Tribute to Randy
My brother, Randy Rhoads was born Oct. 3, 1959 in Corpus Christi Texas, while our father was serving in the Navy. Randy and I moved to Simi Valley in 1963 with our parents Dick and Brenda Rhoads. He was three years older than me and my only sibling. While growing up, Randy shared a strong bond with his family, which later grew to include his many dear friends that meant so very much to him.
Randy began working in the family business, Green Acres Market, at the age of 14. Randy’s dedication to Green Acres grew strong over the 38 years that he spent in the family business.
My dad, Dick Rhoads tells the story about how back in the early 90’s Randy repeatedly spoke to him about how he would like to start grilling tri tip, out in front of the store, on weekends. My Dad recalls with amusement, “At the time, there was no planter or divider in front of the store separating the parking lot from Los Angeles Ave. Dad recalls, “There was no seating, I said Randy, it sounds a little hokey”. After returning from a trip to Colorado, Dad comes home to find that Randy had acted on his idea and had set in motion what would become a thriving division of Green Acres today. Several years later, the permanent seating area was added. My Dad takes pleasure in the fact that it was all Randy’s idea. Dad recalls, “He saw something there that I didn’t”. Today our Santa Maria Style BBQ Patio has seating for over 80 people, which is now fully covered and heated for the rainy season, in addition to fans and misters for the warm summer days. Seeing Randy’s vision in operation today, provides our entire family with an extreme sense of pride.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of playing hide and go seek with Randy after hours at Green Acres. My dad would stay late to cut meat for the case. We would hide behind the cereal boxes on the bottom grocery shelves. Randy taught me how to ride a bike. It was with Randy that I smoked my first cigarette in the bushes between our house and the next door neighbors. I was pretty young and didn’t understand that we had done something terribly wrong. My brother on the other hand, he felt so guilty he had to confess to our wrongdoing. We were grounded from watching TV for two weeks. One year, after we each had our own homes and before I had my kids, I was not in the holiday spirit. I told Randy that I was going to skip getting a christmas tree. That night, the doorbell rang, I opened the door to find a tree propped up against the wall of my porch. It was one of the sweetest things anyone has ever has done for me.
My brother passed away on the morning of Jan. 10, 2012 at the young age of 52 years. We all miss him very much and I find it hard to accept that life has gone on without him. However, life is not the same without him. But I am so grateful that he was my brother, Randy Rhoads.