GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Cruisin’ the Coast participants took time out of their schedules Tuesday to honor the service of the retirees at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport. A parade of classic cars rolled through the property.
Participants say this glimpse of the past is what helps keep them young at heart.
As the cars went by, they brought back memories of a time gone by. For retired Army veteran Tony Langdon, it reminded him of his first set of wheels.
“Back when I was in high school, I wanted a 1929 Model A Ford. I purchased it for $25. It was in a farmer’s cornfield. So, I asked the farmer ‘does that Model A Ford out there run’ and he said yeah. So, I said ‘how much would you take for it’ he said ‘I’ll take $25.’ So, I purchased the car, and I drove it to high school,” Landon explained.
Retirement home officials believe this event is an important one for their residents.
“Our average age of our residents is 83. So, for a lot of these people, these are cars that they grew up with. These are cars that they learned to drive in, so when they get to see them they get to remember time with their family, when they first got married, when they first took their children out. So, it’s a great way to reminisce and be nostalgic about things and enjoy the day," said retirement home Chief of Residents, Chris Alexander.
Before they began to reminisce, members from a hot rod club driving in Tuesday’s parage wanted to express their gratitude to the retirees.
“We built a cypress flag, and we want to give it to them as a token of our appreciation because that’s why we’re here because of veterans. If we didn’t live in this country, we couldn’t do the things that we like to do, which is to build hot rods and ride," said Gene Seymour, a member of Swamp Neck Rodz.
The cypress flag that was donated was signed on the back by the members of the hot rod group and will be displayed in the retirement home.