On January 29th, 2024 Vince “Gramps” Graziano celebrated his 105th birthday!
A true Wildwood lover, Vince has been coming to our sandy shores for 70 of those years, fondly recalling his family staying at Mrs. Rodenbaugh’s Apt. House at 322 E. Maple Ave. in Wildwood. His parents, thankfully discovering the Wildwoods to be as beautiful as their home beaches in Naples, Italy, brought their large family of 12 children here on vacation from Trenton, NJ. Vince happily remembers his mother always made sure to pack a large pot of gravy. Family dinners were the most important part of their day, where every child was served a glass of their father’s homemade red wine (which Vince believes contributed to his long, good healthy life, as his mother insisted on only the most beautiful grapes for the recipe).
Then came the war years, with Vince serving in the South Pacific in the US Army from 1942-45 as an infantry man until his skills as a mechanic and repairman were realized.
After the war ended, Vince returned home and found work as an auto mechanic. For the past 43 years, he’s been a retired foreman from the Dept. of Public Works in Trenton and currently helps run his family’s Magnolia Bikes & Parking Lot. His duties today entail sitting in his rocker on the porch and greeting all who walk by with a big smile, no doubt positively contributing to their day.
The Sun was welcomed this past Memorial Day weekend 2023 by his wonderful grandson Jeff Eyster and his other wonderful half Aliyah Eyster to meet this special centenarian. His dear friend John “Gigi” Gigliotti (also a WWII veteran and a few years shy of being a centenarian) also popped in for a visit. Gigi has his own claim to Wildwood fame, infamously known for overseeing the Boardwalk Tram Cars, and is also a retired Passenger Conductor for the Reading and Conrail Railroads.
The old friends chatted about many things, one of them being “work,” which for these two Wildwood guys never seems to be done! Gigi proudly said to Vince with his big old grin, “We’re doing a good job at staying alive!”
We here at The Sun are happy to report that they most certainly are and look forward to celebrating many milestones with them by the sea…