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Thread: Joe Rome: Stafford Auto Supply

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Joe Rome: Stafford Auto Supply

    Joe and Master Oil (Wayne Baldwin) were college roommates...I really only met Joe three years ago, how we missed each other over the years, but Joe and I seem like best friends. Joe loves Boat racing as many of us do...

    Joe was Comodore of The Lone Star Boat Racing Club, Referee at three UIM World Championships, Crew member for Louis Williams, Wayne Baldwin and Tim Butts. Joe has been around Boat Racing for 50 years.

    He Owns a wholesale Auto Parts, Tools and Accessories store in Stafford, Texas...

    Joe made the DVD for the 2007 DePue Reunion, and of the $1,000 we donated to the US Title Series, most of the money came from DVD sales...

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    Default Joe Rome - Long tall Texan

    It's about time that Ron got a Joe Rome thread going. When we were racing in TX, there was nobody more gracious to visiting racers than Joe Rome. It is like he was appointed to welcome you to the races. Made sure nobody had any problems. Had me towed out of the mud pit in San Antonio. We always looked forward to seeing Joe and Doris. Now Joe has spent the last thirty years teasing me. Taking pictures of me doing stupid things, like trying to jump out of the two man runabout. Have done so many ill thought things. How about some Joe Rome stories. Joe is a truly an international diplomat for boat racing. Props to you Joe. You have been a good friend. Met him when he was the number one pit man for the GREAT Louis Williams.

    Hey Ron, what do you think of a thread "Where are they now?" Have wondered about so many racers, especially those who had raced in CA. Some that were friends of my Dad out of the central valley? Great to see Dave Bryan on here. Great C Runabout racer.

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    I've thought of a Joe Rome thread for awhile. I'm glad you did it Ron. I'm too prejudiced. Joe is my best friend and we have had a lot of great times together. There are so many stories to tell David, that I don't even know where to begin.

    I don't know anyone who has kept up with the sport without interruption longer than Joe Ron....excepting you and Russ. That's probably why you guys clicked so well. Joe has known of you through your exploits both published and spoken Ron, but you never heard of him. When Joe found BRF, he called me immediately and said "You got to get on this website". After I got on, Joe asked me "Do you know Ron Hill?" and I said "Yeah." Then he asked me "Do you think he remembers you?" I said, "I don't know". Joe and I were ignorant of such things as posting, threads, etc. back then and he wanted to have some boat racing pictures and photos put up. He thought we needed to type up some stuff and send it in to see if it would be accepted. Joe decided we should pick a subject, then both type up something, compare notes, then send it in for approval to be posted. Boy were we both green with computers and websites back then. I think there are still people that have the same trepidations that we did. But, once you get the hang of it, it is not so bad. So it is because of Joe that I started posting pictures here.

    And one other thing that really stands out in my mind Ron, is when you met Joe and I for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel at Baytown the morning of the Lone Star Reunion. You had no clue who Joe Rome was, but when he started asking you questions of your racing career and people you knew, I could tell you started realizing that Joe knew his stuff. You guys traded stories for two hours after we finished breakfast and the new customers coming in were starting to order lunch. I was getting worried about getting to Baytown Boat Club in time to set everything up for the evening reunion. I finally had to say, "I guess we better be heading out". If not for the reunion I would have been perfectly happy to order lunch and keep on listening. I couldn't believe the boat racing history you two were bouncing off of each other.

    Stay tuned for plenty of Joe Rome stories and pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images



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    Default An Appropriate Picture Of Joe

    If that is not the spitting image of a true "TEXICAN" I'll eat Joe's hat.

    I have always enjoyed my friendship with Joe over the years, and he has remembered more "Baldy Gotcha" stories, with me on the gotcha end, than I care to recall. I am proud to have known you Joe. Was great to see you and Wayne at the reunion last summer.

    Bill Van
    Last edited by Bill Van Steenwyk; 05-16-2008 at 01:38 PM. Reason: As Baldy would say "case of spelling dumbass"

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    Team Member Master Oil Racing Team's Avatar
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    A "Texican" story about Joe. He had his boots made by a famous bootmaker. I don't remember his name, but movie stars, country & western artists, politicians and just plain people that know their boots bought them from this guy. Joe got to knowing him pretty good over the years, and upon his death, Joe went to his funeral. Lots of people were there. He was creamated and wanted his ashes spread in a river or stream that was on his property. I can't recall where in Texas this was, but I think maybe the Hill Country or someplace between Dallas in Houston.

    They had a pair of his boots mounted backwards in the stirrups of a saddle on the bootmaker's horse....his longtime companion. The horse was standing at attention on the banks of the stream when someone emptied the vase with ashes into the stream and stepped back. Then someone else started playing taps on a bugle. Joe said the hair on the back of his neck stood up along with everyone else's when a gust of wind hit and the horse waded into the stream by itself and started sipping water at the precise spot where the ashes were dumped.



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    Default Joe Rome

    Has this guy died or something?? I've never heard so many nice words about anybody who is still alive--and particulary about a Texan.

    The first and only time I ever met Joe was at the De Pue reunion. The comments made above seem pretty conservative after you know the guy. He's really a superb guy (I mean for a Texan.) He's bright, articulate and a hell of a hard worker. He's about 6' 6''--good average height for a Hill. I think I'd have been able to tell he was a Texan, even without his hat.

    He worked hard and full time for three days on the running of the reunion, which may have been a failure without him. I don't know how much pre- work he had done, but I'll bet a lot. I'd go back to De Pue again, well maybe to Texas, just to see old Joe. I really liked him.

    Joe - please try to keep in touch.

