Have I ever mentioned that way back in the summer of 1968 I gained my first and only experience as a winning race car driver?
That year I won 3rd place in the local Soapbox Derby Races conducted by our Cub Scout troop down in Ozark, Alabama.
Two of my idols at that time were Richard Petty who had won the 1967 "Grand National" (later called the Winston Cup and now called the Sprint Cup) and Mario Andrette who won the Indianapolis 500 race the following year.
And in between wanting to be a brain surgeon, a fry cook, and a
All you had to do was pay your entry fee which included the two "regulation" round steel axles and four "official approved" spoked rubber tires, and EVERYTHING ELSE WAS UP TO YOU (AND YOUR DAD.)
So we paid our fee and dragged the tires and axles home.
Then Dad got out his ruler and pencil and we measured my butt and my head and my legs and my arms and the design for a custom car took shape on paper.
Then after a trip to the local hardware store/lumber yard (there was no Home Depot or even Ace hardware back then in Lower Alabama) we came home with a couple of sheets of plywood, some 2x4's and screws and nails and commandeered the garage.
Our new 1968 Chevy Nomad Station Wagon was relegated to the driveway while we made sawdust and epoxy resin fumes inside, and a couple of weeks later we rolled out our "Richard Petty Blue" colored Race Car.
It had real "STP Oil Treatment" decals and my custom stenciled number (I think that it was #2) on the tail fin. (Yes my car had a tail fin in addition to a real hand laid fiberglass hood and nose cone.)
The details are a little fuzzy since all of this happened 43 years ago now, but on a Saturday morning we loaded my car and my other racing stuff (tools and "3 in 1 oil" and powdered graphite "lubricant") and headed over to the entry street of my school--the "recently constructed Harry N. Mixon Elementary."
There were twenty or twenty five other entrants that year, and after much "heeing and hawing" and final fine tuning of the racing machines and other mandatory "pomp and circumstance" the racing began...in two car heats based on a random drawing of positions, and when it was all said and done...
four or five races later I was the driver in the third place car.
The guy that beat me...my neighbor little George Dennis who was a year younger and 25 pounds lighter, won first place so I can't complain.
I have to admit that I took more pride in the effort, accomplishments, and achievement associated with that event--THE SOAPBOX DERBY--for YEARS afterwards than I have in many...MANY...many more profitable things I've done later in life.
Fast forward today...
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY'VE DONE?
The freaking snivelling, booger eating, tie died, patchouli stinking politically correct Liberals have totally screwed up the Soapbox Derby just like NASCAR has converted their races into generic events featuring cars which all look alike except under the hood and in regard to their paint colors.
First back in the 1980's they demanded that the girls get to race.
If they can win bring them on.
Look at the Indy 500 and NASCAR today...and look at the success of women and "minorities" given an equal playing field and the realities of actually having to hold on to the steering wheel going 200 MPH for three or four hours.
THEY CAN'T DO IT IN SPITE OF OUR SOCIETY'S BEST EFFORTS TO ALLOW THEM TO WIN!
And now apparently this politically correct "societal engineering experiment" has been extended to the Soapbox Derby.
I was asleep at the Helm and not paying attention, but I am incensed at the prospects...
Now apparently they have decided that it is unfair that I had an aptitude at age 8 to scratch build model airplanes which fly and had a Army Test Pilot Father that could help me design and build a car to fit my body that could be competitive.
Nooo0000...'taint fair because so many of today's "chirrun" in today's world don't have fathers at home and their mother's and their mothers' "significant others" aren't injuneers...
"WE GOT TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD...dammit"
So you know what the "All American Soapbox Derby" demands today?
You can't get out your pencil.
You can't get out your tape measure.
You can't get out your paper and calculator.
You can't design and build your own car with hand stenciled letters and tail fins and custom hand laid fiberglass hoods and nose cones.
YOU HAVE TO SPEND MONEY AND BUY A STANDARD...
OFFICIAL SOAPBOX DERBY CAR K I T.
To the tune of between $500 and $650 delivered.
You can't even paint the basic kit...you have to buy it pre colored...other children might feel inferior if you show up with a custom "Richard Petty Blue" paint job with air brushed and pin stripped flames.
And even on the fancier kit there are a crap load of rules and regulations.
And in the instruction they say you can build the basic kit in 4 to 6 hours.
The fancy kit?
A little more time but still...we spent a couple of WEEKs designing and building our car's (there was actually a second car the next year that only placed fifth--out of the trophy standings)
Sorry Ladies and Gentlemen, but I think that they've organized and legislated the original concepts and intentions out of this process just like all the Liberal "do-gooders" do with everything else they get their stinking hands on the past quarter/half century.
What happened to the ideas of originality and innovation and competition?
It's not about people's FEELINGS...PARENTS OR Child's.
It's about the realities of competition and winning, in my considered Redneck opinion.
No wonder so many of today's kids not only can't read and write and do basic math...
...but they also don't understand how to really be creative and make something better that is worth getting paid to construct.
Just showing up at work is only a quarter of the process...you have to actually PRODUCE SOMETHING which is worth more to your company than they pay you in order to justfy keeping you employed.
So many people...especially UNION morons and Government Employees...don't understand that fundamental concept.
I swear Ladies and Gentlemen...we get exactly what we ask for these days when we ask for it.
We're currently raising by and large a generation of mindless, limp wristed, pansy assed government educated IDIOTS unable to think and fend for themselves because of things like this...letting the rules cause shear luck to determine the outcome of what should be a technical endeavor.
This is exactly why as of this summer with the final Shuttle launch the US will be unable to launch a Human Being into Space...and it's just a crying freaking shame.
I'm sorry, but I have to go now before my head explodes...