This weekend was the Pinewood Derby. You know what the Pinewood Derby is – right? Well, I actually never heard of it till recently. You see my older son is in the boy scouts. He likes the events but is not interested in the meetings. No surprise there for a child who has focus issues.
Anyway, back to the Derby. It is one of the signature events of the boy scouts’ season. The boys are distributed blocks of wood, wheels, and numbers and from there, they design race cars. I was with my son every step of the way – poor kid. My father always blamed the tools. One time my Dad and I were putting together a barbeque. There was some pressure since the family BBQ was to be at our house that night. My father and I started early in the morning making our way through the 842 steps. When we were finally ready to light it, the tension was palpable: Would it work, would it blow us up? My father told me to back up as he readied the flame. However, we stayed side by side — both ready to leap should catastrophe strike — and held our breath. It worked! Success. It did not look exactly like the one in the picture, but that did not matter. So my poor carpentry skills are inherited and, unfortunately, seem to have been passed down.
Well, my son and I did get the car together, although the two-step process certainly made it a reasonable task even for us. He painted the car – not my choice of colors – and he seemed content with the final product. We were ready for the race.
When we walked into the location of theDerby, it was very crowded. I had no idea how seriously people took this. There were whole families there, an elaborately laid out track, electric timers, etc. I could hear Brent Musberger saying, “You’re looking live atFair Lawn,NJwhere 25 excited anxious racers are ready to do battle on the track.” Corn dogs were being sold. Some kids even had sponsorships. Ok, maybe not, but the feeling was there.
My son’s car – number 10 – won one race, came in second in another race, and was a last place finisher a number of times. He was okay with that, so I was too. The cake and juice to celebrate the successfulDerbyput a sweet spin on the events that seemed to leave everyone happy. My son and I are already plotting the car for next year. My wife is the crafty one in our family; she is going to have to get involved.