Friday, January 28, 2011

Gentlemen Start your engines!!

Yes it is that time of year again for the Pinewood Derby,
In the past Jimmy waited until the last minute to design , paint and create his car and he learned that procrastination kills creativity.
This year Jim took the hands on approach and started thinking about his car way back in December. Talking about colors designs, his biggest concern, " Dad you need to make sure the wheels don't fall off again this year". Well... one wheel falls off and you are marked as a flawed car builder. Plus why is it my problem when Jimmy is to be designing and making this car! So with that in mind he came up with a plan, Lets go see if Reo can help us.

Reo and Mary live next door and are great neighbors and friends. They have a garage sale every year that the kids can not wait for, they haul all their precious unused toys, books, etc, over to Reo and Mary, they sell them and the kids get cash, plus Mary always has a treat for them. Reo has a real shop in his garage complete with a belt sander, table saw and a grinder, all necessary for crafting the perfect car out of a block of wood. Jimmy decided that they could be his honorary Grand Parents for the day and they agreed to come to the Derby.

The car made... Jimmy needed to figure out colors and chose black and red. Last year the colors coincided with the local football team however this year that team will remain nameless, another story. The car was completed on Tuesday, two whole days before the race, procrastination... not Jim. Race day came, nerves and butterflies abound we entered into the race facility. The line for the dreaded weigh in was short. Jimmy walked up and gently placed his masterpiece, "The Cobra" on the scale. Now the goal of any successful Pinewood derby car is reliant on the weight the closer you can get to 5 ounces the better, over 5 ounces you must remove whatever you can to reach 5 ounces or below, Jimmy came in at a whopping 3.2 ounces, OH no! Fortunately Dad smuggled in a repair kit and after some side bartering with the other Dads we returned to the scale complete with 4 quarters taped to the bottom of the car and surprise, 4.9 ounces, we were in!

The actual race takes forever. There were nine dens each with about 8 scouts in the den and Jimmy's den which had 18, I have to wonder if anything this kid does involves small or low key. We waited through 5 groups, Tracy arrived just in time as Jimmy's "The Cobra" reach the starting gate. I glanced over at Jimmy and he gave me the thumbs up. The gate was opened and the cars thundered down the track and to our horror the started had put The Cobra, on the track backwards, Foul! Jimmy yelled as the other car reached the finish line first. We talked with the race officials who informed us there is nothing they could do to which Jimmy responded "Hey Dad can I get a Dr. Pepper?", this ain't no football game!
The race was fun and after all the smoked settled Jimmy's cousin Ben won the heat to chants led by Jimmy of ' We believe in Ben". Jimmy was too cute when after the race he wanted to pay Reo for all his help even though he did not win, that's our boy.