Memory of auto repair during Vice President’s visit stayed with Shrewsbury resident

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Memory of auto repair during Vice President’s visit stayed with Shrewsbury resident
Businessman Albert “Lovey” Garganigo, as a boy, accompanied his uncle to repair a Pierce-Arrow automobile carrying Vice President Calvin Coolidge during a visit to Shrewsbury in the 1920s.

SHREWSBURY – A recent visit to the Cape Cod Heritage Museum Antique Auto Exhibit caused an old story to be recalled.

During the early 1920s, then-Vice President Calvin Coolidge paid a visit to Shrewsbury. He was visiting Matthew Whittall, who owned the Whittall Mills in Worcester and resided at his estate in Shrewsbury, known as the Whittall Mansion. The property later became the Masonic Hospital and is the site of Prospect Park today.

The pair were riding through the center of town in Whittall’s Pierce-Arrow automobile when the car broke down.

At the time, there apparently was only one qualified Pierce-Arrow mechanic around ― a Mr. Garganigo, who lived in town. He was quickly summoned and repaired the vehicle so that Whittall and the Vice President could continue on their way.

At the time, Albert, who was later known as “Lovey,” Garganigo was just a young boy, but he accompanied his uncle on the trip to fix the car. It was an occasion he never forgot.

“Lovey” passed away in 2016 at the age of 99.

The business he started as a young man ― Lovey’s Garage ― still is family-owned and operated to this day. It was relocated from its original location on Route 9 to near the intersection of Lake Street and Route 20 when the Lakeway Commons complex was built in recent years.

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