Behind the Slide – Frank Cutolo, New York

“I did a lot of things in the Army; you name it, I probably did it,” said Frank Cutolo, who runs one of the parking booths for the State Fair Park in Oklahoma City.

Born in Jamaica, New York, in 1948, Frank was drafted into the Army right out of high school. He said, “it kept me pretty busy.” Immediately after being drafted, Frank headed to basic training in Georgia before learning to be a truck driver in South Carolina. Then he was off to Vietnam.

“When I got to Vietnam, I was a truck driver for about four months, then they handed me a rifle and sent me out into the woods. The Army was good to me, so I enjoyed it.”

At one point in his military career, Frank was a drill sergeant. Serving in influential positions remain in Frank’s memory the most. “Being in a leadership position, I had the chance to influence the lives of the younger soldiers and make them leaders as well. I really enjoyed training and molding people into soldiers.”

Sixteen of the 23 years Frank served in the Army were spent in Germany. He isn’t fluent in the native language, but Frank picked up a little bit.

“There’s a German family that I’m still friends with that comes to visit their relatives in Tennessee. They usually stop by for a visit here in Oklahoma.”

When Frank officially retired in 1994 from his job at Tinker Air Force Base, he got to spend more time with his “trophy wife,” Laverne. It didn’t take long for the couple to decide they needed something to keep them busy.

“These are laid-back, easy jobs. I was a ticket taker at the past state fair here. It was a lot of long hours, but it was a lot of fun and I met a lot of nice people.”

The NRHA Futurity and Adequan® NAAC is the second horse event Frank has worked and attended.

“It’s interesting to me because the last time I was on a horse it rubbed me off on a tree. To watch them work out and then perform on the big screen is pretty interesting to me.”