By Mark Hopper
Our grandchildren have learned a lot of songs from my wife. She has a song for just about every occasion and the grand kids love them.
One of those songs is about a little Red Caboose that is pulled along behind a train.
This Christmas the grand kids got to see this first hand. My daughter encouraged me to get the box down from the garage that contained my old Lionel train so I could show it to the grandchildren.
I didn’t know if it would even work. We actually found two trains in the box. One was lighter and is made of plastic. The older one is much heavier and is made from metal.
The track was slightly corroded and discolored when we laid it out on the floor. I used a rag to try to clean it up a little.
The transformer control for the heavier train did not work. The wires were brittle and old. But the transformer for the lighter train worked and soon the little Red Caboose was being pulled behind the train!
I looked on the internet and found a model train store in Costa Mesa on Baker Street. When I brought the old heavy engine and transformer in for repair, I was delighted to learn that it could be fixed at little cost.
The store owner lubricated the engine and verified that it was in good condition. I left the transformer at the train store and purchased a tool so I could properly clean the track at home.
A few days later, we picked up the transformer and put the train track around the Christmas Tree. We were ready to send the locomotive down the track pulling a little Red Caboose!
The grandchildren were delighted and their grandpa was pretty proud that his childhood train was back in service.
I was given that Lionel train when I was very young. I remember playing with that train with my father and grandfather. Now, that same train was being enjoyed again by my grandchildren and their grateful grandfather!
I wonder if you have some treasures hidden in your garage? You may have some model airplanes or some wood working tools. Maybe there is a stamp or coin collection? Maybe there are some hobbies from your past that would interest others.
It may be a little late for Christmas, but let me encourage you to take the time to get those boxes down and share some memories with the younger members of your family. They will be glad you did and you will too!