A day at the races

Kids having fun in plywood cars they made themselves

It wasn't a flawless soap box derby in Woodside on Sunday, May 4, but what car race is? Front wheels occasionally lost their alignment. Some cars rolled down the hill with their brakes on. Occasionally, a car rolled to a stop after running into the very forgiving orange plastic pylons set out to mark the lanes. Each race released two cars simultaneously, but rarely did they arrive at the finish line together.

Hurtling down the Independence Hall parking lot at speeds up to 10 mph in a handmade plywood car seemed a serious matter for some and a joy ride for others, but there were no injuries and no tears, at least not where they could be seen. The weather could not have been better.

To the accompaniment of recorded reggae music, with free refreshments and barbecue provided by the town's Recreation Committee, the second annual Woodside Soapbox Derby began at noon with an hour of practice runs followed by an hour or so of racing. This being Woodside, elapsed times were accurate to within thousands of a second.

Among the real-world entities informally represented on the decorated cars were NASA, Ferrari, BMW, the Boston Red Sox, the colors red and pink, pizza and a butterfly. One girl's car flew a flag that said, "I love fishing."


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