by Cami M
An antique car owner shares his thoughts on life, faith, and love.
|Name: Anthony Mussuri
Occupations: now retired, former chef, business owner and custodian for Broward County Schools
Prized possession: 1951 Mercury 4 door sports sedan (“they didn’t have all those fancy names back then”)
Advice: “(go to) school. It wasn’t that emphasized when I was a kid back in the 50’s but it was a different time. Today you’d best be on the ball or you’re going to get passed up.”
Most important value: Work ethic
Motto: “See you tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise.”
I found Anthony on Hollywood Beach in Florida. He was there showing off his prize possession, the car he named after his wife, who he lost 14 years ago to cancer. Anthony bought the car not long after her death, carefully restoring it. It was the car, and his wife’s name painted inside the hood that caught my attention. There was a car show going on that day, but Anthony was stationed far from the rest of the pack. Several times as I spoke with Anthony passers-by, commented on his position, such a long distance from the others. “I’m a non-conformist” Anthony said repeatedly. “I have a tough time with people telling me what to do.”
Since retiring 5 years ago, Anthony has enjoyed “doing whatever I want to do, whenever I want to do it.” Seems Anthony has done that pretty much his whole life, with one notable exception. School wasn’t something Anthony enjoyed when he was growing up. Anthony finished high school only at Mary Anne’s insistence. “You want to go out with me, you have to go back to high school” Mary Anne had told him. So he did.
Anthony said that if he’s had a guardian angel, it has been his wife, “especially after she died. Sometimes I would hear her coming down the hall. She would wear these nightgowns, these type of silk nightgowns that would go swish, swish. And I’d be in the kitchen, lots of times I’d be in the refrigerator, you know--when she was alive--and I could hear her coming down the hall, and she was coming to check on me, to see what I was eating! Sometimes after that (her death) I would still hear her. You know, they say that certain people from you life pass on, (they) usually hang around you. I believe it. I really believe it.”
It was Anthony’s faith in God that got him through the difficult time after his wife’s death. “Keep your eyes stationed on something like that and I believe it will help you through any problems that you get.” His belief in the afterlife leads him. “I’ve got to be right here,” he said, pointing to his heart, “I’ve got to do the right thing because some day I’m going to go there (to heaven) and see her.”
As we were finishing our conversation with Anthony, an acquaintance of his came by. “Out here by yourself, huh?” the man said. “No, I’m not by myself” Anthony answered. And as I’d noticed when I’d arrived. He wasn’t. He had Mary Anne.