Last Sunday’s 27th Annual Ocean State Vintage Haulers Show featured upwards of 60 vehicles that ranged from pick-up trucks with those one-rime running boards to even a class motorcoach sporting the once-famous name Trailways painted on two sides.
“I never saw anything like that at a show like this,” offered Joe Pingitore, president of the unique Rhode Island-based truck association that is also an officially sanctioned chapter of the American Truck Historical Society. “That (motorcoach) was quite a large spectacle.”
The entire show, in fact, which brought truck-owners from Massachusetts and Connecticut to Johnston’s jewel – a.k.a. War Memorial Park.
“This is like a little boy’s dream come truck!” Pingitore exclaimed while watching his friend Karl Russo’s grandchildren – Hunter 2-1/2, and Autumn, 7 months – scoot in-and-around huge trucks used for hauling everything from gravel to asphalt and more. “Children are always amazed with trucks; the larger the vehicle the bigger their eyes seem to get!”
Meanwhile, Pingitore’s shiny red 1979 Ford Louisville – which was featured on the decorative T-shirts club members sold throughout the six-hour show – and Vice President Ron Rossi’s heavy hauling vehicles were also among Sunday’s super showstoppers.
While there was only a sprinkling of military vehicles, Sunday’s 27th edition of the Ocean State Vintage Haulers was without question a showplace for Rhode Island’s famed Fire Truck Club.
One of those headliners was, in fact, a memorial to the late Frank J. Quetta Jr., a one-time Providence Fire Department Battalion Chief who was killed while on the job many moons ago.
Thus, his brother Richard Quetta, who lives in North Providence, led the fire apparatus on display withy his 1957 Ward LaFrance.
“Richard has always supported our show and so have the other members of different fire club groups such as the Meshanticut Volunteer Fire Department that also has a museum in Cranston,” Pingitore said. “Now what little child doesn’t like seeing – and hearing – fire trucks with sirens and flashing lights?”
Families like the Russo’s – including Dale and Samantha Russo – who made Sunday’s show a special family affair, walked all around Johnston War Memorial Park admiring each and every vintage vehicle that formed a circle of trucks.
Then there was Jessica Dalessandro and Richard Almedia, who served countless customers from their mobile barbeque kitchen – Little BN’s BBQ of Scituate. The BBQ on wheels added another plus for the free public show presented by the Ocean State Vintage Haulers, who will now focus on plans to participate in the Bristol Fourth of July Parade along with the RI Fire Trucks Association.