Saturday, April 20, 2013

Our Family's Last Pinewood Derby...

Years ago I saw a movie review from the recently diseased Roger Ebert of the film, Down And Derby. I remember Mr. Ebert didn't quite understand how grown men could get so obsessed over a child's contest. I saw the show and I understood the concept completely...because I live where it is almost as big a deal as was depicted in the film.

Today my son and I built his pinewood derby car. Since My other two sons had their pinewood derby experiences long before I began this daily blog, this will be my one and only time to comment on this "right of passage" performed by almost every boy, not only in our town, but our entire state.

I asked my son what he wanted his car to look like. He brought me four Hot Wheels cars. "They're pretty simple," my eight-year old said to me last night. "Yeah, they are..." I replied.

Since the derby is next Tuesday, we basically had one day--today--to build it and paint it. I drew a simple design on the side and received approval from the project team leader. Since power tools were required for the next step, I completed that task alone. 

Both my son and I sanded the car and painted it. We next hammered in the wheels and gave it a number. It now sits in our living room, waiting for its turn on The Ramp, which takes place in three days. 

I've helped build three cars over the past 10 years and they all pretty much look the same. I know that each boy loved their cars. The first two cars were competitive, but didn't win the grand prize and the boys were okay with that. I'm hoping for a perfect 3 for 3. My mom and my uncle helped me build my car almost 40 years ago. I hope if my boys are lucky enough to have the same chance to help build their own son's cars, they'll have as much fun doing it as I have.

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