Go Speed Racer

There are times when a father has to do the right thing instead of the fun thing. Last week, Ashley and Mallorie came home with Pinewood Derby cars. Dakota was extremely impressed and wanted a car of his own. For five days straight, all I heard was, “Dad, I want a car.” Now I can usually withstand Dakota’s inquisitive nature, but this time he was relentless. So off we went to the store to buy a block of wood and start carving. The more I worked on it, the more work there was to do. Before I knew it, I had put in several late nights sanding wood, painting, polishing wheels and axles. When it was done, I stood back and admired my work. This was probably the only Arizona Diamondbacks ’32 coupe in existence. With its teal body, purple exhaust pipes, and copper mag wheels, it looked pretty cool. To top it off, I had snake decals with Snake Eyes scrolled across the back. Tonight was the big night of the race. As we brought Snake Eyes out, everyone’s mouth dropped open. As the night went on, we raced car after car. Each time we were victorious. I was beginning to think that we would match the Diamondbacks 1999 win record. It was a glorious night until the unthinkable happened. The starter dropped our car on the way to the starting line for the final race. A headlight and one wheel broke. Dakota stood there in shock. His two-year-old eyes filled with tears. I consoled him and told him we would race even with the broken parts. In the final race, Snake Eyes rolled down the track on three wheels neck and neck with its competitor. At the end, it edged into the lead as it crossed the finish line and rolled into victory lane. Like Todd Stottlemyre, the Snake Eyes car overcame injury to head into the play-offs. This time, instead of losing on a Todd Pratt home run, the Diamondbacks were victorious. I brought it home and set it on my desk, a remembrance of the time I spent with Dakota racing small wooden cars in a church gymnasium. It doesn’t get much better than that.


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