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.
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.