Always a champion

August 17, 2005

Soap box derby is rarely a glamorous sport. Much of racers’ time is spent designing, building and maintaining cars, traveling, and trying to qualify for bigger events—not to mention going to school and having a social life.

Gorge locals Adam McCaw and Austin Requa, both nine, got their rare glamour, however, as they were whisked into Akron, Ohio with a police escort during opening ceremonies of the 2005 All American Soap Box Derby World Championships.

The two recently completed their successful with a week of activities and racing in the World Championships. McCaw qualified for the Championships as a local, Oregon champion, and Requa qualified as a champion of District Two (Ore., Wash., Idaho and Mont.). Also representing the Gorge was Nathan Requa, who was honored this year as the 2004 year’s Stock Rally World Champion. Nathan received a shield that was posted at the week long event and he participated in activities that peaked with racing against one of NASCAR’s Bush Series drivers in an oil-can race.

After a long road to qualifying for the World Championships races, Adam and Austin hit the course only once in Akron. The championship is a single-elimination format and the boys both lost close opening races.

Their short-lived shot at world titles was, although a little disappointing, a great experience.

Accompanying the boys on their trip was supporter, parent and sponsor Jeff McCaw. He commented; “They participated in several other activities, they received gifts from the All American Soap Box Derby, they were treated as Champions in Akron and they participated in many memorable activities, including a day at the amusement park at Geauga Lake, a badge and trinket trading night, and a parade of champions on race day.

“They both enjoyed all the festivities and were celebrated with 500 other champions during the entire week. A true all-star event as Akron showcased the champions, their cars and wonderful sportsmanship. The boys made friends with other champions from all over the world, and strengthened the friendships they already had with the champs and their families from the Northwest.”

At the end of their races the boys were awarded bracelets inscribed with the words, “Always a Champion”.

For many, the bracelet signified the culmination of a year of hard work, dedication and most of all good sportsmanship.

Hood River soap box derby:

The third annual Hood River Lyons Gorge Classic soap box derby comes to town on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 10-11. A course on Wasco Street will pair racers side by side as they coast east at about 30 miles an hour. The event is open to racers of all skill levels ages 8-16. Several cars are available for newcomers, on a first come-first serve basis.

Anyone interested in soap box derby racing or in the Gorge Classic race can contact Jeff McCaw for more information at (541) 386- 4950.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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