Stephen Romano

Profile Updated: February 5, 2009
Residing In: Luling, LA USA
Spouse/Partner: Maria
Occupation: Planner
Children: Phillip (87); Paul (95); Rachel (98); Dominic (00), conceived at 20-yr reunion!!!!

I guess you could say I took the bassackwards route to "doing what I wanted to do whenever I grow up." I went straight to La Tech after summer 79 but I had NO idea what I wanted to study. I only knew that I really liked radio after DJ-ing a little at WBRH. So I spent Freshman year taking all kinds of classes and pretty much living and learning at the Tech radio station KLPI. I even became a news director for a short stint. Pretty soon decided to major in Journalism with an emphasis on Broadcasting. But once I earned enough credits to qualify as staff reporter for the college newspaper, I found that I didn't like reporting on the "5 W's." But you know what? That lady over in the Ads Dept was cute so I thought I'd try selling ads and making a little $$ at the same time. Then in 82 I pulled up roots and switched to LSU since Tech didn't offer an Advertising degree. But in Spring 1983, after a single semester I dropped. I had pretty much become miserable and frustrated at myself and disillusioned at my lack of direction. I thought that perhaps time away would help out and told myself that I WILL return once I figured out what I wanted to do. "It's only temporary." Problem was, I just didn't know what the hell I WANTED to do.
I just knew that in my case, what I did would require a college degree.

So I found a job that didn't have much in the way of responsibility, yet be an easy way to make money: bellman at a Hotel in BR. But after a few months I got the itch to move to New Orleans because the 84 World's Fair was coming. I wanted to be in the middle of it. I hired on at a hotel there and moved into a studio apartment near the Fair site and did a little nightlife.

After the Fair, I drifted through the 80's from hotel to hotel, and even briefly as a salesman. In 84 I bought a house. In 86 I got married. In 87 had a kid. In 89 got divorced. Entered the 90's working on a golf course and remarrying. So now I'm in my 30s and beginning to realize that things are not going to get much better if I don't do something to better myself.

In hindsight, I see now that what they say is true. Once away from college, you fall in love with the money and with someone. Before you know it you end up getting caught up in all of the bills and responsibilities to the point where it gets harder and harder to make the sacrifice required to return to college. That was what I was going through during the 90s. I had been spending all that time after 83 chasing the American Dream. I was falling right into the trap I swore I would not fall into.

I guess after running into a few fellow grads on the streets and at the 10-yr reunion in 99, I finally concluded that I had wasted enough time and needed to go back to school even if I STILL did not know what I wanted to study. But this time, I'd explore my options from within the confines of higher education, which is what I should have done the first time. To do otherwise would mean a lifetime of regret.

So in the early 90's, I took the plunge. I enrolled at the University of New Orleans to finish my undergraduate studied. Ironically, I had JUST finished paying off my school loan from the 80s!!! Figures. Then, I discovered the profession of Urban Planning and kept right on going for an additional 2 years until I earned a Masters in Urban Planning.

Why Planning? Well, you get to research, you get to write, you get to help people, you can get a little rich if you go into consulting or you can stay put doing "government work." The job offers continual mental stimulation, learning is continual. You can make a small difference for the community in which you live.

So now I work within local government. Been there since 99. Have 10 years to go. Free time now spent with the family, working on my golf game, keeping my good health, and basic day to day living. I sure took the long way home. But I guess there is a moral to my story: the road you take getting there isn't what's important; the getting there is.

I look so forward to seeing you all at the Reunion.

School Story:

Funniest memory: Mr. Vanderburg's banterings with his minions in American History.

BIGGEST regrets: Two:

1) I missed being a member of the GCUS. I was only able to enjoy it from afar.

2) I shouldn't have had a steady girlfriend, especially one that was a grade lower. It kept me out of touch with the Senior 79 crowd and I was more into her than the whole high school experience. I ended up shutting myself off and actually think that this may have contributed to so much of my arrested development.

Biggest thrill (besides the occasional make out session): the first time my live radio show went out over the airwaves on WBRH.

Greatest sense of accomplishment: Seeing my articles and pictures in Campus Currents (school newspaper).

Most unexpected thrill: Reading and REALLY enjoying Shakespere in Mrs. Daly's class. I got the feeling that she thought of me kindof a screwup but I sure got alot out of her instruction and her class.

Most memorable date: Carol Rovik. What an ego trip she sent me on when she actually ASKED ME out on a date to see Rod Stewart in concert. I had never been asked out on a date before. It was such a role reversal and it floored me. At the concert, we were on the edge of the stage, right next to someone smoking some "devil's lettuce." Looking back, I guess I have to confess that Carol was my greatest high school crush but she kindof broke my heart. But I still hope to see her at the reunion to see how she's doing.

Longest lasting memory: walking up to the front of our beautiful our school building. I never get tired of seeing it again. I hope it's always there.

What did you want to do, or think you wanted to do when you finished high school?

wasn't sure. kindof thought journalism but just wasn't sure

What did you always want to do that you haven't done yet?

Travel the entire US by car

Where's the farthest that you've been from Baton Rouge?


What would we be surprised to know about you?

that i enjoy people my age

If you could relive your time at Baton Rouge High, what would be the biggest thing that you would change?

i would have hung out more with everybody and gotten more involved in clubs and extracurricular activity

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Posted: Mar 06, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Posted: Mar 06, 2014 at 11:00 PM
With Maria, 2008
Posted: Mar 06, 2014 at 11:00 PM
The Troops