I talked to my parents tonight for last minute preparations for Christmas. My Mother asked if I had the train that "Santa Claus" brought me was running. I told her, "What, you mean the train y'all got me in the hobby shop under Thalhimers Department store?" I was rebuffed. "No it was Santa Claus". She asked if it still smoked and made noise. I assured her it did.
A "uncataloged" set. A mutt of the breed if you will amongst collectors of Lionel trains. The owner of the shop appears to have scrounged up some spare cars, a much derided "Scout" engine and tender. It is all O-27 scale. The smallest transformer that was on the books. A battery powered whistle control.
The train survived my parents moving and sat in the garage there for many years. This train will never hold the attention of collectors.
For me however it is priceless. After cleaning and repair of some minor stuff that really was not needed it now rides around here this Christmas and holds a place of honor in my living room the rest of the year.
I know how much it must have cost then. Especially for a painter and mill worker. Lionel was never cheap on any level. I am proud to have this here.
And once again I feel the wonder of the season and the love that parents have.
I will post on how you can do this under your tree soon.