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