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EXETER â€“ In summer, Mondays on Route 2 become a trip down memory lane with a classic car show beginning at 5pm. Scores of people bring their mobile monuments of history to the front lawn at Oak Harbour Village where they can show off their cars, talk about the work theyâ€™ve done and swap stories.
â€śEvery single night of the week thereâ€™s a place you can go to take your classic car but Exeter seems to be one of the favorites,â€ť notes John Hodis, of Charlestown, the eventâ€™s organizer. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been promoting the golden age of American autos for years.
Steve Tudino, a local volunteer, says they started the Ocean State Car Club to raise money for charity and accept donations for raffles. Attendees can purchase raffle tickets for gift cards from sponsors such as AutoZone of Wakefield and Oak Harbour Village businesses including Subway, Effie Filipouâ€™s Twisted Pizza, Dunkin Donuts, and Verizonâ€™s Wireless Zone.
A highlight of the raffle is the 50/50. When the money raised from ticket sales is tallied, the winner of the 50/50 gets half the total; the other half is donated to a charity selected by the car clubâ€™s members. They pick one charity for the entire season: this year the money goes to the Rhode Island National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Relief Fund. If active duty members of Rhode Islandâ€™s National Guard fall upon hard times, need financial assistance or experience emergencies, the relief fund provides aid.
â€śIn these hard economic times, you can only imagine how helpful this fund can be,â€ť says Tudino.
Bill Rounds, of Warwick, brings his fatherâ€™s 1939 Ford Coupe that raced at Kingston Fairgrounds in the 1940s and 1950s. He shares recollections of the racetrack shown in several photo albums featuring his car over the years.
Allan and Sandy Bowder, of Jamestown, purchased their 1931 Model A Ford coupe with a rumble seat three years ago and itâ€™s provided a hobby that filled their empty nest. â€śIâ€™m even getting used to driving it,â€ť says Sandy, describing how different the car is without the modern conveniences of power steering, anti-lock brakes, and automatic transmission.
The fully-volunteer supported event is free and open to the public. It runs from 5 to 8 p.m. May through September, weather permitting. For a full listing of car shows all across the state visit www.cruisinbruce.com.
Regina Foster is an independent contractor for SRIN and is the creator of the blog reginasuniverse.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.