The boy had a proper Christmas train setup this year with the basement being done. (or mostly done) You can see his setup (a large oval) with a steam O-gauge locomotive running with some rolling stock behind it. The tubs in the corner contain a few more pieces of track and cars that we didn't get to this year, but it still is a Christmas tradition. My Dad set up a Christmas train with me. And I'm setting up a Christmas train with the KotBTs. Here's last year's post - 2020 Christmas train . In our new house, this marks four years - 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021 (now). There's a very short period of time these days for a boy to be interested in these model trains. With our train being O Gauge (larger than the most popular - these days at least - HO), I think that also limits the potential in these trains. HO (smaller) can pack A LOT more into a layout with the same footprint and the hobby is more well-formed for adults at that scale. You can go to hobby shop
Showing posts with the label my dad
Earlier in March, posted a few pennants from my childhood including this 1984 Illini Rose Bowl beauty , this vintage totally 80's Epcot Center pennant and this pair of Chicago Sting ones from their time at the Rosemont Horizon. Today comes a pair of Chicago Bears pennants from 1984 and 1985: both featuring NFC championships. The first one is from 1984 - the year BEFORE THE YEAR - when they (apparently) won the 1984 NFC Central Division Championship. Next up is this NFC Champions pennant that calls out Super Bowl XX in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on January 26, 1986. But, I'm pretty sure that this one was printed AFTER they won the Conference Title game and BEFORE the Super Bowl. These totally remind me of my childhood. And...of course, they remind me of my dad. The original collector in my life.
In two-tone brown. Saw this as we were heading south on I-355 recently and I absolutely INSISTED that Nat use my phone to snap a pic of this beauty. Paint it two-tone blue (powder blue on top, navy on the bottom) and this IS the Dream Machine. As named by my childhood friend Steve Blocker. Just look at the length of this thing. Can you imagine driving this? It almost seems more appropriate to a church group than a normal family, doesn't it? The Dream Machine was my Dad's van that was a fixture of my childhood. So many memories in that van. Lots of laughs. Some embarrassment. And a bunch of bonding. All in a van. Ours was a 1978, so if this one is of the same vintage, that'd make this a 42 year old van. That is still on the road. Incredible.
Growing up, my Dad collected bottles. Mostly soda bottles. He kept them in various places including on top of the cabinets in our laundry room. He even got into collecting cases. There were plenty of Coke and Pepsi ones, but there were also a bunch of obscure ones. Some from the 80's but mostly older than that. When my parents moved out of my childhood home a few years ago , they had an Estate Sale. And guess what? A bunch of my Dad's treasures sold. That included many of his bottles. I think he kept a few on hand, but for the most part, he parted with a long-term collection. So, when I was at a garage sale on our block a few weeks back and I came across these bottles, I had to grab them. I mean...look at the prices: five cents a piece. That's nuts, right? I mean...even if they were junk, throwing them away cost only a dime. The 7-up one is from the 50's according to my Dad. The Ting bottle is old, but has a zip code on it from the bottler. Turns
Day three of showing off the various treasures from the Elkhart Antique Flea Market up in Wisconsin that we scooped up during our visit in May. First there was the chandelier that Nat scored from these two sweet gentlemen . Then there was the Schlitz beer glass pitcher . And then yesterday was the vintage Santa and Mrs. Claus salt and pepper shaker sitting on a cute bench . The last of the treasures is this Lionel Gateman accessory - item number 45N. It is destined as a Father's Day gift for my Dad who is the original model train guy in our family. He runs his early 1940's train set from his childhood and has a handful of vintage accessories. This one was cheap - the guy took my $5 offer - and because it doesn't come with the box is probably priced close to right. The reason? There just aren't that many guys who want to buy vintage trains these days, right? They either have them or they're gone. I think that is driving the prices down a bit on vin
After staring at - or at least referencing often - this clock for close to twenty-five years, it is now a member of the permanent collection of the Elmhurst/Downers Parrillos as it came home with us from Coloma this past week. I'm considering it a kind of 'see you later' kind of token and as we build out my new home office in our new place, I'm sure that I'll figure out how to give this a prime spot somewhere on a shelf or bookcase and I'll always remember where it sat for a long part of it's time in our life. It isn't the prettiest or best looking clock, but it has been in my life for a long time AND it had something that drew my Dad to it two decades ago. It has #147 on it - meaning it was an early member of my Dad's collection - so I'll honor it and keep it in a place of high regard. And yes, that means my Dad was a collector of sorts and he even kept records on all the treasures he came across. Good lesson to learn, I think. Probabl
I spent a few minutes digging through some boxes in my parents' garage in Michigan recently and came across this framed photo that I *think* came from my Dad's office at Governor's State from back in the day. That's me on the left right next to my Dad and my sisters Vic and Linda are in there, too. Along with both Aaron and Matt Levy. And the big guy in the middle in the Cosby Sweater? That's the Danimal. Dan Hampton. I TOTALLY remember this day. There was a brand new grocery store opening in Frankfort called Apples. And they were having a sort of raffle of some sort. I don't totally remember the logistics of the contest, but I *do* remember what you won: Dan Hampton, of the Chicago Bears, was going to deliver a few bags of groceries to your house! And, it turned out that a friend of my parents won and we weaseled our way in there to get this photo - and from the looks of something I'm clutching - an autograph or two. That day had such an i
I picked up this "Where The Wild Things Are" boxcar last week as a Christmas gift for one of my nephews. I have a little tradition where I gift each of the boys a train car and begin to build their collection of cars starting at a very young age. Based on my experience, there's just a handful of years to capture a boy's attention in electric trains - and even if you are successful, and you get the kids to like trains - their attention will eventually wane as they hit the teen years. That was the story with me. My dad tried SO HARD to get me to be into his vintage trains. I was...then I went away from them. Now I'm back. So...one of the traditions here is to try to find a train car that 'means's something to each of the boys. This one, is aimed at a special guy and will hopefully appeal to him (and his parents!) and build on his collection of cars. At some point, he's going to need a locomotive, too! But, this car is an 'aquarium car