Epitaphs…Our Own

Det. shield crp

Det. Vincent Romeo was buried yesterday.

See previous post: https://wherethesundontshine.net/2016/01/27/the-detective-producer/

When I attended his wake and spoke with his family and friends I saw floral sprays  that were reflective of Vinnie’s career in law enforcement. Beautiful piece from the DEA, as always.

At Vinnie’s casket I looked at family photos, his gold shield, his commendations, they all reflected his time on Earth…a little bit.

I wondered what epitaph would suit Vinnie?

I’ve seen many carvings on stone over the years in too many cemeteries. Some stones had ceramic photos upon them, some with statuary, some with words appropriate to the spirit of the person. One, very funny epitaph that I saw in Key West: “I told you I was sick” evinced a dark but humorous mind:

I told you I was sick .jpg

Tombstone, Key West FL cemetery.

What encapsulates Vinnie’s spirit?

Well, he’d get into people’s minds, he could relate to them, know how they thought.

I remember days when it was his turn to drive the unmarked van full of detectives en-route to warrant executions.

If I was seated in the passenger seat and he’d want to move a lane to the right, he’d ask if it was clear. I might say, “There’s someone there, wait.” He’d say, “Is it a new car? ‘cause if it’s new I can just swing over and he’ll sure as hell move away.” And he’d give us that devilish laugh once again.


The “unmarked” Warrant Squad van. Det. Lou Bartolomeo, foreground.

And when I think of Vinnie and laughter it still makes me smile. But his laughter was of a different kind than most. Often I sensed that he reflected upon the whole situation he and we all find ourselves in at times. And he seemed to be able to view the event from an outer perspective, as if he were out of the frame of an event, looking in. He could get others to laugh along with him at absurdities of life we often find ourselves in.


Me, left, Vinnie right on a warrant execution.

So I think Vinnie’s epitaph is already written: Take it all with a grin.

I think we all write our own epitaphs in what we say and what we do as we traverse this vale of life. People know of our spirit by our interactions here. No need for marble etchings.

Here’s a bit of what Vinnie carved on minds near him:

A commenter on my original post, Bill Slowski, recalls:

Vinnie always brought out the best in people. I worked with him in District 30 and always had a bunch of laughs. One story to share with all. Vinnie and I were doing a midnight tour in D-30. We were hoping for a quiet night night because it was my wife’s birthday and his wedding anniversary. But things went bad for me and I ended up with a collar. He came in at the End of Tour and joked at me being in trouble with the wife. He changed, went to the platform to train it home and gets involved with a wacko breaking all the windows in the train. Now we both are in Brooklyn Central Booking staring at each other and all we could do was laugh. We laughed so hard we were crying. The cops in BCB thought we were two EDPs, (Emotionally Disturbed Persons). I tell this story often and it always brings a smile to my face and even my wife’s face too. God bless him and may he rest in peace.

Yes, indeed. God bless and smile upon him as he rests in peace.

Be well,

Lee Winters,

Shedding a little light wherethesundontshine.

Home: http://wherethesundontshine.net

See also alt. blog :http://leebythesea.me

1 reply »

  1. R.I.P. my brother in blue. Never met Vinny but from what I hear it was my loss not to meet such a great man. God Bless Vinny and his family.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s