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On The Pinewood Derby

Dave Konig writes today on the Pinewood Derby that each Cub Scout troop holds every year. I remember my first derby and I figured I would send the story to Dave for his amusement.

Here is a modified version of what I sent him...

Growing up Bob and myself were best friends. We lived across the street from each other and we probably spent more time with each other than we did our own families. Regardless, like young boys do, we competed at everything. I mean everything. It was like we were caught in a life and death struggle for superiority.

Anyways, I spent a lot time at my grandparents and when it came time for the Pinewood Derby my grandfather was blessed (or cursed) with the opportunity to help me make my racer. My grandfather was pretty old by this time and when I showed him my block of wood and all the plans I had for it he probably thought I was half crazy. Regardless, he cut and glued and before you knew it I had a shiny red race car with a fancy plastic roof on it and a little lego man stuffed into the drivers compartment. It was certainly a piece of work. I thought so.

Off to the derby I went with Bob and his father. Bob's car was a classic racer. Dark green (if I remember correctly), contoured sides. The bugger always had the nicest stuff. Damn him!

I remember standing around kind of bummed out that everyone was there with their father except me. My parents divorced when I was young and so it kind of sucked that everyone was there with their fathers except me. Trust me, kids notice these things.

Anyways, they let us do a test run before the actual competition. The test run included me, Bob, and two other cars. Well lets just say that it didn't go to well for my racer. No graphite for my car. No oil either. The wheels on my car rattled like nothing you've ever seen. The other cars zoomed down the track, including Bob's, leaving mine behind. I can't remember exactly how long it took but it must have taken my car 15-20 seconds to get to the bottom.

I have no idea how old I was at the time but I was so embarrassed. As I said, Bob and I competed at everything and it was nearly to much to take. But Bob's father was always prepared and as I was carrying my car, along with my little broken heart, he pulled out a little can of oil and greased up the wheels of my racer.

Needless to say it really didn't get my spirits up. I was a kid and at that moment I was a loser. Not good at all.

To keep the story short, the competition went ahead and wouldn't you know that out of all the racers mine managed to finish in third place. I can't remember what place Bob finished but the bastard will probably reply to this saying that his racer finished in first or second place. Ah... screw him!

That would have be a decent end to the day if it had ended there but of course it didn't. They were giving out the little badges for the fastest cars and for a bunch of other categories. Nicest car and so on.

Well for some bizarre reason my racer won in the funniest looking category! What the bloody hell! I thought my car was awesome. I was baffled but with a serious face I went up and received my badge. The nerve of them! Don't you think they should have at least checked that I was trying to make a funny looking racer before giving me the award?

Anyways, all in all though it was a pretty good day. For me, it was one of those days that every once in a while seems to come back into focus. I have no idea if Bob or his father remembers any of it but I remember it all. Funny how that works eh?

I have no idea why I remember it but I do think about that day every once in a while. My grandfather died soon after that so maybe that explains it. Who knows?

My own father wasn't there but maybe I remember it because, in many ways, Bob's father was... well, my father as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I remember my first Pinewood Derby, my dad and I worked real hard on that car. I don't remember if I won or not, but I remember the goods times with my dad.

For all you other cubmasters out there like me, I thouht I would mention this, I was at our District's Roundtable this month and there was a company there presenting a program that gives "needy" scout family's a hand with the expense of making a derby car. They have a scholarship program as they call it. Our pack has 4 scouts that we support to keep the boys involved and we figured it was saving us about $100 and it gave the families everything they needed to complete a car for the scout. Here's the website

Pack 3328