Arlington’s ROMEOs know what and wherefore

ARLINGTON — Call them the ROMEOs. Retired Old Men Eating Out, that is.

A group of about 25 older gentlemen who live in the Glen Eagle development of Arlington meet at 10 a.m. each Wednesday at their country club to expand their minds, sip coffee, share a meal and offer encouragement to each other.

“We’re not just bunch of old fogeys sitting around shooting the bull,” member Don Williamson said. “We keep tabs on each other and have a meaningful weekly program that we all look forward to.”

The men range in age primarily from mid-60s to late 80s. They are retired businessmen, teachers, Boeing engineers and scientists, and generally are just a bunch of guys with a variety of interests. For example, Williamson, one of the ROMEO program coordinators, recently offered a wine tasting for the group.

This week, the group heard an hour-long presentation from Bill Blake, the city of Arlington’s natural resource and stormwater wetlands manager. Blake offered a rundown on all of the city’s current activities, including road work, economic development and the construction of campsites by Boy Scouts at the new Country Charm park on the north end of town. As he spoke, his audience casually asked questions.

“We like having Bill come in,” Williamson said. “He grew up in Arlington and he can put a lot of things into context for us.”

Previous programs have included visits by members of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office*. In June, history buff Frank Barden presented a program on mysterious crop circles in England. Mayor Barbara Tolbert talked about her first six months in office. Retired physicist Heinz Lyklama offered a presentation about stem cells and cloning. Carson Tavenner, 43, the group’s youngest member and a recently retired Air Force officer, talked about China-U.S. relations.

The ROMEOs also are in charge of the night security patrol through their neighborhood and a handful of them volunteer throughout the school year at nearby Pioneer Elementary School to help students with their math and reading projects.

“We like to keep busy,” Williamson said.

* Correction, July 2, 2012: Two members of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, but not Sheriff John Lovick, have been guests at the weekly meeting of the Retired Old Men Eating Out club at Glen Eagle Country Club in Arlington. This story previously gave incorrect information about the speakers.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427;

More in Local News

Inclusion super important to Monroe High senior

Sarah Reeves worked to make homecoming more representative of the student population.

This dental office devoted a day to free care for veterans

All Smiles Northwest in Everett was among businesses observing Freedom Day USA.

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Fugitive convict, missing more than a year, surrenders

Charles Coggins, 60, turned himself in Monday. He could now spend up to 30 days behind bars.

Volunteers sought to clean up homeless camp south of Everett

The Hand Up Project will lead the effort this weekend on private wooded land off of Avondale Road.

County Council postpones vote on conservation programs

A decision on funding agricultural and water-quality programs will come after the budget process.

Snohomish mayoral candidates have very little in common

Karen Guzak and John Kartak are vying for the new position.

Second teen charged after $1 million in school vandalism

Two teens now face felony charges for damage at two schools in Darrington last summer.

Most Read