Former students pitch in to prepare Raymond Central auto tech teacher’s car collection for auction – Lincoln Journal Star

March 19, 2022 by No Comments

VALPARAISO — Darrin Pecka first met Jay Henderson through his dad, Duane, who had taken Henderson’s industrial tech class when he was a student at Raymond Central High School in the late ’60s.

But it was Henderson’s matte-black Hudson coupe — recognizable by many in Valparaiso — that drew Pecka’s admiration early on.

“Everybody knew who he was. Everybody knows what he had,” Pecka said.

Darrin Pecka sorts through car parts at Jay and Polly Henderson’s house in Valparaiso. He’s helping them prepare items from Jay Henderson’s collection for an auction at the end of this month.

Henderson drove that car to school every day, and the family took it into Lincoln to get groceries. It was the family car, Henderson’s wife, Polly, said.

“Everybody in the four (Raymond Central) towns, they all knew that was Jay Henderson driving that Hudson,” she said. 

That car, and all of those industrial tech classes, are part of what made Henderson a local legend. Even as a kid, Pecka would knock on Jay and Polly’s front door and remind them that “Mr. Henderson can’t retire until I get to take his class.”

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Pecka graduated in 2012. Henderson retired the next year. 

They’ve remained good friends, and now Pecka, with help from other former Raymond Central students, is preparing Henderson’s Hudson car collection for auction.

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