Port Washington's American Legion Post has selected Anthony Garofalo to serve as co-grand marshal of the 2008 Memorial Day Port Washington Parade. Anthony Garofalo was born in Corona, NY and raised in Port Washington. His father was a shoemaker and his mother a homemaker. He began working at the age of 16 as a machine operator for a company called Speed Products located in Long Island City.
In 1944, Tony enlisted in the Navy and received his basic training in Sampson, NY. After a brief assignment in Florida, he was transferred to Texas where he was assigned to a large seaworthy tug christened the ATA 198, which his comrades nicknamed the 'dollar ninety-eight.'
Seaman First Class Garofalo's duties took him to many locations in the Pacific theater including the Marshall and Philippine Islands where the ATA 198 was assigned to rescue sunken ships and transport disabled naval vessels to repair ports across the Pacific. While on watch patrolling the dangerous waters of the Pacific, Garofalo passed on information that he had sighted a 'tin can.' The term, normally used to describe a destroyer, alerted the ship's crew until a clarification was forwarded which said simply that the object was a common tin can. In the long patrols at sea, the worst of times were the typhoons that tossed the ship like a toy. Despite the weather and other hazards of the Pacific theatre, Garofalo and the crew boasted that 'even though our vessel was under water more than above, we never lost a tow.'
Garofalo learned of the end of the war while on the ATA 198 towing a disabled vessel across the wide Pacific. Garofalo was honorably discharged from the Navy on July 16, 1946, promptly joined the reserves and continued his naval service for an additional three years. During his time in the naval service, he received the American Theatre Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal and the Victory Medal.
In 1949, Garofalo moved to Port Washington, where he found a job as an upholsterer and floor covering installer with a furniture company called Siegel's Furniture. In 1972, Garofalo opened Anthony's World of Floors on Manorhaven Boulevard, which was cited in 1977 as the Small Business of the Year. Their business, which is presently owned and managed by their children, remains at the same location today and continues to serve the Port community as it has for the past 36 years.
Anthony and his wife, Rosemarie, have been married for 56 years and are the proud parents of Richard, Robert, Joseph and Anne Marie, all of whom attended and graduated from Port schools. Their enjoyment in being residents of Port is reflected in the fact that their family of four children, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren has settled in Port and reside within five or six blocks of them. Anthony has served as treasurer of the Elks, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and is a life member of Cancer Care. Rosemarie is a member of the Columbiettes.