Monday, August 30, 2010


A couple of weeks ago, Kevin and I spontaneously decided to take care of one of the items on his "bucket list".

Since he was a little boy, Kevin has loved fast cars. Though there is a National Hot Rod Association race that takes place within driving distance of us (6 hours south in Brainerd, MN), he had never been.  There were always other priorities, always next year. With the recent purchase of our home, there are definitely other things we could have spent our money on. But, as he so eloquently put it, "I'm not 'always going to remember' the summer we did the eavestroughs."  Amen.

I know it meant a lot to him, but I didn't really know how much until we got home, and he sent me the following essay. Cross something off that list, or help someone you love to do it.  It'll be the best money you've ever spent.

The Model 
(By special guest blogger Kevin)

This past weekend was the Lucas Oil NHRA Top Fuel drag races in Brainerd, Minnisota where the fastest cars on the planet come to race. It was also the awakening of a 10 year old boy as he was summoned to complete a long lost dream.... 

 Containment would be a good word to describe that ride home from the hobby store with my new plastic model kit. If you can call containment an ear to ear grin attached to a bicycle barely touching the pavement as it launched off curbs and kicked up dust flying down the home stretch of my back lane.  

 "Copperhead" this one was called. My first rear engine dragster! I knew I had matched the colour scheme emblazoned on the box perfectly when I plucked the tiny paint bottles from their display rack. Assembly would be just as the folded instructions dictated plus a few of my own touches. Like thread pilfered from Moms sewing box to run as distributor wires and a small square of sandpaper from the basement workbench to roughen up the slicks to make the replica seem as it really did zoom down the strip. 

 To the naked eye all seems normal as a bar of light squeezes itself under the closed bedroom door covered in racing stickers, but inside a ritual has begun. Everything would be carefully laid out on last nights paper upon my bedroom floor. It was better here than the desk. I could see every aspect of the assembly line. Engine to the left, wheels stacked on the right, freshly painted body in front about to receive decals soaking in a bowl of water. Hours would effortlessly spin off the clock as did the songs from the AM radio beside me. After several days of a "why aren't you in bed yet" weekend, my masterpiece would be completed. 

 As I focused intently at my finished work my imaginary senses would come alive.
I could feel the rumble and crackle of the engine, smell the consumed fuel and easily see the haze of vaporized rubber from the burnout. It was only my mother calling me to supper that would melt the film playing in my mind. A movie that would be spliced and watched to the finish line many years later. The simple dream of a little boy that that came full circle.