Isn’t it strange how some memories stick with us more than others? Usually, it’s because they tie to something deeply emotional in our lives. That doesn’t mean it must be something tragic or hurtful, just that it meant something more than just another day.
One of those moments for me was when I competed in the Pinewood Derby while in the Boy Scouts. We had a scout pack in town, Pack 3094, and I had been a part of it for a year or so. If you know the Boy Scouts, one of the big things they do each year is the Pinewood Derby.
The Derby is a challenge for the scout to take a block of wood, plastic wheels, and metal axles and build an un-powered race car with their dad. Because my dad lived in a town an hour away and my mother was single, Grandpa took the role of helping me out.
What my scout friends didn’t know was that my grandfather was an avid woodworker who restored antique furniture on the side to help make ends meet. He had a small shop area in the basement where he worked along with all the tools.
We must have spent several nights down in his shop carving, painting, and putting the car together just right. He added weight to the car so that it would roll faster too. What I loved the most about that, was how much he loved being there with me and helping to create something together.
It’s not always our father, or mother, who fills those gaps in our lives. Being a grandfather, I can attest to the love you have for those grandkids. They become like your own and you would give anything to help them. Grandpa was no different.
The race came along and we made it past the first few rounds to the final round. We came in 2nd place and I couldn’t have been happier! My friend, Parry, won the race with his car that was very cool and well built.
The photo at the top was right after they gave out the trophies. It was the first trophy I’d ever won. My mother was crying and so proud. Grandpa was smiling from ear-to-ear!
I still have that trophy after all of these years along with the car. I keep the trophy on my shelf as a reminder of Grandpa’s love and that moment we had together during a time when I didn’t have a father at home. He filled that role just fine…
That trophy, even though it was 2nd place, means more to me than a lot of the stuff I have of much more value. It holds a memory of love, bonding, and wining something together with my grandpa.
It may not be a Pinewood Derby memory you keep on the shelf as a warm reminder of someone special in your life, whatever it is, you know. That special memory isn’t the object, it’s the moment you felt love, joy, bonding, family, special, or just a sense of accomplishment.
Tonight, here’s to you Grandpa for being there and for taking the time to do something together with me. Thank you for your love, sacrifice, and for being the best grandpa I could have ever asked for!
Love always my friends,