“That’s the one thing I haven’t been able to carry over,” said Giannini, who keeps her dad’s seat at Ravens games in his honor. “I try, but I’m not that good at it.”
“He made it look easy because he did all the food and he would still socialize,” added Burmeister. “The food would just appear.”
Chenoweth had no problem feeding the homeless in the parking lot at games or trading a burger to his son for a bag of M&Ms.
Parking attendants Mark Carter, of Columbia, and Willie Mason, of Severn, who both worked in lot B off Hamburg Street at the Maryland Stadium Complex, became friends with the king tailgate chef and bike riding buddy.
”What I observed about Roger was he had the biggest heart ever and he would do anything for anybody,” Carter said. “Game day, it was all Roger’s show. Nobody else could do anything.”
Chenoweth died the morning after the Ravens defeated the Chicago Bears, 31-7, on Dec. 20, 2009, and Carter recalled some of his final words.
“One of the last things we remember Roger doing and saying is, ‘Hey, we will be back for the playoff game in January, and he said we are going to ride a lot this year. At the end of season, we had started riding together and he said we are going to do a lot of riding next year and next year never came.”
But the birthday weekend celebration of his life comes in mid-July every summer and Carter and Mason won’t miss it.
“I have my granddaughters now and they are at my house every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but I’m not going to miss this because that is just what he meant to me,” Carter said. “That’s another thing about Roger, family was No. 1, no matter what.”
“I would say family, slash, friends,” Mason said. “The most unique thing I will say about Roger is he is color blind. He liked everybody and every thing.”
Steve Peters saw what he did two days before he died for the workers at G.L Shack’s after a heavy snow.
“The Saturday before he died people couldn’t get in here because they had a foot of snow, so he went over to Coolahans because he knew nobody over here was eating anything and apparently they had a barrel of pretzels over there and he bought pretzels for everybody and brought them back,” Peters said.
Robert Markov met Chenoweth while playing for the Arbutus Big Red semi-pro football team, but it was riding with him with his hair blowing in the wind that he fondly remembered.
The Arbutus resident recalled how happy Chenoweth was when they did away with the law requiring riders to wear a helmet.
“He had that pretty hair and he didn’t want to mess it up, but it was short-lived,” said Markov, who changed his attire for his friend. “I usually wear shorts, but today, for Roger, I put the pants on.”
This year, the helmet Chenoweth wore was dedicated and presented to his cousin, Jimmy Auburger, before the riders took off and Burmeister gave an emotional speech.
“This is my brother’s helmet and Roger’s children have decided that this helmet should go to somebody very special and rode with him all the time and helped plan this ride every year, so cousin Jimmy, this is now your helmet,” she said.
Auburger will surely cherish the helmet ever time he rides, and Chenoweth’s family and friends will celebrate together the moments they had with him every time his birthday rolls around.
“This is his birthday and we have it every year at this time and we have a nice crowd that comes here and we are happy with them,” said his mom, Marge Chenoweth.