2011 and Earlier / Special Interests

Talking with Robert T. Roubal

Name: Robert T. Roubal.

Town or township of residence: I live in Suttons Bay Township.

Resident of county since: I’ve lived here for 76 years. I was born here.

Age and birthplace: You know my age. I was born in Suttons Bay Township, at the farm of my parents, Tom and Catherine Roubal. It was on Roubal Road, north of Suttons Bay behind Peshawbestown.

Occupation: I worked for Leelanau County Road Commission for 25 years, and then I was road commissioner for six years, and worked for the village of Suttons Bay for five years. I was on the fire department, and chief for five years, for Suttons Bay-Bingham. (Reporter’s note: Also see mention of gas station below).
ROBERT T. ROUBAL of Suttons Bay Township is a former Leelanau County Road Commission worker.ROBERT T. ROUBAL of Suttons Bay Township is a former Leelanau County Road Commission worker.
Marital status: I married Diana Roubal in 1956. That would be 56 years, almost. We were married on Oct. 6 at St. Wenceslaus Church. My wife’s maiden name was Diana Rich; she lived in Northport but was born in Detroit.

You live in Leelanau County because: I was born here. I worked on the farm. I was born in 1935. I use to go to school on Bass Lake on (the corner of county roads) 626 and 633. That was an elementary school, it was called Bass Lake school. Most of the roads in Leelanau County were two-tracks, and never saw a snowplow all winter long. I moved to the corner of M-22 and Donnybrook Road, it’s called McAllister Road now. I moved there in 1960, it was a gravel road back then and there were only three homes on the road. Three. And now there are 40.

Last good movie you saw: I don’t watch many movies, and the only things I watch on TV are Jeopardy and the Price is Right, things like that. Wheel of Fortune. I use to watch John Wayne movies. I watched the Green Grass of Wyoming, it was the first movie I ever saw. It cost me 25 cents. I use to watch Amos and Andy, too, on TV. I’ll never forget that.

Last good book you read: I can’t read very good. I can’t see; I lost one eye with a brain tumor 15 years ago. So I can’t see very good. I can read the Leelanau Enterprise with my glasses on.

If you could trade places with one person for a day, who would that be: Maybe the chairman of the road commission. I’d spend less money. And I’d buy less equipment; I’d just fix the old ones. When I worked there if a truck could do the job, we wouldn’t buy a new one.

Things important to you that you have accomplished so far: I had a Sinclair gas station in Suttons Bay for five or six years. I sold gas for 29 cents a gallon. It was by where the Prescription Shop is in Suttons Bay, just up the corner from where the ice cream shop is now. I was on the Suttons Bay Township Board for six years.

What you hope to be doing in 10 years: I’ll probably be dead. I have emphysema; I have to use oxygen. I’d like to take a trip to Las Vegas to visit my brother Vic, a retired state cop, and I have two sisters in Florida I’d like to visit. I went to Hawaii six, seven years ago. I wouldn’t mind going back, but I’m on oxygen right now and I can’t afford it.

Things you lose sleep over: I sleep pretty good. We have five kids, and sometimes I worry about them. I worry about the future of our children, and the county they live in. And I worry about myself, but that’s why I have Jesus. When I had my brain tumor, my doctor gave me 50-50 odds. But I had Jesus, we all have Jesus. Who else can we call for help?

If you could change one thing in Leelanau County, it would be: It would be property taxes. Even if your kid is in a parochial school, you still pay taxes. I don’t think that’s fair. And the seniors should not have to pay property taxes because they are on a fixed income. They’ll have their houses taken away if taxes keep going up.

Favorite dessert: Pumpkin pie or apple pie, with whipped cream.

Are you a coffee drinker: I drink decaf, 4-5 cups a day.

Favorite place in Leelanau County: The Leelanau Sands Casino. We play euchre down there every Monday night. There are sometimes 80 people there, sometimes 60.

If you have more time, you would: I don’t know. Maybe take a nap. I’m always tired.

The words that best describe you are: Concerned about the future of our county.

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