Feature Story

Dream Come True

By Cynthia Wickles

I never knew the power of something as small as a key chain. I found this out when I once made one for someone I knew, Dave Collins. This key chain was colorful. It had many little beads that were bright red, yellow, line green, blue, black but also had couple of beads with the number three and six in the middle. A dark purple plastic string that hung off of a silver key ring held these beads together. This key chain is something that I made up, all my idea. I didn't think much about it when I gave it to him. I didn't realize how doing one simple thing for someone else could make a dream come true.

A part of my dream happened one Saturday (November 6, 1999 to be exact). I got a phone call that pretty much changed my life. It was the beginning of my dream coming true but I didn't know it at the time. I was told to go to a car dealership, Roger Dean Chevrolet, because my favorite driver's car, a show car, was going to be there. I was told to ask for Henry Roper and tell him that Dave had sent me. I was excited to finally be able to see a real NASCAR racecar. This was a big thrill for me to have this opportunity. As I got to where I was to go, there were a couple of guys that were with the car, and it turned out that Henry was one of them. Henry works with DuPont, the sponsor of my favorite driver, Jeff Gordon. He told me he was going to be having dinner with Jeff Gordon the next weekend down in Homestead, Florida, and he promised to get me an autograph from Gordon. I didn't know what to think of this. This guy that I just met was going to do something for me that I thought was just too nice. I got the autograph as promised and I had it in my hands. That was just too unbelievable, although this wasn't the end of it.

Another part of my dream was yet to come. Henry had given us tickets for a DuPont banquet that Gordon was going to be appearing at on February 19, 2000. This banquet was in Daytona so I took a trip with my mom up there to go meet him. It was the night before the season opener, the Daytona 500, and we were going there to meet Jeff Gordon. You'd think it's impossible right? That's what I thought. Never did I think that my dream of meeting him would become reality. It did. I had to travel 200 miles, from West Palm Beach to Daytona Beach to make it happen and it actually did. I got to me Gordon, get his autograph, again, but in person, and I got proof by having a picture taken with him. We decided that since Henry had done so much for us, we get him something from Daytona to show our appreciation of everything out of the kindness of the heart to show appreciation. Final part of my dream was for me to be able to attend a NASCAR race live at Daytona International Speedway. This happened, on July 4, 2000. Henry had obtained the tickets for us and we just had to pay for them. Even though Gordon didn't win the race, it was still as great as I had imagined it.

I always knew that when you do something nice for someone else, something nice might get returned to you. I didn't ever think that this would actually happen to me. All thanks to this key chain that I created and made for someone, my dream did come true. It did become reality for me. You see even though Henry was the one to make a lot of it happen it never would have happened if I hadn't done something nice for Dave. Something that I thought was small.

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