I first noticed Robbie Weinberg as a kid attending Sunday school at Temple Shomer Emunim in Sylvania. Clad in a leather jacket, he was the rock ‘n’ roll dad with long hair picking up his kids alongside a sea of doting moms. A Bronx native and veteran employee of the legendary Boogie Records, Robbie sports a collection of tattoos, including one prominently featured on his neck that reads: “The Dream is Over” to commemorate John Lennon’s famous song, "God.”
So this is kind of your uniform, right? Do you remove the sleeves from your flannels or do you buy them that way?
Not a uniform. Just don’t like dress clothes. By the time I went to high school, I kinda established what I liked to wear and felt comfortable in. Flannels, T-shirts and jeans. Never felt any need to change. Who knew you could buy them off the rack with sleeves cut off, not that I’d ever want to. I cut them myself.
You were telling me about sometimes getting judged for the way you look and recalled a funny incident from one of the The Arts Commission’s Black and White parties years ago.
Several years ago I attended the Black and White Ball, now called The Mix, a large fundraiser for the Toledo Arts Commission. This one was being held at Fort Industry Square on Summit St. A group of friends and myself were hanging at the bar, all very dressed up for the occasion. I was wearing a black leather vest over my flannel shirt. Dressy for me. A reporter/photographer was trying to take a photo of the people I was with. It was evident they did not want me included. As they tried to maneuver around me, I asked if I should step away. “Would you please?” they asked. I did, photo was taken and published in our newspaper with my friends on the society page.
You mentioned that sporting tattoos surprisingly posed few problems for you as a Sylvania dad. When did you first start getting them?
Started getting my tattoos about 20 years ago. My neighbors never made it a big deal. They even allowed their children to come over and play with our kids at the house. Now their kids have tattoos.
Is the dream really over?
No. It never ends, it just changes, hopefully for the better.