My Dad, Romie Gayhart, is a wise, funny, clever,
hunk of a man who got ‘the girl’ and raised three happy kids that love and
respect him. Along the way he has touched the lives of many and I wish to
gather as many impressions of him that I can. I wish to record the
affect he has had on the many people who have been lucky enough to know him.
I always remember O'pa as the guy who said 'If you're going to do something, do it right' -- I've never, ever been good at sticking to that, but as I get older, every day I realize how important it is. O'pa has always been good at everything. When he says something, it's always the most perfectly timed and funny thing to say. He always looks dapper. He always knows how to 'fix it'. I've always wanted to be like him, especially when I heard stories of camping and fishing and playing pranks. The pranks were always my favorite stories growing up, of course. We're always pretty much in awe of O'pa when we talk about him, and we love the hell out of him. I see a lot of my grandfather in my father and I hope some of it made it to me.
My favorite stories about O'pa are the ones that
are told second hand - because they become legends! So many times I've heard my
mom and dad tell stories about O'pa to my friends, and to me... I have a lot of
them memorized and I definitely wasn't there for them. O'pa jumping out of
trees - O'pa blaming a bodily noise on a snooty woman walking past -- O'pa
releasing some salamanders in a tent.
I love him!!! The prank stories are the greatest!!!
I always remember coming to visit and uncle Romie giving me and little Kelly the plastic holders his cigars came in so we could go an catch lightning bugs!!!
Jannie Ryans Kenworthy
There are many prank stories! He trained a dog to stomp out his cigarette butts too.
Get out-that's funny.
Jannie Ryans Kenworthy
He went without teeth for several years. He had been saving money to get his teeth. Aunt Betty found the money and thought he was keeping it from her. So, he just didn't get teeth for 7 years, I think it was. He could eat steak, apples, about anything without teeth.
Jackie Gayhart Hoine
I been trying to think of one great story or memory about my Uncle Romie; however, one is impossible as I have a childhood of wonderful memories. It was always so much fun going to Uncle Romie's and Aunt Betty's house - which we did often. He always kept me laughing or screaming! Although I haven't gotten to spend the time with him in my adult years like my youth - I have never forgotten how fun and loving he is. So - memories .... I remember - like it was yesterday - that he pierced my ears the first time .... down in the basement of the house on Maryland Parkway. He took ice cubes, froze my earlobes then took a huge fishing hook and then with a potato behind my lobe and pushed it through my earlobes! OUCH! Then the strangest thing .... I sat still for him to do the second one! Gosh, how I trusted him! I remember when we were real little when he would come to our house .... in the car ready to leave .... he would call me over and with the window rolled down ... tell me to put my hands in the window .... then, he would hold my hands with one hand and take off down the road with me hanging on the car! OK ... Mom screamed on that one! Many many fond memories .... of a man that I love and always showed me he cared. I love you Uncle Romie and hope to see you soon. All my love to you and prayers for you .... Jackie
Omg. Now that's a story!!!! I never knew he pierced your ears!! Now that was brave...he might have pierced your nose for a good joke!! Lol
I was very young the last time I saw Romie.. but
what I remember most?
My uncle Romie was always such a pleasant man to be around. I loved visiting him when i was in Florida visiting my grandma and grandpa. He always had a smile on his face and loved to ride around in his golf cart with us. My grandma loved him dearly and thought the world of him. I'm saying prayers for all. Love you uncle Romie.
Romie, you are the best. Whenever we needed something fixed at our house, you were there. When we visited you and Betty in Florida, you always managed to take me for a ride in the golf cart & then take me shopping at the largest flea market I had ever seen. Romie and I love to shop just for unusual things. Thanks.
To create a legend you have to start with a truth, and as the truth expands the legend begins, these are truths: Romie came into our family when I was around ten years old....I can honestly say that he was one of the best athletes I have ever seen....he was self-taught and mastered all of these sports...bowling, he could bowl 200 with either hand.....golf, he never had a lesson and started at a late age and mastered the game.....pool, one of the best I have ever seen around here, he was hard to table hook...softball, he could pitch and had all of the pitches...volleyball, you would not be across the net from one of his spikes, returning his serve was not an easy task.....fishing, the bass in those Tennessee lakes had no chance......I would not venture a guess as to how much money he won from those retirees in Florida playing shuffleboard.......Romie is a brutally honest man if you did not want the truth, then don't ask him the question.....he is an inspiration to me and many others....he is small in stature, with a heart as big as a mountain.....I am proud to say he is my brother-in law.....and can unabashedly say that I love him very much!!!! So let the legend live!!!!!
You are so right Uncle Scott !!
