A Special Car for the Memorial Day Parade

by Bobby Blair
May 27, 2018

This Memorial Day weekend a special coming home of sorts will take place when a 1931 Model A will travel between Guidhall, Vermont back to its previous home in Holliston.

The restoration of the old car, above, has been 50 years in the making, and after having the car restored for the past several years, Billy Ghelli of Guidhall Vermont is bringing the old chariot home to Holliston this Memorial Day. The vehicle once belonged to Billy's older brother Tommy, but when the Ghelli's parents, Fran and Betty (Kampersal) Ghelli downsized from the old farmhouse at Eastern Nurseries on Fiske Street near the intersection of Bullard Street, Billy took the antique to Lancaster N.H. for safe keeping. It was always Tommy's intentions of restoring the old buggy.

Before the elder Ghelli sibling could ever begin work on his cherished antique a call to military service and orders for duty in Vietnam arrived. Thomas Ghelli shown above on the steps of his hooch would be killed in action on the battlefield during the Tet Offensive of 1968 just weeks after arriving in the Republic of Vietnam.

Tommy Ghelli is buried at Lake Grove Cemetery. Billy Ghelli contacted the town's Memorial Day Committee and sought permission to drive the restored vehicle in this years parade. The parade usually has a few vehicles for older veterans unable to march. The parade committee gave a thumbs up to the idea.

So if you are at the parade on Monday and see the car above loaded with Ghelli family Gold Star members you will know the rest of the story behind the car. Tom Ghelli's Memorial Flagpole is located at Goodwill Park and a Music Room at the High School is named in his honor. A fitting tribute to the 50 year anniiversary of Tommy's passing.


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Comments (3)

Thank you for reporting on the old car. I have often wondered what became of Tom's Model A. Thank you to B.G. for completing the restoration. Looks great.

- Rich Girvin | 5/30/18 8:21 AM

Billy stopped here yesterday and gave rides to his aunts, uncles and cousins. What a great ride we had and such a beautiful restoration. My grandkids, saw for the first time windows that "rolled down" with a handle and a hood that opened from the side! Thank you Billy for honoring your brother in this way. Thank you Bobby Blair for sharing this story of "the car".

- Millie Kampersal | 5/28/18 8:22 AM

Thank you for the wonderful back story to the beautiful car that Soldier Thomas Ghelli owned. His brother did a wonderful job restoring it for him! I'm certain he will be smiling down from heaven seeing his car in the Memorial Day parade.

- Peggy Sloane | 5/27/18 10:35 AM



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