: Green Hedges School | c/o Rocky Kidwell | 415 Windover Ave, NW, Vienna, VA, 22180