Tuesday, January 8, 2013


A'coming down the track
Marc has taken great care of the Lionel train his brother got for Christmas some 60-plus years ago.
He saved it after his big brother discarded it and several years after he came to American Fork he wrote a newspaper column about it.
Someone read it and called him up to offer help restoring it, then took the engine and went through it and got it working again.
And so, we now have this ancient, heavy black steam engine train that circles our Christmas tree every holiday season on a track held together with paper clips.
It goes around and around past our little Christmas houses and stores and stops at the candy station.
It entertains the older grandchildren and scares the little ones until they figure out it's harmless. (They are more dangerous to it than it to them.)
Tiny fuzzy bears and rabbits get to ride in the open rail car and sometimes Santa from the ceramic village gets a turn.
An engineer and his apprentice
It's always fun and despite some occasional derailments from trying to go too fast around the corners, it keeps chugging along.
It's sturdily built so it can take some loving from the wee ones.
The headlight still works.
All five cars link together and have their wheels.
But it stopped smoking a few years ago.
Marc had read somewhere that the smoke tablets were deemed to be deadly if small children ate them. He was pretty sure they were completely unavailable.
The teeny, tiny tablets
However, somebody with an eye for a profit had bought up a bunch and were now offering them on Ebay. Only $15 plus shipping for a bottle that cost $1.50 years ago.
He ordered one and it came in a great, big box, this tiny bottle with about 40 pellets inside.
We set up the train track. We put a pellet in the chimney. We started up the engine.
Around and 'round it went until it got hot and "lo and behold, smoke!" little trails and donuts coming from the engine and it's fun.
Who cares that it's very expensive smoke?

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