The End of an Era…..

Romolo’s Restaurant

Dad, at eighty-one years of age in 2011 purchased an ailing, Romolo’s Restaurant.  He and he alone (with family and when I say that I am including Tim Cook) – refurbished the place and all within it’s crumbling interior.  He expressed to me the many times he had to mortgage other properties in order to replace equipment that had failed at the restaurant.

Dad's Pizza pie at his Romolo's restaurant, love you, Dad.
Dad’s Pizza pie at his Romolo’s restaurant, love you, Dad.

I told him, “Dad, you’re sticking so much money in this place; do you think you’ll ever get it back out?”

His reply was, “I’ll never see a dime from this place, but you kids will.”

“Dad, we don’t care about that.  We all know this restaurant makes you happy, and in turn; that puts us at ease we’re just concerned about you.”

He got angry when I said that because he was the one always in control.

Dad always had a way of calming situations when voices began to rise and of allaying others worries and fears, whatever they may be.  What a true blessing he was to our family, of which, nobody can deny!

He was a favorite uncle to his many

1948 – My handsome Father

nephew’s and niece’s.  Whether it was playing the guitar and laughingly singing to them or in some instances guaranteeing loans for them when nobody else would so their dreams could be met.  Sometimes he even received a thank you for his kindness.

He was a benevolent, Father, forever giving.  That he gave was a remembrance of his childhood when he had nothing, and even

My beautiful mother - 1948
My beautiful mother – 1948

that was taken from him.  My dad was quite a man, but now, more than a year after his death we all need to let him go so he can give full attention to his wife, brothers and sisters that went on before.

We love you Dad,  thanks for the fond memories and Happy Father’s Day…..


Yes, the time has come to put a new guard in place… I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all involved for building, Romolo’s, into a crowded house once again. I met, personally, some of the many fine patrons who all had something in common: They all loved the little, “Meatball man,” a nickname given Dad when he was a kid.

“All the kids in the neighborhood had nicknames,” and he rattled off some of those to me, but of course my memory fails me.

Dad was a busy guy who could never sit still and never had a bad thing to say about anybody, he was too busy to waste time on gossip.

And so Dad, neither will I gossip. You and Mom take care of each other and someday we will all have a big reunion in the sky, but until then – I love you, my siblings love you and many of your customers from throughout the years love you.

Most importantly – God loves you – fare thee well, Dad.


Steve Richie

Hi folks, Two lives in one lifetime. The first me, lived to age thirty-four. That Steve was overly confident and oozing with pride. Then, on a record heat-setting day (107º) here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota and western Wisconsin, a one car near-fatal wreck left me in a two-month long coma. I emerged much as I was before minus certain physical capabilities, but my mind seemed mostly in tact. The crash and its effects did not change me (I emerged a happy individual) but the deeds perpetrated against me in the ensuing months from my wife of sixteen years scared and humbled me as I was dragged down with nothing left by my wife who now had guardianship over all of our accounts. And neither would she allow me to see our kids. She took everything out of, "Our" names and changed them to her name only; then would not allow me to our home and divorced me. I was angry, but no more. I spent half of 1988 and more than half of 1989 in hospitals, nursing homes and a three month stint at a head-injury rehab center where I was being taught how to re-enter society as this different person, that I didn't know. I was not able to return to my previous line of work, a self-employed decorator, you know, painting and paperhanging. It was a physical job which required much dexterity, finesse, and a good grasp of numbers. I returned to the beginning, school, but on a community college level. One of the instructor's liked my writing and I began focusing my attention on that. I attended classes at, "The Loft," A Place for Writers in Minneapolis. While there, a classmate of mine was having her friend from New York, a CBS executive, to her home for the holidays and asked me if she could do a critique on a couple chapters of a book I was writing, "A Day I'll Never Remember" and I obliged. When she returned to class the following Monday she told me that the exec wanted a ten-page synopsis of the book for a possible movie; I was excited. After obliging for that also, I never saw or heard from her or the guy from CBS. Next thing I knew I was watching a movie called, "Regarding Henry" starring Harrison Ford and the scenes of therapy were exactly like what I went through and had written about. Regarding Henry - could've been my story except that, "Henry" got his head injury from a gunshot and his wife stayed with him throughout the ordeal. Coincidence I'm sure, though, the therapy scenes entailed what I described in the book so I always wondered..... My hope, my dream is to bolster our income for my daughter and for myself. I am and have been raising this beautiful, talented little girl who was diagnosed with autism at age two, since 2006 singlehandedly. I divorced her mother the same year following complaints that I spent too much time with our daughter. However, Stephanie began school with no need for special education. She has been reading since age four and understanding what she'd read. Stephanie maintains straight "A's" on her report card, has published two books (through school) and has been selected as an, "Honors" student for seventh grade English. My ex moved to New York to be closer to her sister and has been remarried now for a number of years. Well, that's only a snippet of my sixty-one years and I would like to thank you for reading, thank you.

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