When you hear the jingle, “The Hess truck is back and it’s better than ever,” you know the holidays are here. You can see a collection of the trucks from over the years at the Locust Valley Library, now through February.
As a service project for Locust Valley Garden Club, member Kassie Miller Roth filled the display case outside the community room that features her husband Kenny’s 35-year collection of the toy trucks.
Recently, Kenny gave away 20 of them to Kassie’s nephew Anesh Sieurag. He graduated from Durham College in Ontario, Canada, at 21, with a degree in computer technology. He followed his parents to Florida to start his career, but instead discovered he had brain cancer.
“He couldn’t go down on the floor,” said his mom, so they put the trucks on the table and he listened to the sounds and watched the lights. He showed them on Facebook, Twitter, and talked about the Hess trucks with all his friends. Anesh said to his mom, “I am a kid again”. He died at 23, and according to Hindu tradition, as his mortal life ended, his spiritual life began.
The Hess Toy Trucks have a lot of stories to share. Another LVGC member, Sallie McNeill Rynd, donated a truck to the exhibit. “The truck is actually my daughter Amanda’s. We had a beloved babysitter who gave the trucks usually to our son but in 1995 she gave that one to Amanda who was five at the time.”
Locust Valley actor, and singer Michael Harrington’s story behind the two trucks he provided is: “My Aunt Rosie started giving me the trucks in 1985, when there was still a Hess Station in Oyster Bay.”
Member Judy McQuiston’s father worked as a salesman for Hess Oil Company. “My brother got a Hess Toy Truck every Christmas. He loved his trucks.”
Librarian Paula Diaz said she was so happy to see the trucks and how beautifully they are arranged. “Lots of people are saying they love the Hess Trucks. The exhibit is getting a good response.”
Children’s Librarian Leslie Armstrong said a young boy came to the library with his babysitter. He went home and told his mother he wanted to go back and see the planes. When she visited the library, she found he meant the Hess Truck display. There are three helicopters in the showcase.
The display contains a commemorative glass for the first Hess Toy Truck that came out in 1964. It shows the truck with a green body, yellow fenders and running board, red bumper, red hubcaps, that hauls a green tanker behind. For information about joining the LVGC contact President Dean Yoder at firstname.lastname@example.org.