Glen Cove City Councilman Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews and his beloved car, Abby, joined fellow Glen Cove resident, Sid Halpern, and his iconic 1953 Ford Golden Jubilee Tractor, along with local attorney and bagpiper Robert Lynch to bring some joy and snacks to all six assisted living centers and nursing homes in the city.
“All of us have paid tribute to our incredible front line workers at the hospital, to our first responders, and to essential workers, but we wanted to also do something special for our nursing home and retirement community workers,” Stevenson-Mathews said.
The trio had a last-minute addition when Bob Malvino offered to help with the tribute.
On May 18 the four men and their vehicles with snacks went to Glengariff Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center, Emerge Nursing & Rehabilitation at Glen Cove, The Regency at Glen Cove, Glen Cove Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation, Sunrise of Glen Cove, and The Atria Glen Cove.
In addition to providing snacks for workers, as soon as the men arrived with their vehicles, Lynch began a medley of tunes on his bagpipes, starting with “God Bless America” as Halpern hurriedly set up his wagon dragged by a tractor to use as a makeshift stage.
On it, all three men expressed their appreciation to the staff. The short program ended with Stevenson-Mathews singing “America, the Beautiful.”
All were invited to join him on the chorus. This same routine was repeated at all of the facilities.
"Wow, what a very special day.” Halpern said. “I was so grateful for the opportunity to be part of the show of gratitude to the healthcare workers, staff and residents of our city's assisted living centers and nursing homes and, having been fascinated by Ford tractors since I was a boy, it was a special pleasure for me to see people enjoy my tractor and wagon.”
Lynch, who played bagpipes as part of the tribute, said he was honored once again to have the opportunity to share his musical talent with the community.
Stevenson-Mathews echoed the sentiment; “I was thrilled when the fellows said they wanted to join me for this tribute – just another example of community coming together,” he said. “It feels good and right to make a point to say thank you to all of our frontline and essential workers during this pandemic and there’s nothing wrong with a little creativity in doing it.”