Remembering Randy Roberts

I didn’t know Randy Roberts, Publix’s chief lobbyist. But he clearly made a huge impact on the Lakeland community and the state legislative scene. I’m told that more than 1,000 people attended his memorial service on Wednesday. One of those mourners was LL-friend and USF-P development guru David Steele.

With David’s permission, I’ve reprinted on the extended entry a lovely eulogy for Roberts he posted on his Facebook page titled “Randy knew…” It gives a nice sense of the man and the untimeliness of his passing.

Randy Knew…

Please keep in mind that these words are mine. They’re not direct quotes. But these are specific truths I learned from a friend I truly loved as a brother. I have no doubt that he could express these things better, and I apologize for the imperfection here. But I also suspect Randy would be relieved to know that I had indeed been paying attention — not just to what he said, but also to what he did and how he did it.

-Think about it: there is no limit to the amount of love one human can distribute.

-You can have as many best friends as you are willing to take the time to hug.

-Never miss a chance to say “I love you.” Even in the middle of a conversation.

-Politics really, really matters. But it doesn’t have to be about love and hate.

-Being interested in the people YOU love is just the beginning. Now find out about the people THEY love.

-An Old Fashioned was the original cocktail, and nothing since its invention has been an improvement.

-Family creates us, and we create family. It starts and ends there.

-Rituals are a chance to think about what matters and why. Everything we do can become a ritual.

-We are rarely more valuable than we are at the moment we introduce strangers to one another. Be a bridge.

-No matter how big the table, the occupant of every chair matters.

-The size of a table is often inversely related to the size of the ideas its attendants will generate.

-It’s silly to think about someone and not tell them you’ve done so. Reach out and txt someone. Now.

-No matter how much you give, you can never end up in the hole. Boundless generosity is always profitable.

-Always make time for mischief.

-There are a lot of ways of getting there — but Randy’s way woulda been better.

-When you drop your wedding ring on a horse track, fetch it. I don’t care if the horses are coming.

-Augusta National Golf Club, site of the Masters, is heaven on earth.

-Deduct one point for making a mistake. Add two points for admitting you made it.

-Politics is the most important thing. And friendship is even more important than that.

-It takes a big plan to take over the world. But even the biggest plan requires small plans.

-It’s pretty much impossible to not notice a pretty girl. I’m just sayin.

-There’s no such thing as “work” and “not work”. Make it all fun — and make it all count.

-When you truly enjoy the pleasure of others, they will have no choice but to enjoy you.

-Some very cool people drive hybrids.

-One man with a Blackberry, a lapel pin, and a fancy pocket square can dominate the Statehouse.

-Only the guy on the caboose really knows how many cars are on the train.

-Lobbying is the most glamorous and unglamorous job in the world, next to motherhood.

-If you know who and what you love, you can communicate. Think about it.

-If you’re gonna sing, why not sing loudly?

-When you THINK “I love you” . . . go ahead and SAY “I love you”.

-It is possible to swallow a chicken bone and still retain your dignity. Possible but not likely.

-You can be a good, loyal [fill in one political party] and still have friends who are [fill in other party].

-If you have to choose between having fun and getting stuff done, pick both.

-If there’s something you want, I will find it for you.

-Dunkin Donuts coffee is the best, and you can get it at your local Publix.

-Don’t just leave. Make the rounds.