Frank Tarantino loved cars. Corvette, Barracuda, GTO – the list could go on about the cars he owned, cherished, and admired – but being the kind of guy he was, he wanted to share his love of cars with others. So about 20 years ago, Frank approached Karen Intile and the governing body to see if Roselle Park could start its own little car show. His enthusiasm and passion pushed things along and so it was that Roselle Park was on its way to having an annual car show. Now friends and neighbors can walk on Chestnut Street twice a year to admire beauties of steel from the 1914 Overland Touring (affectionately known as “Sarah Ann”) to the 21st century with the Dodge Challenger.
Frank passed away August 24th, just three weeks before Roselle Park’s September 14, 2013 Cruisin’ Night Car Show. Amid the sorrow and loss, another idea took shape. Councilman-At-Large Carl Hokanson, a regular at the car shows, approached his fellow council members and asked them to acknowledge a man who brought a little slice of the hometown feel that makes Roselle Park – well – Roselle Park. He asked if the upcoming car show could be dedicated to the lifelong Roselle Park resident and even took it one step further – have the car show renamed in his honor.
It was approved unanimously.
So, on Saturday, September 14th, amid the wax and lawn chairs and gleam of light against chrome, a moment was taken from the festivities to have the car show renamed the Frank Tarantino Cruisin’ Night Car Show. His sisters Christine and Diane were there to accept a commemorative trophy bearing the name of Frank Tarantino, Jr. As a tribute, the family asked that the song “Dancing In The Sky” by Dani & Lizzy be played so people might hear the lyrics and understand what he meant to them.
Diane spoke of being a family of 11 and how Frank was very special as a brother to them. The sisters talked about the personal deep losses Frank had with the passing of his two sons but they always remember him with a tear and a smile and his love of cars.
“He never said a bad word about anybody,” said sister Christine, “He was a very loving, caring person. He had a great big heart.”
Individual photographs can be viewed on our Facebook page (link). A slideshow can also be viewed below.