Ron Rossi’s famed Christmas Tree Farm, located at 1936 Phenix Ave. in Cranston took on an entirely different look under Sunday’s sparkling sunshine.
The decorations however, were not multi-colored lights or items used decorate the gloriously green variety of trees that were all over the 100-acre farm.
Instead, some 60-pluse vintage vehicles, like old-time Mack trucks, ageless fire apparatus as well as colorful antique pick-up trucks featuring those once-popular wide whitewall tires were all part of the Ocean State Vintage Haulers Association’s annual Fall Round-up Show and multi-food Steak Fry that attracted a near record 160 members.
“What a special setting!” exclaimed Dave Pingitore, a Johnston firefighter who doubles as Local 1950’s treasurer. “Great weather, great food and great people … this is like one-big happy family enjoying a step back in time when all these trucks were valuable parts of our landscape.”
One of those mighty machines was a 1942 Chain-driven Sterling that belongs to Pingitore’s brother Joe, President of Pingitore & Sons Paving and Construction, who serves as president of the unique Ocean State Vintage Haulers.
“This is one of the best (fall) shows we’ve ever had,” said Joe Pingitore, who showed off his family-owned antique fire truck along with a 1942 Chain-Driven Sterling. “We had fantastic attendance today; yesterday (Saturday) almost two dozen members stepped up to set up tables and chairs and the tent.”
Meanwhile, as Fran Pingitore — Joe and Dave’s sister who is the Children’s Adolescent Psychiatric Clinical Nurse/Specialist at Hasbro Children’s Hospital — offered: “This is a great family-like event for all members of the (Ocean State) Vintage Haulers. This day is always special.”
And, as Rossi, who is the OSVH long-time vice president offered while loading people into a four-passenger golf cart he usually uses to take visitors around the farm so they can select and tag that perfect Christmas tree, offered: “This is a great day for our club and members.”
Rossi also offered hay rides in an open air, one-time wagon that was constantly filled with people of all ages like Karl Russo and his family who enjoyed the old-time mode of travel.
Sunday’s Fall Round-up also featured fine foods such as hot dogs, hamburgers, Italian sausage and pepper sandwiches as well as thick, tender sirloin steaks accompanied by beans and salad that were prepared and cooked by the day’s volunteer chefs Andrew Rossi and the brothers Pingitore — Jonathan and Dylan — sons of OSVH President Joe Pingitore.
“Today’s proceeds will help fund our club through the winter months,” said Joe Pingitore. “We didn’t do all that well at our spring show (held inside Johnston War Memorial Park) but today was one of our largest turnouts ever and we thank everyone who helped make this special.”
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