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'ROMEO' remembrance

Friends of Jerry Vondas, called ROMEO's — Retired Old Men Eating Out — have lunch at Ritter's Diner in Bloomfield, Friday, August 23, 2002.

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Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I have been reading about Jerry Vondas, who died on Aug. 20. About 12 years ago, a small group of retired physicians and one dentist started to meet once a month for lunch at Ritter's Diner on Baum Boulevard.

Usually seated at the counter was a man wearing a jaunty hat. He always spoke to us with a smile and occasionally came back to talk to us. He was Jerry Vondas.

As the months passed, our group increased in number, and we began to meet every week. One day, Jerry came back and asked if he could write an article about us for the Trib.

He had a photo taken and did, in fact, write about us. He used the name “ROMEO” for the group: “Retired Old Men Eating Out” (“Where art thou, ROMEO? — At the diner,” Sept. 22, 2002, and The photo still hangs on the back wall of Ritter's.

We still meet every Friday, have a reserved table and have difficulty keeping the group to 12 members. We all fondly remember how Jerry would always come back to talk to us. We will miss him.

Alvin Kinsel


The writer is a retired physician.

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