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Sarasota Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2020 3 months ago

Families reminisce for Fathers Day

Sarasota dads and children talk about their favorite memories together.
by: Harry Sayer Staff Writer

Fathers Day, like any special day, is a time to pause and reflect. A relationship between a father and his children is full of fond, funny, and somewhat frustrating memories. We chatted with dads and their children about their favorite moments together. 

Rob Rominiecki 

14-year-old Luke and his dad Rob Rominiecki have more than a few shared hobbies. They both love watching Star Wars and superhero movies. Luke knows his dad’s favorite film is the "Empire Strikes Back," their favorite trip to the movies was to see “Logan” in 2018, and that his favorite superhero is Batman. 

“He does everything I do for fun,” Luke said.  

Perhaps most important is that they jam out to the same and tunes. The Rominieckis are a musical family — Rob’s father played in the Villanova Marching Band, and both Luke and his brother Noah take after their father.

Rob has more than 15 guitars, keyboards, and drum sets around the house Luke and Noah both grew up seeing and, eventually, wanting to play themselves. Luke started with the bass but gravitated towards the drums. 

“So. that's how we got into music, and now he's so into drums, so you could play every Led Zeppelin song,” Rob said. 

They’ve often recorded music together and posted it on Youtube. Rob recently celebrated his 51st birthday, and received a D’Angelica Premiere 12-string acoustic guitar as a present. 

 Brett Markley

Finley and Brett Markley are constantly engaging in a prank war.

7-year-old Finley Markley’s favorite thing to do with her dad Brett is play games. Whether it’s golf, Uno at home, or taking a fishing trip — they both remember catching a hefty sea bass, though Finley remembers it being a few inches larger than her dad does — nothing quite beats playtime. 
For her, anyway. Brett Markley has a different phrase to describe his daughter’s playfulness. 

“She’s the queen of pranks,” Brett said. “There’s always a booby trap in our house at all times. One of her mainstays is she’ll take some fruit and put it in your pillowcase. So we lay down at night, I don’t know why I never think about it, and there will be a bowl of fruit inside.”

Finley appreciates his willingness to go along  — she says her dad’s playfulness is her favorite thing about him. 

“He’s fun, and he does all the stuff I say,” Finley said. “We like to play with my little brother … I like his jokes.”

It can be hectic. But Brett likes that, staying on his toes. 

“She challenges me as a father, she questions me a lot which is good,” Brett said. “She always wants to know more, it’s one of my favorite things. She always wants to learn.”

Thomas Doan

Thomas Doan is a doting father, but jury's out on how well he can dance.

There’s plenty of things that Esme, Elan and Mischa Doan think their father Thomas Doan does well.  He’s a caring father who takes his family on trips often. He’s supportive of his kids' interests, be it recipes with 12-year-old Esme or video games with 13-year-old , and has played with them from time to time. His children are in agreement on all of that.

What he’s not great at, if you ask them, is dancing. Though he’s participated in several TikTok dance videos that his kids have included him in, it just doesn’t seem like he has the moves down.

“Quarantine’s kind of boring and you don’t really have anything to do,” Mischa said. “We had the idea to ask our dad to do dances with us … but he’d never tried any of the dances.”

But it’s the thought that counts, really. Thomas, in his wisdom, knows that enthusiasm can trump skill, and is ready to dance with his girls as often as they need. 

“Am I a good dancer? No,” Thomas said. “Do I have fun with it? Yeah.”


Harry Sayer is the Black Tie Reporter for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked the Black Tie beat for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs. 

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