The 1st Annual Ray Goodfellow Memorial Pinewood Derby Race
Let me give a little background on this next party…
The teenager in this picture is my father-in-law, Ray. He passed away when my husband, Ryan, was 18. Ryan and I started dating a few years later, so I never met Ray. It didn’t take me long, however to realize how special Ray was to Ryan, how much he was loved and missed by him. Wonderful moments we have shared through the years (our wedding day, Ryan’s graduation from the police academy, the birth of our babies) were always a little bittersweet knowing Ray wasn’t here to enjoy it with us.
This month, Ray would have turned 70. We’ve always tried to do things so our kids would grow up knowing their grandfather but this year we thought we’d gather all of Ryan’s siblings and all of the grandkids (three of which are named after him) for a big birthday party. Ray loved the Boy Scouts. The picture above shows him helping at a pinewood derby race and although no one is quite clear how, we still have that same race track! So we created the 1st Annual Ray Goodfellow Pinewood Derby Race to celebrate Ray’s 70th!
Throughout the house, we displayed different momentos we had of Ray’s. This portfolio was an unexpected find in a tool chest Ryan inherited full of mechanic’s tools. It was amazing to look through and see his handwriting as well as notes others had written him while he served in the Navy. There were also pictures of old girlfriends and a receipt for money he sent his mother in 1967.
We also displayed Mike and Ike’s, one of Ray’s favorite candies. As well as kipper snacks packages. Everyone commented on remembering the gross smell of these but how much Ray loved to eat them. (Ignore my half done dining room hutch! I’ll post once we’re done, hopefully it won’t take years to get there!!)
I wanted to have photo enlargements of Ray throughout the house and Staples printed these photos in black and white on regular paper for about $2 a piece!! We had them printed to be about 16×20.
We found this foam board at Walmart in 20×30 sheets and cut them in half with a razor blade. I then put the foam board on the picture to trace out the correct size, making sure to keep all the important parts in the picture to be displayed.
We then sprayed the foam board with adhesive spray, lined up the corners and then carefully pressed down so not to get wrinkles in the photos.
The finished product! It added such a great element to the party, being surrounded by images of Ray throughout his life.
The pinewood derby picture of Ray greeted the guests as well as a working stop light. Once you enter, you find the track, which we lined with cones so kids wouldn’t walk on it. We realized the track blended a little too well with our flooring!
We also had race day pennants hanging down the hall to get everyone in the racing mood.
My front room housed many of Ray’s scouting momentos. Here are many of the handbooks he collected and taught out of.
A few pictures of scouting activities.
We also found Ray’s senior pictures on our treasure hunt. It was amazing for me to see how much Ryan looks like Ray, especially in these younger photos.
More manuals and a scouting pin collection Ray had.
In the family room, we displayed more pictures and the trophies for all the participants.
We also found newspapers from 1989 when the A’s and Giant’s faced off in the World Series. Ray loved baseball and the A’s. And most of you might remember, during the World Series, the Bay Area had the massive 1989 earthquake. The newspapers cover all of that.
Here are my kiddos derby cars. Too bad Ryan didn’t read the instructions to sand the wheels… we lost every. single. race. There’s always next year, right?
Ryan had a jacket and coverall set of Ray’s that we displayed.
We had goody bags for the grandkids filled with car themed treats and toys. (These might look familiar, the bags and stickers were leftovers from the Carsland party.)
The dining room housed more pictures including Ray’s engagement photo with my mother-in-law, Cheryl as well as a visit he had with Santa.
The food was a compilation of Ray’s favorites.
Wienerschnitzel hotdogs that he had often and usually bought with a coupon. (A man after my own heart, I love to use coupons!!)
Little Caesars pizza which he usually bought on paydays.
One of Ray’s favorites from the snack bar at the ball field was chili cheese nachos. I made the chili but had a little mix up with the nacho cheese so I eventually added shredded cheese to the table that I had on hand.
Ryan explaining the favorites to the grandkids before they dug in.
Here are all the race cars lined up!
Getting the race line up in order.
We got a special plaque made to attach to the pinewood derby track.
Ryan unveiling the plaque just before race time.
The first race!!
And there they go…..
Ray’s grandchildren (minus one, we missed you Cade!)
We finished off the night with one of Ray’s favorite desserts, a banana split without the banana!
I love planning a good party but this one was close to my heart. What an amazing night for our family to remember someone who means so much to each of us and for our kids to have memories of their Grandpa Ray.
This post is linked to these parties