Dave and I first met Tony Schiavone Jr., and Gary Collin of Vindicator Cycles in January at the Frank Maratta Auto Show. They were showing their wares on the same stand as Alan Pastrana, the renowned airbrush artist. We recently ran into Tony again at our local Staples (the Pastrana-painted Harley was the giveaway that he was inside!) where he reminded us about the cruise and bike nights Vindicator was sponsoring, starting July 9th after a June rainout, to raise funds for the Cromwell Children’s Home.
We said we wouldn’t miss it, so off we headed on a very hot Saturday to meet up with Tony, Gary and Tony’s dog, Harley. While Tony took care of business, Gary explained that Vindicator was committed to giving back to the community, hence the choice of the Cromwell Children’s Home as the beneficiary of their monthly cruises, which include August 13th and September 10th. He told us about a poker run that began at Vindicator and resulted in a $12,000 donation to another local charity, the Osterman Community Foundation. The Cromwell Food Pantry has also benefited from events held at Vindicator.
When we went back outside and braved the heat to admire Tony’s superb 500hp truck, we ran into our old friends, Arm and Lise Couture, who had arrived in their daughter Danielle’s 1948 Ford truck. Lise explained that their regular ride, the “Fuggly” Dodge pickup, was having mechanical problems so they “pulled rank” and took Danielle’s truck. Arm gave us a quick rundown on the specifications of the truck, telling us it had a 302ci motor, C4 transmission and disc brakes all round.
Next we caught up with Victor Alicea and his son Cristian, from Middletown, who were there with their 2007 Toyota Corolla. We first met Victor last August in Hartford at the superb Lifestar benefit car and bike show sponsored by the Regiment Club. “I came out to support the Children’s Home. I used to work there as a counselor,” said Victor.
After taking our photographs, we then met Gary Rumpf, a member of the Renegade Knights Fire Fighters Motorcycle Club, who rode in on his 2003 100th anniversary edition Harley Fat Boy. “All the work on my bike was done here at Vindicator, so I came to support their event,” said Gary. He also invited us to the Renegade Knights’ First Annual Pig Roast/Bike Rodeo, on Sunday, August 7th, at Firemen’s Field in Guilford. The event benefits the Connecticut Children’s Burn Camp. I’m thinking that the event may be too good to miss.