Heard on the Street
By: Suzanne Brach
If you’ve eaten at Linda’s or hung out at the Cowboy Cafe, a stone’s throw from each other on Lee Highway, chances are you’ve encountered the unofficial Mayor of Hall’s Hill, Jerome Williams, affectionately called “Romey.”
A lifelong resident of High View Park, Romey has spent all of his 50-plus years in the neighborhood, attending Langston Elementary followed by Stratford, and working for the past 17 at Linda’s, where the local menu favorite is a “Jerome Burger.”
After his shift ends, he heads over to the Cowboy, where he warms his regular seat at the bar, nursing a glass of wine and occasionally singing a song with the evening band. He’s even featured as part of the mural painted in the Cowboy dining room, a place of honor that he shares with previous owners of the well-known Arlington dive.
Romey likes to keep things simple, choosing to make his regular haunts within convenient walking distance of his home on Cameron. However, one thing is not so simple—managing his growing collection of caps and t-shirts, donated fondly by HVP neighbors who know his penchant for collecting them as souvenirs.
“Oh, I have about 500-600,” he casually notes and claims to wear them all. In fact, while sitting and waiting for my Jerome Burger, a young woman came in solely for the purpose of delivering a “do you bleed blue,” t-shirt which was enthusiastically received with a thank you and a kiss to each cheek (a signature Romey greeting).
He notes the neighborhood has changed greatly, wistfully commenting on his lack of foresight in purchasing property years ago. Like others, he feels strongly about the HVP history, and hopes Fire Station #8 remains right where it is.
“The firemen used to bring their Dalmatian dogs to schools when I was a kid,” he reminisces. “Oh, we would certainly miss it,” he said of any decision to move it to a new location.
If he has a say, the Mayor votes for keeping the fire station, a HVP institution, right where it is. And like all institutions, we hope to find Romey in his place of honor at Cowboy for years to come.
And here comes my Jerome burger now….off my regular diet, but “when in Rome, correction, Romey”…..