Some people start a new life of sorts after they retire. Most public servants who have served their communities for years move on to other endeavors that allow them to continue to serve the public a different way while still retaining the joie de vivre of the retired life. That’s the case with LAGERS Retiree Robert Gomer, who enjoyed over 25 years working for Mid-Continent Public Library in the Kansas City area. I had the pleasure of interviewing him for this Retiree Spotlight.
Retiree Robert Gomer enjoyed over 25 years working for Mid-Continent Public Library.
With a master’s degree in library science, Robert was able to serve different roles at the library including helping patrons in the reference area and running the Blue Springs branch. “Working for the library was a wonderful experience,” Robert says.
Earlier in life, Robert wanted to be an airplane pilot, but at that time there were steep regulations that would not allow a person with eye glasses to become a pilot. He maintained the desire to be in the skies throughout his life, and that ultimately guided him to his current position as an airline attendant. Robert has always enjoyed meeting and getting to know new people. This new life suits his nature well. Robert prefers to work on smaller aircraft which allows him more time to talk with, learn about, and enjoy the passengers.
As a child of Swedish parents, Robert speaks fluent Swedish, which brings delight to those who listen to him speak this beautifully unique language. Speaking Swedish didn’t necessarily help when he had to deal with a particularly difficult “support pet” - a monkey. Robert explained the monkey was wreaking havoc around the aircraft, scaring passengers. They put the monkey in the bathroom where it wouldn’t bother the other passengers. Needless to say, the bathroom was not fit for use once this monkey had its playtime in there!
Robert also discussed a comical, yet frightening experience when he witnessed an individual try to get through security with a snake in his suitcase. Once TSA saw the wiggling mass in the scanner, he was quickly told he wouldn‘t be allowed to travel with his creature. The individual said that if he couldn’t take the snake, he’d leave it there, then dropped the snake on the floor of the terminal where it slithered off. After a brave group of traveling boy scouts rounded up the snake, it was given to TSA, and all were safe once again.
Robert has over 8 million air miles under his belt, and his stories could potentially stretch as wide.
Even with all this airtime, Robert has never been in any scary situations while flying. His greatest difficulty has seemingly been with the amount and size of luggage passengers try to stuff into the cabin of the plane! While travel has surely slowed for Robert in recent months, we're sure he'll be back in the air very soon!
Robert Gomer, librarian and flight attendant, is a lifelong public servant of exceptional character. If ever given the chance, enjoy your own conversation with him. You will not be disappointed.