Sometimes the car business is very slow. Summer is a particularly brutal time for us, because people are less inclined to look at cars when it’s 105 degrees outside. When it’s a slow day, we all look for things to do to occupy our time. One Summer, my dad, the owner of Liberty Autos, decided there should be a company race.
This was not the first Liberty Autos race. Several years ago, my dad decided to race one of our employees. She was in her early 20s and played soccer for a local team. For some reason, he decided he could beat her in a foot race. He lost. She no longer works here.
For this race, my dad selected who would run in the race, the distance to be run, the race time, and the prize. Our car lot is on the corner of a very busy street and a not so busy, dead-end street called Domino Lane. He set out the starting line on Domino Lane and determined the finish line to be about 100 feet towards the dead-end of Domino Lane. As the participants, he chose three young ladies (Olivia, Nathalie, and Elizabeth) who are all in their 20s and himself. At the time, my dad was 58. He eliminated the young men and frankly I don’t think he cared to have any of the women over the age of 30 participating. The race time was set for Saturday at 11 AM. The prize was $100 to the winner.
On Thursday, my dad did a practice run of the course on Domino Lane. He did not make a good showing. Watching him trot down the street in his dress shoes and slacks did not make for an impressive display of speed. We were all a bit worried that maybe the race was not a good idea.
Saturday morning, Dad showed up bright and early, wearing shorts, a t-shirt, sneakers, and knee-high athletic socks. For two hours, he warmed up in the office, doing knee bends, touching his toes, etc. Olivia, Nathalie, and Elizabeth all showed up in their skinny jeans and high heels, not having believed my dad was serious about the race. He had them all call their families and have sneakers brought to them at work. The race was on whether they believed it or not.
Promptly at 11 AM, the racers lined up on Domino Lane. I stood at the starting line, and one of the other non-racers stood at the finish line. My job was to call, “on your marks, get set, go.” As soon as the word “go” was out of my mouth, my dad shot off the starting line and was instantly yards ahead of the girls. Needless to say, he took them all by surprise. He held nothing back and ran like no 58 year old man has run before. With his arms pumping and his head tucked down, he left it all out there on Domino Lane. To the shock of the whole company, Dad won the race. He graciously gave the $100 to Olivia, who got 2nd place.
We had to admit that we were all impressed with Dad’s speed. It was the greatest athletic feat in Liberty Auto Sales’s history. I don’t think we’ll have another Liberty race, but you never know.
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