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Come to the Garden Book | Vintage Racing and Childhood Wonder

Vintage Racing and Childhood Wonder

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”

“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.  ~ A.A. Milne

Just past dawn, the door pushes open just a crack, revealing a sleeping seven year old boy.  “Wake up son,” his father whispers, “today is race car day!”  Normally this little boy is not easily tempted from his bed, but this morning the covers fly back and he leaps into action…he is dressed and ready to go in minutes.  He hugs his father with a smile of expectation that stretches from ear to ear…something wonderful, something he has never experienced, is going to happen today!…

Carpe Diem!   On a warm, breezy spring-like Sunday in February, my husband and I ‘seized the day’ and the opportunity to take our friends and their seven year old son, Paul, to the Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing (CVAR) event at Texas World Speedway.  My husband races with this organization but was unable to participate in this particular race.  However, that was not going to stop us from spending the day with our CVAR driver friends and families…relationships we have come to treasure, and to offer a new life experience to a very exited little boy.

As soon as Paul’s feet hit the ground at the track, he was embraced by the wonderland of real live auto racing.   He literally skipped across the pavement as we walked toward the garages where our friends were diligently preparing their cars for the next race.  Each sudden and loud vroom! ignited Paul’s excitement and I smiled as I watched him, knowing from personal experience that the deep rumbling vibrations of the engine sounds, the scent of high octane race fuel, the anticipation of the race…it gets in your blood…and you are hooked.

But here is what keeps you hooked…the enthusiasm and hospitality of the CVAR drivers and staff.  As we walked Paul and his parents through the paddock and garages, drivers shook Paul’s hand and invited him to sit in their cars for for a photo op. Not one person said “don’t touch,” or “stand back.”  Quite the contrary.  These drivers saw themselves in this little boy, remembering the thrill of their own first encounters with race cars. With delight I watched as one driver after another enthusiastically sprung into action, fetching helmets and gloves to help make Paul’s photos as authentic as possible.  The  drivers’ actions communicated more than any words could their passion and enthusiasm for the sport of racing, and their desire to share it with a younger generation.

Up in the viewing stand, Paul jumped up and down, waving and giving the ‘thumbs up’ and ‘peace’ signs to his new-found friends as they sped by on the high speed bank.  And then, something marvelous happened.   An opportunity presented for Paul to ride in the Pace Car for the next race!  After being buckled into a very cool blue and orange mustang, Paul took off down the track, leading an entire group of his new friends on their pace lap.  All we could see was his tiny arm waving happily out of the passenger window.  Carpe Diem,young Paul.  You certainly seized this day.

Oh, that we could seize each day with the wonder of a child…to awaken with a smile that stretches from ear to ear with the expectation that something wonderful is going to happen…to know that ‘This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!’ (Psalm 118:24)

I know that Paul rejoiced in his day with the drivers of Corinthian Vintage Auto Racing.  And I also know that all the way home he begged his father to download the new ‘Real Racing 3’ game.  After sitting in all these amazing race cars, Paul has discovered a new definition of ‘mobile device.’ Gentlemen and Ladies of CVAR, you may have sparked a legacy!

Many thanks to the following drivers for photo ops: John Furlow, Jr. #38 1959 Abarth Allemano Spider; Pete Sandy, #04 1959 Austin Healey Bugeye Sprite; Jim Gewinner, #33 1965 Lotus 23B; and Mike Floyd; #614 1973 Porsche 914

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