CON­TEST PAVED THE WAY

What started as a need for speed ended in a life­long pur­suit.

Reminisce - - Our Lives - DAVE REINART • WESTLAKE, OH

WHEN I MADE A GO-KART in 1956, my neigh­bor Frank Cover, a weath­er­man with one of the lo­cal TV sta­tions in Cleve­land, Ohio, took my pic­ture and used it on TV as a lead-in to the up­com­ing Soap Box Derby.

By the fol­low­ing year, I had de­cided to en­ter the race with my friend Larry Dai­ley. We picked up a rule book with il­lus­tra­tions show­ing how to build a derby car and got to work.

The main race spon­sors in 1957 were the Cleve­land News and sev­eral lo­cal Chevro­let deal­er­ships, but any­one who paid for the parts and wheels to build a car could spon­sor a driver. In re­turn, the spon­sor’s name went on the car. My dad, who owned a real es­tate com­pany, spon­sored us.

The next year, 1958, I got a new spon­sor, Hig­bee’s Teen Board. My mom worked at Hig­bee’s depart­ment store as the as­sis­tant fash­ion co­or­di­na­tor for the Teen Board. She came up with the idea to spon­sor my car and get the board in­volved.

She had me paint the car pink. Then she got eight Teen Board girls to at­tend the race wear­ing pink-an­dred dresses. They rode in the pa­rade be­fore the race and cheered me on as I raced down the long, high hill on Green Road in South Eu­clid east of Cleve­land.

My in­ter­est in the derby and mak­ing things out of wood in­spired me so much that I be­came a fin­ish car­pen­ter and cab­i­net­maker, which I’ve done for the last 52 years.

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