Thursday, May 7, 2009

Memories of Rome Seed

Post your favorite memories of Rome Seed & Feed. If you have a funny story or even old pictures, that would be great. I have hundreds of great memories from the store, but probably my favorite would be just running through the long aisles as a kid. Some of my earliest memories are from running wild through the store, I remember it seemed like a giant, never ending maze to a 3 year old. Of course I also loved every spring when the rabbits, chicks, and ducks arrived. Those weren't so much fun when I grew up and started having to clean up the pens every day. You've never seen a mess like 200 ducks can make in 2' x 4' pen. Another favorite of mine was the time they killed a rat that was at least 2' long and bigger than any cat I've ever seen. It was one of those huge river rats. I seem to remember someone had to kill it with an axe. Let me know about your favorite memories.

Rome Seed Memorabilia

I would love to hear from some folks about items they still have that came from Rome Seed & Feed. Either collectibles you got before the store closed, or merchandise that you bought and still use. I have the old entrance sign that stood on the W. 3rd side for years. I also kept several bricks from the building I got one night the week they tore it down. I also still have numerous tools as well as dad's old desk from his office. I would like to know what else is still out there in use today.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Where Are They Now?

We'd like to catch up with past employees of Rome Seed. If you have any information on past employees (or if that past employee is you), please send any information to or just supply it in a comment below this post. We would also like to know the years/dates you were employed with Rome Seed. Yes, we've lost touch with many of our old friends and would love to hear from you.

Doris Copeland Diden passed away in 1974. Doris was the wife of Spencer Diden and worked in the office at Rome Seed for a period of time.

Spencer Diden passed away in 1987. Spencer served as President of Rome Seed for almost 4 decades.

Robert Payne passed away in 2003. River City Bank dedicated a conference room on the 2nd floor in Robert's honor. The media/theater room at 5th Avenue Baptist Church is named in Robert's honor as well. A yearly golf tournament which Robert helped start and which he never missed, lives on as the Robert Payne Memorial Golf Tournament. Robert began his landscaping business at Rome Seed in 1969 and later became President.

Mary Louise Payne still lives in Rome with her dog Punkin' and cat Missy. She has 3 grandchildren. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 but has successfully won that battle and is cancer free and doing great.

Kinney Fincher still lives in Rome with his wife Maxine Fincher. Kinney began working at Rome Seed in 1972 and was part owner of the business.

Kevin Payne lives in Rome with his wife Mai Lee and son Price (2). He is currently serving as the Floyd County Tax Commissioner. Kevin worked at Rome Seed during high school in the late 80's and returned in 1998 to serve as manager. He was general manager when the store closed in 2003.

Chad Payne lives in Milton, GA with his wife Stefanie and two sons, Ryan (5) and Jordan (7). He is partner and Senior Software engineer for Linn Software, developing charting and analysis software (Investor/RT) for traders and investors. Chad worked summers at Rome Seed during high school.

Robert "Bert" Whitlock passed away in 2009. Robert headed up one of Robert Payne's landscape crews for 3 decades.

Tony Waters works at Heaven's Attic in Rome and still loves to fish as often as he can. Tony also headed up a landscape crew for Robert Payne for close to 20 years, as well as working in the nursery at Rome Seed.

Joe Caldwell is retired and still living in Rome. Joe worked as a salesman for 5 years or so and was there when store closed.

Bill Cromer is still living in Rome last we heard, and still working on power equipment.

Pat Jacobsen is still living in Rome and working at Moe's Grill.

Here are a few more names we came up with (although we're unsure on some last names). If you have any information, please let us know.

General Sales
Robert Payne
Spencer Diden
Kevin Payne
Buddy Bailey
Kinney Fincher
Joe Caldwell
Dennis Holloway
Delmas Franklin

General Support
Tom Woods
Chad Payne

Landscaping / Lawn Maintenance
Tony Waters
Larry Robinson
Robert Whitlock
Ann and John Smith
Chad Payne
Kevin Payne
Morgan Lawson
Deion Sumlin
James "Big Daddy" Harris
Carlton Floyd

Maxine Fincher
Tony Waters
Pat Jacobsen
Mary Stanley
Ann Shaw
Marion Shaw

Power Equipment Shop
Pete Griffin
Dale White
Bill Cromer
Lavon Thomas

Office / Administration
Doris Diden
Mary Louise Payne
Doyce Lynch

Ricky Ford
Linda Haga
Michael Crews
John Adams
Tricia Barton
Andrew Stringer

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rome Seed fades but sowed plenty of crops

This article appeared in the 3/25/3 edition of the Rome News Tribune and was written by Maxine Fincher. Maxine is the wife of Kinney Fincher, who served Rome Seed in a number of capacities, including partial owner, for over 30 years. Maxine also worked at Rome seed for a period of time. The article was written as a farewell as Rome Seed was in its final month of business.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Robert Payne Videos

Below are some videos featuring my dad that I produced the year after he passed. Feel free to post your favorite memories of Robert Payne in the comments section below this post.

He launched his landscape architecture and site planning business out of Rome Seed in 1969, the year I was born, and later became President of the business soon after my grandfather, Spencer Diden, passed in 1987. He probably spent 34 years of his life with Rome Seed. He landscaped countless businesses and residences around Rome during those years. Each time I drive through Rome, I enjoy seeing trees I helped plant 25 years ago while working on his landscape crew.

I remember coming to the store as a kid and playing with the chicks and bunnies in the window, running around on the stacks of feed, making chains out of the bottle tops I collected from the soda machine, getting a candy bar from Mr. Pete in the old shop. As a teen, I worked summers in various roles, carrying out feed backs, stocking shelves, working on the landscape crew. I learned that working on Bert's crew was much easier than working on Tony's (but realized Tony's fast pace helped pay the bills). I learned how to drive a fork lift and work a hand truck piled high with 50-lb bags. I learned that dad, like his father-in-law, was very well-respected around Rome Seed.

I remember him as a man with a remarkable work ethic and a big heart. He poured all he had into his family, his work, his church, his community, and his friends. He would be there for you if you needed him. He would finish a 11 hour day at work and then head over to a friends house to help them build a deck. I'd give anything to play another round of golf with him, or stroll through my backyard and talk about landscaping and life. He was a great man and is dearly missed.

To view the videos, just click on the the link below and then wait for it to play (should start playing eventually without you having to click the play button). You may have to wait a little while depending on the speed of your connection, as these are rather large files. There are also options available to download the video to your computer for viewing.