It was time to downsize, I thought. Simplify really. At a certain stage of life those thoughts cross ones mind. Mrs. T wasn’t sold on the idea but with a garage and shed full of unused stuff, my time, at least had come. She suggested a “guys” garage sale. I wasn’t convinced there’d be a lot of interest plus I never went to garage sales myself. I already had too much junk…..
It was then that a friend suggested I try something called “craigslist.” I didn't know Craig but the fact that it was free easily swung me over. Now several months and some six hundred dollars later, in pure profit, I’m minus among other things, two electric trolling motors, a balky chain saw, a wall safe, a kerosene lantern, a hundred canning jars, a Zeiss Ikon 35mm camera, a giant Christmas cactus, a set of golf clubs, Mr. Coffee Espresso etc…. And one item withdrawn from the market at the express wish of my son. Therein lies the tale.
It was Christmas Eve 1949. My cousin Prudy and I stood proudly in front of the Christmas tree, in my grandma’s house in St. Paul, holding up our presents for all to see. Mine was a 027 gauge Lionel electric train. It doesn’t get any better than that. Thus began a lifelong interest in trains.
When my sons were young I built a fancy layout on an old ping pong table with switches, train stations, a mountain and tunnel made out of Styrofoam, in other words it had everything. Neither son seemed to impressed. They were too busy with the outdoor life and school activities. I played with it myself except when a friend, the high school physics teacher, brought out his American Flyer 07 train. More recently I mentioned my new found success and interest in Craigs List. “You can’t sell that train Dad. It’s a family heirloom. I love playing with it….” This all came as news to me. Needless to say the train and all the trimmings is on it's way by mail to Arizona. Well maybe the grandchildren will play with it....:)