Saturday, December 29, 2007

move over choppers...

On Christmas day, my Dad showed Jeff his childhood Lionel train set. What is it with men and train sets? Just being near a train set, instantly transforms grown men into kids in a candy shop.

OK, I'll admit, my Dad's trains are really cool. I loved playing with them when I was a kid. He has some cars that actually do things - like the milk man who puts the bottles of milk on the platform. My favorite.

Jeff was impressed by the heft of the control box. He loves how all the cars are made of metal, not plastic. Nothing is made in China. In fact, it is made in NY. Jeff loves the history of the train set, and could picture my Dad setting it up with my Paki in their dining room. Jeff wants to get it up and running, so that he can pass it on to Theo and Miles when they are old enough to appreciate the trains and their history.

Jeff brought the boxes of trains to our house, to see if he could get them up and running. He set up a small circle of track, put the engine on the track, and it was off and running. He called me down to the basement to check it out. I had to get down on the ground to take in a good whiff of the train. The smell brought me right back to being ten years old. There was a button on the controller that Jeff didn't know what it was for. To my own amazement, I remembered that if you pressed it once, the train stops, press it again and the train goes backward. I knew the big button was the train's whistle.

Since then, Jeff has done nothing but search ebay for tracks, and other train accessories.

At first, he was going to set up a track near the ceiling of his room, and have the train go around the room. After seeing the train, he now has bigger ambitions, involving several sheets of plywood.

Where to put it? Move over choppers, there's a new obsession in the basement.

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