Faces of Long Island celebrates the uniqueness of everyday Long Islanders. In their own words, they tell us about their life experiences, challenges and triumphs. Newsday launched this social media journey into the human experience to shine a light on the diverse people of this wonderful place we call home.

‘I’m one of the old guys now, and all this stuff I do, I’m ready to pass the baton, but I have to find the right kid.’

Massapequa Park

“Car shows, meetups — I’ve been going since I was a baby. I was born in East New York, then moved to South Ozone Park when I was 9; I’m 69 now. My love for cars started with my dad. When I was like 6, back then on Sundays they had blue laws, and all the stores would be shut. My dad, he and the guys would tune up their cars and then take me out with him to Long Island, where they would race in parking lots. But there’s more, like when my dad showed me how to adjust carburetors; I mean when I was like 9! He’d say, ‘Turn the screw this way,’ and the car would shake, and then he’d say, ‘So now you have to give it more fuel.’ … He taught me things like that. I think that’s where it started.

“I married my childhood sweetheart; we’ve been together 55-60 years. We started a family and in 1994 moved to Massapequa Park, but I never lost my love for cars along the way. It’s what I breathe, it’s what I bleed, like my father before me. I’m talking about the car hobby itself, and everything I get involved with, I do for free. Even before ’94, I said, ‘We should organize shows for free,’ and we started by getting together with friends at spots in Queens and out here [on Long Island], and then it grew. We organized together. We would find a spot, do a free show. Some people don’t do it for free, but I’m not looking to make money on these things. Like I said, it’s a lifestyle.

I’m ready to pass the baton, but I have to find the right kid…

“I’m retired, and we could all use money, but like I said, it’s what I breathe, it’s what I bleed. Me and my guys, we also judge cars and give out trophies at some of the car shows we do, but we’ve also been doing one at the Oak Beach Inn parking lot Sundays for over 20 years, and there’s no judging there; we all just go for the hobby. You might see a million-dollar car, you might see a $200 car that’s still being worked on. For the people who come down, it’s their passion, just like me.

“I’m one of the old guys now, and all this stuff I do, I’m ready to pass the baton, but I have to find the right kid: a young guy that’s going to do what I did so I can sit back and enjoy myself instead of running around like a hot potato. I need someone who wants to try to be a real, true ‘rodfather’ like me. Not for money — for the hobby, for our lifestyle.”