Living on the Edge of the Forest


I love train sets — everything about them.  Many of my school-mates had Lionel “O” gauge train sets; I preferred the smaller “S” gauge made by American Flyer.  American Flyer “S” gauge was smaller and (to my eye) more realistic than “O” gauge, but bigger than the dainty “HO”  sets.

American Flyer “S” gauge Train Set

Nothing American Flyer made was ever unimportant to me, and it was my goal to inspire my late Father to gift me as much as possible — even if it were (and so it would be) years in the doing.  Maybe it is a world away, but the thrill of that first set is still palpable for me today:

My prized-possessions were:

The Cow on Track, and
The Semaphore

These required some wiring to be done, including placing an insulation pin in the track to control start/stop of the train.

American Flyer Cow on Track Kit

American Flyer Semaphore Kit

The trains that my brother and I shared for so many years were given away to cousins decades ago.

But not long after I moved to Arizona on the edge of the Prescott Forest, I was at the composer’s chair and the house seemed to be vibrating ever-so-slightly.  I took off the headsets and could hear a rumble.  This was unusual to me, because Prescott is mighty quiet, especially for a city boy.

I went to the balcony and saw it — and suddenly my brother and late Father seemed to be at my side and I was 11 again!

The train, the train!


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  1. #1 by shannon lynn on October 25, 2012 - 9:17 pm

    He he … You have no way of knowing this, but 9 yrs ago i had a full fledged train station set up in my studio apt ! Yes, I hand painted the General Store and made sure there was adequate shrubbery around the Fire Station…In that space and in that time, i became a quasi- expert on model trains… In the same way a few years later , with guidance, i taught myself to play a Fender P bass and became a quasi- musician here in Long Beach ( hey,i played the Blue Cafe ) and enjoyed the experience as well. Commom denominator ? Let Mother make the observation as she well did years ago : ” Oh for Heaven”s sake Shannon, you are such a strong person, why do you turrn into a geisha girl in the presence of certain men? ” Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it…I am a learned spirit ! By the way, love the video and laughed when he offered to put on Hootie and the blowfish..i remember you picking up the Telecaster and jammin to that music in the ’90’s…

    • #2 by Bill on October 25, 2012 - 9:33 pm

      I don’t remember the 90’s. ;=)

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