Ride in peace 

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LAUREN PETRACCA

On a recent summer evening, Chris Marron scrubbed a vanity plate reading “BAGNTAG" on a vehicle he once only dreamed of owning: A 1988 Cadillac Superior Sovereign hearse.

“I didn’t want a Corvette, or a Mustang, Camaro,” said Marron.
click to enlarge Chris Marron. - LAUREN PETRACCA
  • LAUREN PETRACCA
  • Chris Marron.
The 30-year-old Greece resident's interest in the vehicles first began when he saw his teacher driving one to his high school.

“When I’m driving, your head can be on a swivel and everybody’s staring at you," he said. “This is an attention piece that everyone is going to be turning their head and going, ‘What is that? What is going on?’”

click to enlarge LAUREN PETRACCA
  • LAUREN PETRACCA

Marron was washing his hearse in preparation for the End Of Summer Car Show & Motorcade hosted by the Town of Greece, where he would be meeting with six other members of the R.I.P. (Ride in Peace) Funeral & Formal Auto Society to show off their cars.
click to enlarge Stephen Miller of Buffalo sits in the back of his hearse with a prop skeleton. "My first car was a hearse," he said. "I love the attention and people get out of my way when I'm driving it." - LAUREN PETRACCA
  • LAUREN PETRACCA
  • Stephen Miller of Buffalo sits in the back of his hearse with a prop skeleton. "My first car was a hearse," he said. "I love the attention and people get out of my way when I'm driving it."

The club was formed by husband-and-wife and hearse owners John and Patricia Peckham as a way to build community between people who owned funeral and formal cars.

“He was a couch potato until he bought that car,” said Patricia of her husband.

click to enlarge Patricia Peckham and her husband John founded Ride in Peace (RIP) Funeral & Formal Auto Society. - LAUREN PETRACCA
  • LAUREN PETRACCA
  • Patricia Peckham and her husband John founded Ride in Peace (RIP) Funeral & Formal Auto Society.

Now, about 25 active members between Rochester, Buffalo, Ithaca, and the Southern Tier meet with their vehicles throughout the year for car shows, benefits, picnics, and various Halloween-related events.

“I’m living a dream,” said Marron. “Some say it’s a nightmare."

click to enlarge Hearses line up for the End of Summer Car Show & Motorcade. - LAUREN PETRACCA
  • LAUREN PETRACCA
  • Hearses line up for the End of Summer Car Show & Motorcade.
click to enlarge Children peer through the window of a hearse at the End of Summer Car Show & Motorcade. - LAUREN PETRACCA
  • LAUREN PETRACCA
  • Children peer through the window of a hearse at the End of Summer Car Show & Motorcade.
Upcoming events where you can find the R.I.P. (Ride in Peace) Funeral & Former Auto Society:

October 6 & 7: Dark Matter Scream Works in Greece
October 7: Hamlin Scream Fest
October 13 & 14: Housel’s Haunted House in Canandaigua
October 20 & 21: Nightmare Manor in Henrietta
October 27 & 28: Joe’s Fright Farm in Brockport


Lauren Petracca is a freelance contributor to CITY. Feedback about this article can be directed to [email protected].
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