Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blazin' Berries!!

Well, we tried something new. That's big for us...we generally just stick in the mud. But this time, we stepped outside of the norm and took on the Lynde 500.

It helped that I was personally asked to sponsor a cart -- and that I knew very little about the actual event. It was advantageous to Mr. Troy Luginbill, the requestor, that I love the Lynden Pioneer Museum and want to support that treasure in our community as much as I can. I actually agreed because I didn't have to find a cart -- they had one for us -- and I only had to try to find a team -- Troy said he could find some people if I couldn't.

Things started off well when Nephew Derek responded with great enthusiasm to my query of his interest. He assured me that he would find a team, and it would be great! And fun! And I told him there were PRIZES of MONEY!!!

I was just tickled that I didn't have to tell him about the prize money until AFTER he had said yes. Things were looking up.

So I picked up our borrowed cart -- which was painted in gray/black camo, but had some awesome cutout flames. The guys came to try it out and were enthused. No one but me had time to re-design the color scheme so I got out the rattle cans, and hoped the result wouldn't be too girly...that the boys would not be embarrassed to push that baby around the track.

The result? Our own Blazin' Berry on wheels...

It had to be a raspberry -- and everyone was good with that.

I had the barest of information about the race, and procedures...most of which came from reading the rules in the entry packet, and which I broadly misinterpreted. As the day went on, I kept saying, "Oh! I get it now..." But I was never quite right until the end of the day...mostly right anyway.

So my team, my Blazin' Berries, brave gentlemen that they are {Derek, Tom, Noah, Brennan}, came into the event blind as to what was ahead. We came with high hopes -- 8 teams, 4 money prizes! Young strong fellers, 3 of whom had actually practiced pushing the cart...How hard could it be?

Then, we saw the track...
and were confused.

And then the boys saw the Marines,
and they were intimidated.

And then, they had the teams meeting,
and we still didn't understand.

And then, the emcee, Hot Rod Serling,
began to wax eloquent about things we knew not what...

Right about then, there were 5 of us wondering why we thought it would be fun to do this on Labor Day...But there was no going back now! Marines or no, we were in it.

The boys rallied and readied for their first heat.

Nerves, nerves! How to steer? How to push?
(Hey, it's a LOT harder than it sounds...trust me!)

And, first time out, WE ARE WINNERS!! Way to go Blazin' Berries!!

Second time out...
we lose a wheel. The hub cracks and binds it up against the frame. We can't even finish...
But that's okay -- many heats yet to come. The guys have a consult with the pit mechanic...

...and go on to the next heat...which is close, really close...but after that heat, we are a man down due to heat -- I mean hot heat, and lack of fluids or food or somethin', and too many races too close together...
and another one coming up soon!

Brennan's dad, Jim, jumps in to keep the team going...God bless him! He's just been observing that if he had to push those things he might just pop a hamstring...and now he get's to see if it happens.
Go Jim, go!! But don't get hurt!!

He does great! But then, we lose our steering. The rinky dink running gear gets so sloppy that our front wheels are pointing out in opposite directions by the last curve of the race...The race in which we were LEADING, thank you very much you rinky dink (mumble, mumble) running gear design.

The mechanic is frustrated, the pushers are exhausted from fighting the wayward wheels, and in spite of that, it is the Blazin' Berries that give those Marines a run for their money in the next heat!

Take that you, you big intimidators!!

We ALMOST win...and we ALMOST win a lot more times as the day goes on...

But this isn't horseshoes...and the money prizes slip out of reach.

Our last hope is to win the design contest, which is determined by the cheers of the crowd. Our Blazin' Berries unit gets long and loud cheers, and ends up tied with the...Marines...

Take a moment to look at the above carts...I ask you: which has more style, more fluid lines, more beauty in its function??? I quote Jaden, Brennan's 5 year old brother, who said: "I like yours the best." Thank you, Jaden! I believe you are right, so very right!

I don't know how it happened (and I will say nothing here about the fact that the Marines passed out free lanyards to the crowd just prior to the voting because that would seem petty and bitter and sour grapes-ish) but in the cheer off, the Marines won. Yep, the crowd went all patriotic on us, and gave it to the Marines. And I don't want to hear anything either about how they gave the prize money to Toys for Tots when we just would have all gone out for dinner on it...That's immaterial as we did not win and no one could prove that we would be so selfish...

Still all was not lost...Our team won the Spirit Award for "trying to take a slice out of every opponent". I'm not exactly sure what Hot Rod Serling meant by that, but I'm sure it was sincere, and we will all enjoy the pizza, thank you very much!

And we did have fun, and we laughed A LOT, and we had fun with the boys' families, and we helped raise money for the museum, and Derek has forgiven me for getting him into this.

In fact, I thought I overheard the boys talking about how they would do it better next year...

Heh, heh, heh...you didn't think I heard that, did you...

Now we'll just have to see if I remember that you did...

A note of thanks to the fellers: Derek, Tom, Noah, Brennan, and his dad, Jim! You were great sports, and you've got game! Thanks for runnin' in the Lynde 500!

1 comment:

songbyrd said...

That was a very fun read!

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)