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Paying it forward

Posted March 12, 2014 in Community Featured, Clive
Tim Schmidt captures kids’ attention with his souped-up red wagons.

Tim Schmidt captures kids’ attention with his souped-up red wagons.

Having fun shouldn’t be an individual endeavor. It’s meant to be shared with friends, family, even strangers. Whether you are a grandparent eight times over or barely able to walk there’s always something to experience. Take a note from Tim Schmidt who not only keeps his family smiling with fun toys but also is passing along one of his favorite pastimes.

“I like to bring people together,” says Schmidt. “My whole interest is to have fun. But I’d like to be able to introduce young people to the car show thing or the car-collecting thing.”

So what’s the best way rope kids in? Bring something fun for them.

Schmidt, who is no stranger to a garage as the owner of Clive Maaco, has souped up a handful of Radio Flyer wagons — renamed Rapid Flyer with some finely placed tape — and uses them to get kids and parents engaged with one another. Mom and Dad can take in the hot rods while the kids take in the whole show riding in style.

“I’ve had the most fun sitting back and waiting for a kid to notice the wagons,” Schmidt says. “Sure enough a kid will be by and just freeze. His eyes get bigger, and you can almost see his brain reeling at the possibilities of what’s sitting in front of him: Go-kart wheels, chrome, stick shift and a polished finish. Is there anything cooler then that?”

It’s walking up to these kids and asking if they’d like to take the wagon for a spin that really gives Schmidt an ear-to-ear grin. Some people at these hot rod shows can be really hoity-toity, and they see their car as mint and as something that no one should touch. Well, in the eyes of a kid, how much fun is a toy you can’t even touch? Enter the wagon.

“It’s great because now the kid and his parents are participating in the car show,” Schmidt says. “What many of us are doing at these shows is just trying to remember what it was like to be a kid. Most of us have been around cars all our lives so we have so many memories tied to them.”

Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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