Alan Reed Crawford
Hmmm, as I sit here reminiscing on which Uncle Romie story I should write. I have come to the conclusion that there is no one story that sums Romie up as a person, uncle or man. He has so many layers of, for lack of better words “AWESOMENSS” I can’t put a finger on just one but I will try to keep it short. Growing up the youngest of all the cousins when the family got together I was often pushed aside. All the other cousins had grown, and the last thing anyone wanted to deal with is a” brat kid”. I usually got the “go play” or “go watch TV.” Uncle Romie always took the time to interact with me, from teaching me how to shoot pool, teaching me how to play hearts, or fix whatever toy I may have broken. In the couple years we lived behind them on Maryland Court. I began to realize what a unique soul Uncle Romie truly is, I saw firsthand his Zen-ness. He is meticulous with everything; his ability to take something apart and put it back together again is breathtaking. He does something once or twice and it’s mastered. I spent many hours just hanging out with Uncle Romie in those years and he never ceased to amaze me. One time Uncle Romie had gotten this alabaster chess set in an auction. I was just really getting into chess, we played a game. I lost of course but Uncle Romie gave me that chess set, just to give it to me. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of Uncle Romie stories and what he means to me. His kindness and sense of humor is unmatched. He is probably the only person in this world that can make me laugh with a fart joke. I could go on forever, but I have this quote that best fits Uncle Romie:
That great Reed, Thanks !! I started to write down a few things about dad and its ending up to be a book !! Its hard for me to pick out just one thing to write about.
Alan Reed Crawford
It's hard to write just a small portion of how you feel about Uncle Romie. He is like an onion, so many layers. He truly is one of a kind. I sent my thoughts to the email but felt I should post it here as well. We will see you Easter weekend Don.
I had no idea that Romie was all of these things. To me, he was the dad of my best college roommate. He was quiet but made me feel welcome whenever I came home with Terry. I always liked him, he was "cool" in the way that he watched over things without being oppressive. There were probably things that we did that he didn't approve of, but he gave us space to figure things out for ourselves and somehow made sure that things never got out of hand. I am a better person for having known him.
Gigantic prankster. You never knew when he was serious. Lol
I was always afraid as amid that uncle Romie would put a frog down my back!!! He was such a prankster according to his sisters!
Shirley Ann Yates
Persephone loves her Opa
Yes she does!!
A truly great father-in-law as any man could ask for, all of my love.
Amy Crawford Boggs
All I can say is I love him very much. I am happy to have him as my favorite Uncle
That's a great picture!
I can remember sitting and talking to him at the kitchen table in flatwoods and listen to him telling stories and just have a very goodtime being around him and his family they always made me feel at home sorry i can't make i would of loved to
What can be said about a man who has given so many kids his heart!!!!!
I love you Romie and I pray for your salvation. I remember one time we were fishing on the Ohio River. The fish weren't biting so we rowed the boat to the edge of the dam wall. We got out and stood on the top on the wall and looked way down on the Ohio side. I turned my back and you jumped out like a bullfrog into the river far below. When you got out of the water I proceded to read you your pedigree. You just laughed. You could have been killed on the rocks. But, that's just the way you were. You never feared anything. I love you my brother. You are in my prayers. I wish I could be there with you and the rest of the family! Your brother, Kelly Gayhart
Romie, I never could figure out why Kelly always called you "Burr-Head". I don't believe I ever saw you with a short haircut. It has always been long and wavy. You were always so sweet to me. I thank you for welcoming me into the family. You are a much beloved brother-in-law and you are also in my prayers. Love, Pat
Every time we got to Granny's trailer, the first thing I'd do is go see Uncle Romie & Aunt Betty. He's such a cool guy. Really funny in his man of few words way. He'd always be ready to get the little moped out and ready for me to ride around the neighborhood. You be sure to tell him I love him very much.
Jannie Ryans Kenworthy
He makes the best marinades! Really should bottle some of those concoctions! And I just remembered about the time you gave all us hot, thirsty kids "cider!" It was hard cider and we almost barfed!
Jannie Ryans Kenworthy
Love the picture. You have always been captain of the ship
Kathy Greene Atkins
I remember him well!
I remember Romie being pretty quiet but always shareing LOVE with his chrildren ( and all the other kids that passed thru thier home) and especially his lovely wife Betty. Always fond memories of being in the Gayhart home. love you guys ; )
Robert A Hale Sr.
I remember when would practice the band in the basement..
I remember Romie when I was a kid running around with Terry. Romie extended my bicycle front forks by welding another set of forks onto them. I thought that was the koolest bike around. He was always nice to me. I hope he is doing well.
I know I am a little late but wanted to share in the memories of Uncle Romie, I remember as young kids going to Flatwoods to visit everyone and spending time in the basement of his house, it always smelled of coffee which I loved. It was a warm feeling. I recall uncle Romie really embarrassing me in my preteens by asking me "Where did I find my shirt with those bumps on it". It was so clever thinking back on it now. He will be missed.
TO BE CONTINUED... MORE TO COME...
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