Yesterday, I blogged about a lawn mower Leonard created. That was just one of the many Leonard Wood creations. This week’s museum feature is on a couple more of Leonard Wood’s “projects”. In the video below, Len Wood describes a mini Lotus and go-cart that Leonard built from scratch. These two “creations” display how impressive Leonard’s mind was and is today! He made the go-cart, powered by a Maytag washing machine engine, when he was 14 years old. The Lotus, designed and built from memory and pictures, was made when he was 80 years old. I don’t know about you but I think this is beyond impressive! I can barely figure out how to turn my washing machine on, not to mention build a go-cart from the engine!
Have you ever been in the process of mowing your lawn and thought, “hmmmm maybe I should invent my own lawn mower”? Leonard Wood had that same thought one day but he took it beyond just the thought. Leonard has a steep hill at his house that you have to use a push mower because a riding lawn mower would flip. He was tired of having to use the push mower on the hill because he was constantly “turning his ankles over”. To fix his problem, Leonard decided he would design and build his own riding lawn mower that would enable him to easily mow the steep hill. He built, from scratch, a 4-wheel drive, independent suspension, automatic riding lawn mower. This bad boy has a suspension like a race car and even though it only goes lawn mower speed now, he could make it go 100 mph! Only Leonard would design a lawn mower that could run as fast as a race car.
Check out the video to see the actual lawn mower!
Bernece and Glen Wood celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary this past weekend! That is absolutely incredible and we are very proud of them. As their granddaughter, I look up to them and their marriage in so many ways. In this day and age, where divorce statistics are at an all-time high, to say you are celebrating your 64th wedding anniversary is astonishing and I strive to be just like them. Anyone who is married or has been married will agree with me that marriage is no walk in the park. The dirty truth is marriage is difficult and we have to work hard to make it last.
Thankfully, I have my grandparents to look up to when it comes to marriage. Bernece and Glen have an amazing relationship and I aspire to have the same relationship with my husband 64 years from now, if it is the Lord’s will. They have an unconditional love for each other and it shows in every aspect of their life. I truly believe that their relationship is the reason my family is celebrating their 65th year in racing. They have shown us all how a successful relationship works and I believe that ultimately has affected how we treat each other, business partners and employees. Anyone who has ever worked with my family will agree that they treat everyone as if they are a part of the Wood family. That type of love stems from my grandparents marriage and relationship.
Happy Anniversary Nannie and Pa, we all thank you for showing us what marriage is about and love you to the moon and back!
This week’s Wood Brothers Racing museum feature is about the trophy display. The team has many special trophies at the museum and Len Wood gives us a brief description of a couple of his favorites. The 2011 Daytona 500 Trophy is on display at the museum alongside a short video that takes you through the final laps of the race. I have seen the video a million times but to this day, I still get chills every time it plays.
A couple weeks ago we celebrated Nannie’s (Bernece Wood) birthday in true Wood fashion. The family was going to be gone on her actual birthday so we celebrated a little earlier with a family cook out. The entire family gathered at Eddie and Carol’s house to surprise Nannie with a birthday celebration. Jon and I gave my dad an electric griddle for Christmas and he can make some delicious burgers without having to use the grill outside. The Wood family members are not fans of cold weather but are huge fans of burgers, so this makes “grilling out” possible in the winter months. Dad (Eddie) cooked his famous burgers and fries, Nannie whipped up her Macaroni Salad and “Bananaless Pudding” and I made Nannie’s favorite dip, my special Corn Dip. I could live off of Nannie’s Macaroni Salad and Keven could live off of her “Bananaless Pudding”. Somewhere down the line, someone disliked Bananas so Nannie makes her banana pudding without bananas and it might just be the best dessert ever created. We ended the cook out with a surprise birthday cake. Of course, Riley decided it was his birthday cake, so Nannie had a little help blowing out her birthday candles.
Last Friday Ryan Blaney, Jeremy and the Wood Brothers gathered in Stuart, VA to shoot video footage for Motorcraft / Quick Lane. The day was mainly spent shooting various videos for Motorcraft / Quicklane but during breaks Glen, Eddie, Len and Leonard were giving Ryan a brief Wood Brothers history lesson. This was the first time that Glen and Bernece Wood had met Ryan and they are so excited for him to be behind the wheel of the 21 car. I was able to capture some images and a video of Glen and Ryan talking about Glen’s 1937 Ford Backseater.
