There have been a lot of good athletes wear the blue and gray for Washington-Lee High School but few who remained in Arlington long enough to share their memorable stories.  Richard Johnson, known as “Biff” to his friends, is one of those few.  His former playing and coaching days in Arlington were brought to my attention by our mutual friend Tony D., and as of this writing Mr. Johnson still lives in Arlington, the county where he was born in 1930.

After scanning photos and articles from his scrapbook, I called to ask questions of the 88-year-old and found his mind remarkably sharp.  The scrapbook is loaded with wonderful pictures and articles, including his Washington-Lee playing days which caused us both to contemplate how the school name could ever be changed?  The memories below continue through the coaching days for Mr. Johnson, who coached quite a few local kids, many who have sadly passed away.  One of those no longer with us was a Little Leaguer named Bobby Rimmer, who grew up to be the adored head football coach at W-L in the 1970’s.  Mr. Johnson even coached a Little Leaguer who grew up to become a Redskins legend.

“Biff” recalled his father, Paul Johnson, who was a Fire Chief in Clarendon during the 1920’s and 1930’s, when Arlington only had four stations.  He was thrilled to share stories about the 1949 W-L baseball team which won the state championship but lost in the regionals in Johnson City, TN.  He went on to discuss his early career years when he worked at the post office in Buckingham until 1952, then left to join the Central Intelligence Agency.

Thank you, Mr. Johnson, for sharing some of your treasures with Arlington.