By Maureen Smith

Have you always thought of yourself as a Romeo? Now that you are retired or a part-timer and looking for any and every chance to get out of the house, why not form a Romeo Club? There are hundreds of these fun groups across the country.
And how did they come up with the name Romeo? Try Rich Old Men Eating Out, Retired Older Men Enjoying Outings, Respectable Older Men Eating Out, and in Houston, you will find Rice (University) Old Men Eating Out.

The best part is there are no rules, bylaws, minutes – just a group of men at the same stage of life getting together to solve the problems of the world over lunch. Once a week or once a month – or whatever fits your group. They can meet at the same place or try
new restaurants each time.

Tom Brokaw gave the name “Romeo” notoriety in his book The Greatest Generation. As the story goes, John “Lefty” Caulfield (a school principal and U.S. Navy veteran) started the first ROMEO club at various dinners in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and he dubbed it “retired old men eating out.” However, there have been other references to the founder of the Romeo name and other references as to the meaning of the term Romeo. Many seem to claim the
distinction of founding the name Romeo.

Clubs can be just a bunch of good friends getting together, former work colleagues, those sharing the same interests or those with varying interests — the less structured the better.

There is currently a Romeo group of retired Naval Academy professors. Not to be outdone, their wives formed a group called the Juliets. Usually, they meet at different restaurants, but on the same day. Occasionally they end up at the same restaurant but at different tables. Once the Juliet’s sent their check to the Romeo table, but that didn’t fly. The waitress returned with an unprintable comment from our Romeos.

We always enjoy sharing our retirement activities with one another. So get your friends together now to form your own Romeo club.
Retired from the Maryland legislature, Maureen spends her time playing tennis, traveling, book clubs and volunteer work with the Assistance League of the Chesapeake. She looks forward to meeting with the Juliets every month and can be reached at [email protected]

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