Thursday, July 7, 2016

4th of July 2016

Just when I thought the Internet was operational again I was let down.  On Tuesday evening our TiVo boxes were acting up (the Internet was working) and Justin called the company and by the end of the call the Internet was no longer working.  I have no idea what went on but they couldn't sent a tech here until 8:00 a.m. this morning so we didn't have Internet all day yesterday and the tech was here for three hours (yes, THREE HOURS) this morning and he even had to call for backup help but now think it is finally functioning correctly.  I think.  So I have a lot to catch up on.

Before getting into our 4th of July festivities I have to mention that it was our 9th anniversary last week on June 30th.  The traditional gift for a 9th anniversary is pottery and the updated gift is leather (which is also the traditional gift for the 3rd).  Justin strayed from the traditions of the rule following society of the past and gave me a giant inflateable raft with cup holders and an anchor for floating at the lake. 

I was always saying I wanted one of those whenever we saw them in stores and now I have one.  The box said "Great for kids!!!" and I wanted to scribble that out with a permanent marker and write "Adults only!" but of course that didn't work out. 

Oh well, I guess the kids can play on it too.  And they did, all weekend.  We also brought a new tube for pulling behind the boat just for fun.  There is another tube there but it is a ring that you lay on and this is better for the kids (see, I think of them too!). Ben actually named this thing the "water couch".  A perfect name, indeed.

I thought that was Justin and Ben from the thumbnail but it is actually my brother-in-law and nephew.  But the idea is the same. 

After spending the weekend at the lake we went to my hometown for the annual 4th of July festivities there.  On Sunday night we waited until dark, which is after 10 p.m., to do fireworks and then I went to the street dance in town at 11:30 p.m. because I like to pretend I'm in college still.  I say "I" because Justin had a sore throat and still does so he didn't want to go out at 11:30.  The band playing was one I used to watch in college so it was fitting. 

Here is Tessa's first sparkler.  She wasn't sure about it.  Both kids really liked the little snappers that you thrown on the ground.

On Monday morning there was a Kid's parade that took place right before the real parade with a short route and we put all the kids in it (seven total).  We did an NDSU theme.  Ben walked and threw candy with me as I pushed Milo who was sleeping.  Tessa rode in the wagon and ate candy. 

Tessa also got to be part of the big parade.  I will say more about this later but we have brought Justin's dad's old car, a 1964 Ford Galaxie, home with us after it has spent many years at his mom's house.  Our retrieval of it coincided with the 4th of July weekend so he put it in the parade.  Ben didn't want to ride because he wanted to get candy but Tessa was Daddy's helper.  I hope that car seat recommendations are overlooked for parades but if not...please don't report me!  Haha...I know you won't but there are some sanctimonious monsters out there that would.

Here she is, hording candy.  And don't be alarmed, that Tidy Cats bucket was thoroughly cleaned. 

Then came the big event, the demo derby. 

I don't know why I get such a kick out of this foolish display, especially since I don't have much interest at all in racing, monster trucks or any other automotive exploit.  I think it's the local nature of it and the festivity (I know, I have used that word excessively in this post, but my mental thesaurus is not working today) of the afternoon.  Also, I love sitting out in the hot weather and relaxing and socializing.  Also, who hasn't fantasized, at least once, about stepping on the gas pedal in a fit of rage and just letting loose on whatever is in your way? 

Ben had a lot of fun.  For awhile there was not a cloud in the sky and we were worried he was getting too hot but he didn't want to leave and then the sky became overcast and the weather was perfect.  The highlight was when a car started on fire in the back seat (I think the fuel tanks are moved back there) and the driver had to dive out the window as the fire department guys put out the fire with extinguishers.  I should add, and I know I have mentioned this is previous years, that I have seen this event probably 20 times (it has been going on since 1990) and I have never seen an injury or a driver needing medical attention.  Despite their low budget atmosphere, derbies are a regulated sport with rules and officials and strict inspections of the cars.

There has been talk for years that demo derby-ing can't last forever because the old metal bodied cars will become harder to find.  Those days are arriving, unfortunately.  I heard what the person who won spent on his car and it was as much as a nice gently used modern vehicle would cost. More than many, actually.  Another competitor had his car ready to drive and at the last minute was offered $4,000 by another driver who wanted it for their town's derby so he chose to sell it instead.  The prize for winning 1st place isn't close to that much.  This one had a grand prize of $1,500 so that gives you an idea.  The days of finding old station wagons and four door sedans and buying them for a few hundred dollars are over which means derbying is becoming unattainable.  There were thirteen drivers (including the pickups and a veteran heat) when there used to be thirty or more so it's not quite the same anymore. 

So, what, you might ask, makes a good derby car?  I was reading the rules after I came upon them on Facebook while clicking through pictures from the event and this lead me to some internet research.  Because that's what I do.  INTERNETTTTT!  I MISSED YOU SO!!!  American cars from the 1970's are ideal and of course the 60's and 80's are fine too.  So that means the ideal cars are 40+ years old.  There is a legendary car, the Chrysler Imperial, which is so strong and can handle so much crashing that it has been banned from demo derbies along with hearses and limos.  'MERICA!  DETROIT! Reading about old cars makes me nostalgic for the old days when everyone was so proud of the cars made in America.  I still am, but many people are not. 

Here is an Imperial out to pasture (Google images photo)...

Image result for chryser imperial demo derby

I bet derby people would lose their mind if they came upon this scene even though Imperials are not allowed anyway.  Apparently, any old and long luxury car like a Lincoln or Cadillac is best and station wagons are also a very good option.  I have seen many station wagons in action in demo derbies and they can really take some hits. 

Anyway I hope I get to see a few more derbies before they are obsolete.  Something tells me that watching 90's and early 2000's era Ford Tauruses and Chevy Impalas shattering on impact with all their computer system wires dangling out would not have quite the same effect as the watching the current standard derby cars. Also, I would hate for the town to lose the money that this event raises through gate admission and raffle tickets because it is ALOT.  I don't know what could take its place.

And speaking of old cars, I snapped a few pictures of the Galaxie as it left our garage for its new storage unit home. 

Every Tuesday night in the summer, there is a gathering of "car people" in town and they "drag Main".  The street is actually called Main Street. People set up lawn chairs along the street and get some ice cream from Dairy Queen and watch as hundreds of car enthusiasts parade their cars, along with the regular traffic, up and down the streets.  Well, guess what we found ourselves a part of as we drove the Galaxie to storage.  I was following Justin and I was delighted by our impromptu showing.  He thought it was dumb but it wasn't.

I think old cars are so beautiful in their designs and colors even though I don't know a lot of automotive details like some people do.  For example, as soon as my dad heard the year of Justin's Galaxie he knew some trivia about the position of the headlights from that year. I thought it was interesting that there were no Ford blue ovals on the Galaxie.  There was one on the floorboard though.  Maybe when I am older I will know things like that about cars...such as the year that all cars were mandated to be manufactured with car seat tethers or how many car seats could fit in a Ford Expedition or...never mind...I'm boring myself. 

1 comment:

Ashley Strukel said...

My dad bought one of those tubes last year. After one weekend it was shredded so we took it back to scheels for another one. And a week later that one was shredded too. It was fun while it lasted. Seems like half the people at our lake have them and are permitted to use them more than twice, but not us for some reason. Eye roll.