Car Show Question

On Father’s Day, my church hosted a car show in the church parking lot. Our pastor is a classic car buff, and has his own car that he proudly showcases at the event. This has become an annual show with a lunch in the church basement.

Our pastor said we would be having many visitors at the show, and we should show them that we’re the friendliest church on the block or even in the city.

I really don’t go to car shows, except the one that’s at the church, or the one that was at a celebration in my hometown. Anyway, here’s what happened.

Jon was singing at his home church in Murdock, so I took the kids to church and Sunday School alone. After church we decided to take a look at the cars in the parking lot. I thought this would be a fun learning experience for the kids.

We looked at cars on the road when my grandma was little in the 1920s. We saw a car from the year my dad graduation high school in 1956. It was outfitted with a window tray for food and drinks at a drive-in. Olivia liked the brightly-painted cars, the one with a purple dice on the door lock and the one with a pink mustang and stripe on the hood.

Here’s where we ran into trouble. I was snapping pictures of the kids by the cars, and Olivia ran up to touch the pink mustang.

As we turned around and started walking to leave, a lady standing with a couple of guys snapped at me.

“You’re not supposed to touch the cars,” she said.

“They’re your kids. Control them!” she barked.

I stepped back, completely caught off guard.

All I could say was, “I’m sorry.”

I grabbed the kids’ hands and walked away.

My nine-year-old son never touched any of the cars, and my seven-year-old daughter was excited to look inside and just lightly touched a few cars…like the mustang. In my opinion, the kids weren’t out of control at all. They’re good kids; just ask their teachers.

But, needless to say, I was confused and angry. All that friendliness didn’t seem to rub off on this cranky lady.

I asked some people about the rules at a car show. They said some people come completely unglued if people touch the cars. They fear the oils on your fingers damaging the paint.

What about driving these cars on the road? Do they worry about bugs or rocks hitting the paint?

Another couple at church who was showing their car, said it’s not a big deal at all. And Olivia could touch their car and even go inside if she wanted to.

I don’t know the lady, and I’m not sure if she goes to my church. My parents and husband said to just walk away and leave the situation alone. Saying anything more wouldn’t help.

So, moms and dads out there…What do you think? How would you handle the situation?

Again, I’m not real familiar with the proper protocol at car shows. I know you need to be respectful, but is it a “museum-like” event?

I didn’t see a sign on a car that says, “Don’t touch.” There weren’t any ropes around the cars, either.

If we go to a car show again, we’ll just be extra careful… and steer clear of any potential problems.

I wished I could have said more to the lady, but with my kids watching, I think “I’m sorry” was the best response.

I asked the kids later what we learned from this encounter.

Jacob said, “Treat others how you want to be treated.”

I think all of us can learn from that.

Until next time, happy parenting!


About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.

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Taryn Vanderford loves being a mom to her two elementary-aged kids, Jacob and Olivia.  Activities with the kids and a full-time job keep Taryn pretty busy, but in her free time she enjoys taking pictures, reading, Jazzercising, gardening, traveling and playing the piano for church.