There are many ways we connect to who we are; the activities we do either on the job or in our spare time, the places we frequent often and the people we surround ourselves with. Part of who we are is also in our history. The stories of our family, before we came here, while we are here and after some may pass, effects their interaction with us and the people who come into our lives because of their connections.
An example of this is that my dad loved cars. He taught himself how to do the maintenance on his own cars by asking people he knew how to do it first. He also loved to help underprivileged youth because he grew up in the depression era. My father knew that the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and everyone deserved a fair treatment. One school that he took a special liking to is the Connecticut Junior Republic. There mission is to teach youth trades so that they would become productive citizens, have a chance at having a great life and have a place to call home until they became adults, instead of going through the foster system.
How do these things connect?
He introduced the CJR as a recipient of a future car show fund raiser at his car club annual meeting. The first year they didn’t make a lot of money for the school. The next year they doubled in size. The third and fourth years they have gone from under 50 cars participating to over 300. All the members of my dad’s club have now joined forces with another club to host the CJR “Cars for Kids” car show, so I can’t wait to see what next year brings!
How does this connect to who I am?
I find myself, my sister and Mom today presenting a trophy to a car owner at the show that my dad and his club started four years ago. I will continue to be there every year from now on. His dream is being realized on a much bigger scale than even he could predict. It is a reminder to me that we all need to do our small part for what we believe in. Others may join us or complete our dreams for us when we go. I am so blessed to have been a part of his life in a special way. He was such a great man and a great inspiration to us all. His dream is now my dream and it brings a smile to my face to know how happy he would be to see all those cars and people supporting what he believed in.
I hope to see you at next year’s show in Litchfield, Connecticut!
It was a beautiful day. People of all ages are welcome and cars of all ages are welcome, too. There are activities for the kids, food is served in their dining room and if you come in a car, you may be one of the lucky winners!