The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

The Chomp

The Student News Site of Gateway Regional High School

Recognizing Eddie Rolax

Retiring Custodian, Inspiring Artist
Kelly Barrett
Eddie stands proudly with one of his favorite pieces, Scary Clown

A lot can happen when you work the same job for twenty years: friendships formed, changes good and bad, hellos and goodbyes. Nobody knows this better than Eddie Rolax, one of Gateway’s most hard-working employees. Eddie has been stationed in the 200, 300, and 400 wings as the custodian  for twenty years now and is set to retire on March 1st! While many wave to Eddie as they leave for the day, most don’t know who he really is. 

During Eddie’s twenty years as a Gateway employee, he has made friends young and old, witnessed some of his favorite Gateway teachers come and go, and has been able to enjoy seeing thousands of Gators blossom from spooked seventh graders to seniors ready to take on the world. 

What many don’t know about Eddie is that he is an avid artist! He often creates large-scale art pieces on his breaks and at home and humbly displays them around the school. He has collections ranging from different aliens, self-portraits, and even scenery pieces.

Eddie started his artistic journey in 6th grade after he was inspired by his favorite cartoons and comic books. His favorites were The Hulk and Spiderman, but he was eager to create characters of his own. Eddie went through a bit of an artistic hiatus but picked it up again around the Pandemic. He has been hooked ever since!

His favorite artistic mediums are charcoal, graphite, tracing boards, and his Prisma colored pencils; however, some of his best pieces utilize items found around any household! In his pieces that feature circles, he uses McCormick’s seasoning and Folger’s caps. It goes to show that you don’t have to have fancy materials to be a great artist. 

He embraces Jamaican and African styles and cultures in the majority of his pieces. Eddie’s signature trademark in his drawings featuring people are full lips on all of the characters.

The special message is that lips are beautiful, lips are awesome…embrace your lips.

— Eddie Rolax







The cool thing about Eddie’s talent is that he is completely self-taught! 

Many feel as though they need expensive lessons or a mentor to be great. Eddie says this isn’t true:

You keep doing it yourself, failing and trying. I’m still working on getting better, you just have to keep going.

— Eddie Rolax

As for his plans post-retirement, Eddie hopes to get his artistic pieces into the mainstream. He is currently looking for a screen printing company to facilitate the design of t-shirts featuring his characters! He also said he would be open to selling his characters for a profit if the right offer rolls around!

Eddie was hesitant to ever feature his art in Gateway displays, as he didn’t want to steal the thunder of the students, but after thorough convincing Eddie plans to possibly come back in the spring to feature his art at the Gateway art show! Students would be beyond inspired to see such a successful role model’s work in the show!

We asked Eddie what he will miss most about Gateway after he leaves:

All the people. Every job is important, it’s a living. I will definitely miss the people and all of the positive energy.

— Eddie Rolax

Eddie also wants to leave Gateway students with these pieces of advice, “Think positive and involve yourself around people that have a lot of positive energy. Also, work hard in school and always give 100%.”

Gateway is eternally grateful for the incredible work ethic Eddie has displayed throughout his 20 years as a dutiful employee. We wish Eddie the most success and relaxation in retirement! 

You can find more of Eddie’s work on his Instagram page: @all.about.the.lips

Special shoutout to Drew Hiller, who helped Eddie to set up his Instagram account and also helped to make contact with The Chomp to arrange Eddie’s interview and article!

Feel free to leave Ed a comment here to wish him well!

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About the Contributor
Laurel Rose Barrett
Laurel Rose Barrett, Editor-in-Chief
I'm Laurel Barrett, and I am in my second year as the Editor-in-Chief of The Chomp! I am currently a junior, and my favorite subjects are English and Science. My hobbies are reading, writing, and creating artistic projects, like posters and models. I am a lawyer in Mock Trial, a President of Book Club, and I am an NJ-JCL Executive Board Officer. I'm also a member of Latin Club, NHS, World Language Honors Society, and Gateway's Mentor Program. Additionally, I am the social media manager of a NJ non-profit called P.U.R.E. Girls, Inc. and enjoy volunteering at Angels Community Outreach. I plan to become a patent lawyer in the future and practice somewhere in New England. I look forward to interviewing featured teachers, writing opinion pieces, and creating book reviews for The Chomp this year! If you want to join our team, feel free to email me @[email protected].
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Comments (4)

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  • M

    MELISSA ECKSTEINFeb 27, 2024 at 5:46 pm

    Love this Laurel! Eddie is great!

  • M

    Melody EpleyFeb 26, 2024 at 11:00 pm

    You are an amazing person Eddie. I have always appreciated you and I loved knowing you!! Best of luck always

  • G

    Gil CobleFeb 26, 2024 at 6:07 pm

    Will miss you Mr. Eddie!

  • M

    Ms. PowellFeb 26, 2024 at 12:16 pm

    This is fantastic! I’ve known Eddie for 18 years now and had no idea he was such an impressive artist! Thank you for sharing this!