Today’s museum feature is on a variety of Coats that the Wood Brothers have saved over the years. These coats and jackets date back to the 1960s! There are many unique coats, including a leather blue and yellow Regal Ride coat. Kim, Eddie and Len remember Glen wearing this coat all the time. If you had one of these coats, you were Big Time!
Here is a video about the coat display!!
Last week I mentioned that one of my favorite Wood family Christmas traditions is Crystal Wood’s handmade ornaments. I wanted to get more details about the ornaments before I wrote a blog post. I stopped in with Kim last week and let her explain the tradition in a quick video!!
This is a special and creative way to keep loved ones who have passed away a part of Christmas! Here are a few pictures of all the ornaments. Can anyone guess what Crystal used to make any of these ornaments?
Hello 2015! The Holidays have come and gone and the Daytona 500 is just around the corner! Before we start talking about the 500, I want to take a look back over the last month. Where did everyone spend the Holidays? Did you spend it with family? Travel anywhere adventurous? Take some time off work? We would love to hear what everyone did during the Holidays!
My family spent the majority of our time in Virginia. When we were not working, we were burning the roads to Virginia and I would not have had it any other way. Looking back on the last month, it has been so amazing to be able to spend so much time with my entire family. During the season it is very difficult for my husband to make it to Virginia because he travels every weekend. Therefore, we took full advantage of him having some time off work. We arranged our trips with my brother and his family so that we were all in Stuart at the same time. GiGi and PaPa had their hands full with 5 yorkies, 2 Labs, a 6 month old and a 2 year old all under the same roof! They handled it like champs and never missed a beat. I am pretty sure my mom is the energizer bunny. That woman is nonstop!
Our latest obsession is bowling and we spent A LOT of time at the local bowling alley, Tin Pen Alley. Jon, Michael, Amanda and I have our own bowling balls and shoes. However, the boys had to go the extra mile and purchase wrist guards, cleaning spray and rolling bags. I am sure it is quite hilarious to see us roll up into the bowling alley acting like we are professionals but then bowling a whopping 120. Okay, okay, Jon and Michael have been known to bowl in the mid-200s but Amanda and I are still working on perfecting our skills. When we were not bowling, we were chasing Riley around the house, entertaining Giselle, riding 4-wheelers, playing board games or eating.
Every morning we would have breakfast with Nannie and Pa at the Stuart Family Restaurant and many nights we would end up back in the same spot for dinner. Giselle usually ended up pitching a fit because it was nap time and Riley would run around yelling “keys, keys” because he thinks every time we go the Stuart Family Restaurant, he gets to put “Keys” (aka Quarters) into the machine and get a bouncy ball. I am pretty sure he has now collected around 30 balls and enjoys dumping them all in the floor at once.
Riley is in the “terrible 2s” stage but I like to refer to them as the “terrific 2s” because he is so funny and entertaining. Granted he has his moments where I am pretty sure he is related to Tasmanian Devil, like when he decided to flush a plastic cup down the toilet! My mom was in the bathroom and turned away for one second and then heard him yelling, “Cup Gone Gigi, Cup go Bye Bye”. That was an all-day project trying to retrieve the plastic cup from the toilet. In the end, Jon removed the entire toilet and then used a leaf blower to blow the cup out of the toilet. I am guessing he has experience with these types of destructive “accidents”??
After it was all said and done, this past Christmas/New Years has been one of my favorites to date! Being a mom puts a whole new spin on life and makes me appreciate these special times with my family so much more. Not to mention, it is very nice to have a house full of babysitters when we need them. Below are a few pictures I captured, featuring GiGi (Carol), PaPa (Eddie), Dada (Jon), BooBoo (Amanda), Ike (Michael) and Dordon (Me). Riley’s versions of our names are so much better than our actual names :).
The Wood family held their annual Christmas gathering a couple weeks ago in Stuart, VA. Every year the entire Wood family gets together two times, once in the summer and once around Christmas. It is an event that I look forward to every year.
In the summer, the gathering is usually held at the Wood Brothers home place in Stuart, VA but during the winter it is held at the Wood Brothers Racing shop in Stuart, VA. “The gathering has been taking place as far back as I remember”, stated Kim Hall. All four living Wood Brothers and sister attended the gathering with their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. One of my favorite Christmas reunion traditions is the handmade ornaments that Crystal Wood makes every year for each family. The ornaments are made from Nannie Wood’s, the original Wood Brothers’ mother, household items and each year the ornament is different. We will have a special blog on the ornaments at a later date.
The family gathering is an event that I look forward to every year. This is the only time that I get to see some of the family and it is great that we all take time out of our busy life’s to come together.