Never before — at least not in recent memory — has an annual Ocean State Vintage Haulers event been filled with as much love, respect and memorials as there were during Sunday’s 28th Spring Show held inside Johnston War Memorial Park.
Those things came in the form of water being pumped from the park pond and into two firefighting apparatus that sent steams of water flying out of hoses and into mid-air, even spraying people who were walking through the pristine park looking over each and every vintage vehicle.
That also came from owners of 77 privately owned vintage trucks, which ranged from old-time U.S. Army vehicles to old-time and even modern-day hauling trucks to a number of antique fire apparatus that impressed show-goers of all ages.
Sunday’s show, held under sparkling sunshine, was dedicated to the late Joseph Pingitore III, who passed away suddenly last October at the tender age of 60 years. He had served for years as president of the OSVH Rhode Island Chapter of the American Truck Hauler Society.
“Joe is looking down at us, smiling, about what’s going on here today,” was a common statement from men, women and officials of people from the Rhode Island Chapter of the Antique Fire Apparatus Society like Richard Quetta, who has been a family face at all OSVH events. “We all miss Joe very, very much.”
To which Ron Rossi, who owns and operates famed Rossi’s Christmas Tree Farm on Phenix Avenue in Cranston, added: “Joe was a friend to all of us; we’re happy with the way people turned out; it’s a great show of respect in his honor and memory.”
The late Pingitore was represented by his brother David Pingitore, a veteran Johnston Firefighter who serves as Secretary-Treasurer of Local 1950 and sister Francine Pingitore, an executive at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
When David Pingitore took the microphone from the Arrudas — Senior and Junior — who were the day’s disc jockeys and pumped oldies music into the air, he began thanking everyone who was in attendance at the four-hour event.
“Thank you … thank you … thank you,” Pingitore exclaimed with emotions ringing in his voice as he talked about his late brother. “We hope everyone had a great time today; we’ll be doing this again next year as well as in the fall.”
Pingitore, who was wearing a Joe Pingitore & Sons Construction and Paving t-shirt and baseball cap, paused before closing out his mighty message saying: “This was indeed a great show; and again, our family thanks everyone here today. The only thing that would have made it better was if Joe was here!”
Rossi, who now serves as OSVHJ president (David Pingitore was promoted to vice president and Margaret Philbrook is now secretary), announced: “We’ve sold out of show commemorative t-shirts; everyone wanted a keepsake of today as another way to remember our beloved friend, Joe (Pingitore)!”
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