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Letter: Hot Rods Deserve Inclusion In Parade

I have received more phone calls than I can count regarding the lack of participation of the Glen Cove Road Panthers Car Club in the Memorial Day parade. To make it short, the parade committee did not invite us this year.


It seems the parade committee does not think we are veterans or relatives of veterans. Just let me say that my father served on an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic during World

War II. I had an uncle that landed at Normandy, a second uncle that was at Pearl Harbor when it was hit, and a third uncle who was in both France and England. These were my mother’s brothers. I also had two very close cousins that served in Korea. I spent eight months in the Reserves and was within three hours of being deployed to the Bay of Pigs by President Kennedy.

Hot rodding started when our WWII veterans returned home from the war and started to modify the old cars they had left behind. They opened gas stations, parts stores, and machine shops, etc. and the performance industry was revitalized. Our veteran relatives shared their hobby and livelihoods with us and we are passing on this knowledge to our children, nephews, cousins, and friends with pride. By parading our cars from time to time and show them off whenever we can, it is with pride that we do so and it is because our military ancestors taught us and helped us. It is only with great respect, so if anyone thinks that parading our cars in the Memorial Day parade has nothing to do with the honor and respect we have for our heroes, they are greatly mistaken.


In closing, I will say the Glen Cove Road Panthers parade their cars with respect and pride for our military veterans past and present and if that is not good enough for some people, well…so be it.


Tony Contarino, President


Glen Cove Road Panthers