If Friday’s at Romano’s was a time of fellowship Saturdays was a time of Family.
That because Mike’s sons Josh Romano and Todd Romano would be in the house working alongside their father.
Both have full time jobs. Josh is a School Principal in Winchester and a former Major in the Army who had deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Gitmo Todd is in sales, but when Saturday came they became the local butchers along with their father as they had since they were very young. During the busy season you would also see son CJ and before she got married his daughter and occasionally his wife would be down too.
Just about every grandchild in the family who was old enough has worked behind that counter or at the cash register. If Mike had lived a few years longer you never know if one of them might have decided to take the work on themselves, or perhaps open a couple of days a week
And there were folks like Katie who had been there for years, and Michelle who has worked there for the last ten and carried the ball all this week working. Occasionally the thought came that they might keep up the business, but the same two problems came up.
You couldn’t have a part time butcher shop because of spoilage. The meat has to be sold and sold within a specific period of time. Even closing Sundays posed a problem along those lines after the funeral and as for another person taking over, once the Business was sold 100 years of updated laws that Romano’s had been grandfathered in would have to be observed by the new owners. Combined with the cost of buying the business it became prohibitave.
So for the last time today I will buy a steak and some hamburg and enjoy the meats that I’ve eaten for the nearly three decades that I’ve lived in this neighborhood, but that loss will pale before the lost of the people that I whose faces I’ve seen for decades, the boys and girls who have grown into men and women with kids of their own and who have watch my own kids grow from being carried into the shop to coming in to do their own shopping.
They are like a family and I will miss them an awful lot and I suspect that as much as we all will miss Mike, the loss of that entire extended family will be the thing that me, mine and I suspect hundreds of others will miss the most.
I thank the all the Romano’s for letting me & mine be a part of it.
And Josh and the Romano’s would like to thank you too