Monteagle native, Barry Rollins, is a familiar face on the mountain. In addition to working at a local bank, he is active in multiple civic organizations. He recently sat down with the Herald to discuss his busy life and why he loves Grundy County.
Thank you for letting us get a glimpse into your life. Can you tell us where you were born? “Well, I was born at the clinic at Cumberland Heights, but grew up in Monteagle. My parents are Charles and Norma Rollins.”
Did you go to Monteagle Elementary? “Yes, I did. I played sports during those years. I was on Coach Bill Bennett’s first basketball team at Monteagle. I played football for the Junior Jackets. And, I played baseball for Dolphus Pickett. Back then, we didn’t have team names like the Braves. We were Red, Blue, or Green!”
You went to Grundy County High School. Did you continue to play sports? “I played basketball until I hurt my ankle.”
What were the highlights of high school? “I was active in Beta Club, Student Council, and the Honor Society. I was junior class president.”
When did you graduate? “In 1982. I went on to MTSU. I graduated from there with a Liberal Arts degree.”
What was your first job after graduation? “I worked for the Department of Human Services in Tracy City. It was an interesting time. While I was there, we switched the office over to computers – from strictly keeping records with paper. And, I was there when EBT came in. Before that, all food stamps were handled with paper.”
Your current job is with Citizens State Bank. “I moved to the bank as vice-president in 2007.”
Several civic organizations in the area benefit from your help? “I am on the board of the Mountain Goat Trail Association and on the board of the South Cumberland Community Fund.
“I am on the board of the Monteagle Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. I just came off the board of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.”
You are active in politics. What offices have you held? “I was on the County Commission for 2 years and Mayor of Tracy City for two years. At the time I was mayor in Tracy, my dad was mayor in Monteagle. We were the only father and son in the state who were mayors of neighboring towns at the same time.”
All that, and you have a family! “My wife Rhonda and I have one daughter, Alexis. Rhonda is the sales manager for Cumulus Media and Alexis is in the Physical Therapy doctorate program at UTC. She graduated in 2013 from Sanford with a degree in Exercise Science.”
What do you like to do in your free time? “I love to travel with my family. Our biggest trip was 3-weeks in Australia. I hadn’t done my homework before we left, and when we got to Sydney it was forty degrees. I had only packed for warm weather. It took us almost two weeks to get far enough north where the weather was warmer.
“I also love to golf. A group of guys and I take a golf trip every year. This is our nineteenth year.”
Living and working in Grundy County, what do you think the county needs? “We need to focus on tourism. We have so much to offer – parks, hiking, and more. We need to take advantage of our natural resources. There are several groups on the mountain focused on bring tourism into the area. It would be great if we all got together to get this accomplished.”
Is there something about you that would surprise people? “Not much! I do own a trophy and engraving business, J.R. Productions. And, I liked to go to trivia night at the Gizzard in Tracy.”
Barry, who currently lives in Tracy City with his family, says that he loves the people of Grundy County and has met many of them in years of public service. When he retires, he wants to travel, his favorite pastime, and spend time with his family.
For more information on the Mountain Goat Trail, visit mountaingoattrail.org.