Luigi finds a Soldier
on the 4th!
by Louis Borda
Last week, Luigi celebrated our nation’s independence by crossing the Walt
Whitman Bridge and heading east to the SHORE. Whether it was a tractor trailer
driver honking his horn while giving me the thumbs-up sign, or a teenager
reaching outside her parent’s minivan to snap a cell phone photo, Luigi cruising
on the expressway was quite a site! We shared Pacific Avenue with the famous
jitneys in Atlantic City and “Watched the Tramcar” in Wildwood.
Along the way we met many former and current South Philadelphian residents, but
of course Luigi was busy “checking out” the other cars. He spotted a 1972
Lincoln Continental in the parking lot of the Sandbox Motel in Wildwood and
before I knew it, we were talking to the motel’s owners Joe and Rita D’Urso. As
it turns out, Joe and his wife Rita grew up in South Philly near 15th &
Dickinson. While Joe explained the Lincoln belonged to a guest of the motel,
soon I found myself sitting by the pool listening to his “car that got away”
It turns out Joe served nine years in the United States Army and while stationed
in Ethiopia between 1963 and 1965, he also had a little car that was a “blast to
drive and real attention getter”… a 1959 Fiat 500! When I asked him what he
remembers most about the car, he shot back, “I never forgot that car. It was
green and white, had suicide doors and was just a really fun car! I still regret
not bringing it back home with me … especially now with the price of gas these
So, if you are in Wildwood during the summer months, stop by to see Joe and Rita
at the Sandbox Motel on the corner of Park Boulevard & Cresse Avenue. Expect
free coffee and donuts and ask for the Fiat Discount! You can also pickup the
latest South Philadelphia Public Record there! Ciao for now!
Where can you see Luigi this week?
On Saturday, Jul. 12, he will help the Philadelphia Phillies celebrate
Italian Heritage Night by escorting Philly’s Singing Chef, Franco Borda, to
sing the national anthem and dancing the Tarantella with the Phillie Phanatic!
The game is on Fox29 at 3:55 p.m.
Send your car stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.