    Russ Hill

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    Actually Russ, John Schubert did most of the pre work and made registration simple. The great part of the work prior to the actual reunion was listening to you and Joe.

    Most of my Joe Rome stories are funny, but this one is a little different and I only found out about it a couple of years ago. When I was getting stuff together for BRF to post about Alexandria I asked Joe if he happened to have a roster of the 1965 NOA World Championships. It was the largest ever held there and I was interested in the number of boats in each class and the drivers. As soon as I asked, Joe got grumpy. He said he didn't go in 1965. To this day it makes him mad to think about it. That is the only pro race Joe ever missed at Alex. He started going with his uncle Sonny back in the 50's before NOA World Championships were held there. On that particular weekend his Dad Roland had a new store (where Stafford Auto Suppy is now located) and they spent the weekend moving the inventory. Joe griped and mumbled the whole weekend about missing the race.

    ADD: You're right Russ. I was just thinking about the registration part. Joe and Karen Rome busted their rear ends scanning and putting together several hundred of the DVD's, plus making and sticking on the labels and putting them in their plastic cases.



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    Default De Pue Reunion

    You're absolutely right, Wayne, John Schubert was an integral link of the success of the reunion. I was just talking about Joe. Hell, if I wanted to slight or bad-mouth Johnny, I'd much rather do it to his face--he might miss it if I only said something here.

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    Administrator Ron Hill's Avatar
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    Default Only Been to "ALEX" Once

    Bill Boyes and I went to the Winter Nationals in "ALEX" Louisiana, 2006....I'd never been there before, but had heard "STUFF" about at it...

    Jerry Hedlund had told me he once went to Louisiana for a race. He said, he, his brother Ron and Bobby Herring, left for "ALEX" the night Jerry had graduated from high school. Jerry Hedlund and I are the same age, plus or minus a year, so the year was about 1962-63.

    Anyway, they drove all night, Bobby Herring was driving the Hedlund's big Pontiac wagon and going like hell, he fly over some railroad tracks and bent the Hedlund's 4" steel framed trailer...

    But they got to "ALEX" and they were paying BIG money, but only had one ONE HEAT races... I guess Bobby Herring, Ron and Jerry won MOST OF or ALL the prize money. They won every first place.

    Jerry makes me laugh, to this day, when he said he ran A Hydro and it was Bobby's B boat and the throttle wire looked like an expolsion, so, Jerry just wired the throttle wide open and when he got going too fast he'd just choke...it with this thumb...

    Jerry told me they were lucky to leave town with the cash and not get hung....

    Well, I'm talking with Joe Rome, at ALEX 2006, second time I've ever seen Joe...He starts telling me about the time the Hedlunds came to "ALEX" and won all the money...Joe said, "Them guys down here weren't very happy about them 'Yankees' taking all their money..."

    40 years after this race, Joe remembered it like yesterday... Way cool to hear another side of the same story....
    Last edited by Ron Hill; 05-17-2008 at 10:23 AM.

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    I get up into Joe Rome territory on a job every now and then, but it's usually 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. Stafford Auto is closed. And I figured Joe needed sleep. But I do know that if I really needed something.....he would get it for me. Unless he remembered that downpour at DePue in 1972. Then I might be talking to a dead line.

    I got a call just before 5:am this morning that I had to go dress some pipe in Houston. Yeah...that's right. In Houston. It was off of 288 and close to Hobby Airport. I was still a little bit tired after having come off a 30 hour DV Tool job, but I thought....hey...I can finish up in time to visit with Joe if the pipe is there on time and the pipe rack is laid out OK.

    It was perfect. I had to stop for a couple of winks on the way, but I got to Joe's at 10:00am. I didn't have a specific time to be there, but the hole was only 3800' and it doesn't take long to lay down that much pipe before they start in the hole, so I just stopped at Joe's auto parts to tell him I wanted to get together after I got done.

    I didn't give Joe a heads up. In my old frewheeling days I would stop by to tell Joe where I was headed (it was always racing business, but not actual races) and I wanted him to come with me. He drooled at the mouth to come, but Roland back in the "Mole Hole" frowned upon such as waste of time. Every now and then it was too overwhelming for him to pass up, so he would load up and we would go. Most of those times we got in a bind, and Joe was very fretful at the end that we would get back in time. Those are the trips we remember the most and laugh about now.

    I walked into Stafford Auto Supply today without calling ahead and said "Where's the Son of a B*&#$h Rome?" To my disappointment it was an unusually slow day and Joe saw me coming. Hector told me he just went to the back, so I think I caught him too quickly before he could pull something on me.

    My job was only about twenty minutes northeast of Joe's shop. It was close to the Houston Astrodome and Hobby Airport (one of the original legs of Southwest Airways) It was a directional well and they were drilling underneath the parking lot of an apartment building. At current oil prices, they will gross about 1 million per month.

    It took me two hours to finish the job, including visiting with the company man who I haven't seen in three or four years. He retired and moved to Wyoming, but they found out he was in the oilfield and has been working ever since.

    I hauled A back to Joe's shop and we went out for some seafood. Here's the surprising part. Joe gave his employees and half day off each for Friday and Saturday, splitting it into AM and PM shifts with Joe covering the whole day. When I got there to go to lunch with him, no one else was there....only Joe. Joe locked the front door and we went to go get some great seafood. No more worrying about getting back to the shop on time. It kind of crushed my plan of the old days of conning Joe into getting away when he knew he couldn't....(but he did). It was a great day.
    Last edited by Master Oil Racing Team; 07-05-2008 at 08:49 PM. Reason: better word



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