Monday, July 02, 2007

Git Yer Motor Runnin'

On Wednesday, June 25, my father-in-law (hereafter FIL) realized a dream by driving a NASCAR-style stock car at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA.

As we waited 3+ hours for the raceway staff to assign FIL a car number, we recalled how fun it was to watch him open his gift. A small box was presented to him at Christmas as a gift from the whole family (that is, his wife and four kids). Instead of reading the card that said he'd been gifted with a "NASCAR experience," he looked beyond the card at the T-shirt underneath. After the big announcement--and seeing all of us poised with our cameras--he must have wondered what kind of cheapos we were to go in together on a simple ole NASCAR shirt.

But after the realization hit him, his face split into a grin that lit up his whole face. He is, after all, of that generation that slicked their hair back and used unfinished highways as drag strips. Only, for this little drive, he'd get to drive much faster and there'd be no cop on the lookout. He jumped up and crammed the certificate in his safe. If the house burned down, he reasoned, at least he'd still have his chance to drive fast.

All the kids took off work and took the 6 grandkids to the track to watch "Pap Pap" take his turn. After it was over, I asked him if it was worth the wait. "That was the best gift I ever got." His top speed? 160 mph.

Congratulations to Gary Meixsell, who made my dream come true by raising such a fine son. I hope he enjoyed being celebrity for a day.


shannon said...

Mel, what an amazing gift! :o)

Melanie Gold said...

Thanks, Shannon! I'm not much of a race fan, but I'll admit I got a few goosebumps entering the racetrack. And I think FIL is hooked, might even spring for another 20 miles on the speedway...