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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Sixth grader, Ethan Rice, 11, was recently named the 2011 Bullitt County Retired Teachers Association/ American Association of Retired People Grandparent of the Year essay contest winner.
Rice, joined by his parents and grandparents, was proclaimed the winner during a special BCRTA luncheon and meeting held at Mount Washington United Methodist Church.
The annual contest highlights relationships between grandparents and their grandchildren.
Rice wrote his essay as a Lebanon Junction Elementary student to honor his grandfather, Claude Middleton.
Rice is the son of Mike Rice and Michelle Carrier.
The Winning Essay...
I must admit choosing which grandparent should be the AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year was not a hard decision. If any grandparent deserves this award my grandpa, Claude Middleton, does. The stories I hear about him when he was younger get better every time I hear them. One of my favorite stories is when my grandpa was in a rock band. I never get tired of hearing about the days he used to drag race. When it came to cars, my grandpa could fix anything.
My grandpa was sixteen when he started playing in a rock band. For about two and a half years he and his five friends played in clubs, entered band contests, and to anyone that would listen. My grandpa played the guitar and sang. The band was called "The Undertaker and His Pals." I really think that's cool because I too want to sing and play the guitar in a rock and roll band.
When he was sixteen he bought a 1967 Ford Fairlane GTA that he fixed up and drove every day. When he was eighteen he put a 427 cu. inch motor in it and started drag racing. For about four years he raced at all the local tracks. It seems like all his old friends and family have stories about the Fairlane everybody called "Little Ford."
He was just eleven years old when he started working in his dad's body shop. He started painting cars by him when he was fourteen. Before he was eighteen he started doing mechanic work and running a body shop. Over the years he's worked and ran many different shops. My grandpa takes me to car shows and someday is going to help me fix up an old car for myself.
I believe my grandpa should be the AARP Kentucky Grandparent of the Year not because he was in a rock band, drag racing or fix up any car, but because he is the greatest grandpa in the world. He has always lived life to the fullest not letting an opportunity just pass him by. He has such a big heart and would gladly help someone in need. Over the years he has and still teaches me so much. The man I wrote about is not only my grandpa, my friend, but above all he is my hero.