Meet the man beyond the landmark Lady Godiva
Appeal Staff Writer
On the north end of Carson City, where the city ascends into the hills, there is a unofficial Carson City landmark.
She sits steadfast on her horse, eyes closed, facing north and guarding the corner of Emerson and Arrowhead drives. Her name is Lady Godiva and on Sunday her owner, Rudy Romo, celebrated his 61st birthday by giving her a new look.
Romo got Lady Godiva as a gift from Bill Anderson, who used to own the Ponderosa Ranch. She has adorned Romo’s front yard for more than a decade and every three years, he repaints the fiberglass horse and rider, updating her style and giving her a fresh look.
“Rudy is eccentric and wild in his nature. But this is a man with immense good taste,” said friend Karin Tancrell. “You would not expect that from the man who owns Lady Godiva, but he does.”
While Lady Godiva is the most recognizable of Romo’s treasures, she is hardly the most unique. Throughout his home are pieces and items that many have never seen, including a completely wooden barber’s chair, a hand-carved skeleton, a replica of the vehicle used on the moon, a neon Bates Motel sign, and a giant orange that sits on his roof.
“I found that in the trash at the Orange County Fair. The paint on it had faded pretty bad and someone asked me if it was a plum, so I had to touch it up,” Romo said.
Romo also owns several Corvettes, a couple of Harleys and the original Little Joe’s Cochise from the Ponderosa Ranch. His footwear of choice it Converse All-stars and he has more than 30 pairs in a variety of colors.
One of his most recent additions now lines his driveway, an addition received at no cost from Incline Village.
“I got 26 fire hydrants because when the city renewed its insurance they had to replace them, because they don’t have the four-inch spouts,” Romo said. “My insurance agent told me they’d give me a 15 percent discount if I had a fire hydrant on my property, so I called them and said I had 26.”
Romo said he has gotten many offers for various pieces of his collection, including the fire hydrants and Lady Godiva, but he always tells them the same thing.
“They’re not for sale. These were presents and gifts and if I sell them, then I don’t have anything to show for it, so why do it,” Romo said.
• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at email@example.com or 881-1217.