On Sunday, February 20th, Trevor Bayne became the youngest driver to ever win the Daytona 500. At 20 years and one day, Trevor raced himself into immortality by winning NASCAR's biggest and richest race or the season. It was remarkable to see the undiluted joy in that young man's face in the after race video from Victory Lane and in the interviews that came afterward. He drove like a seasoned, mature, veteran who just happened to be wrapped up in a young package.
While all of that was going on, another group of hard working young people were doing something remarkable 1800 miles away on a balmy Sunday in the Midwest. 118 kids from 8 to18 were finishing up a musical they had poured their hearts and souls into since late fall. The Wizard of Oz isn't the easiest production to perform. It is a legendary musical that is truly an American icon, burned deeply into the minds of every generation since 1939. Yet the kids brought the house down, generating loud applause and cheers while setting their school's all time attendence record. The last weekend was a total sellout of 850 for each performance. Extra chairs were added to Sunday's show and those who ahd bough tickets and had someone not show up gladly let the theater dept. use the tickets and accomdate everyone who wanted in.
And me, I was helping with the silent auction, watching my son (for all 6 performances and a dress rehersal) and others on the big screen TV's in the lobby while using my cell phone to follow the race. To see the passion for what they were doing from young Mr. Bayne and those school performers struck me as a rare moment in life. Youth was served on Sunday and it made one 54 year old feel. well, not older but a bit younger. Younger and soulfully fulfilled for at least one very fine February day.