Dad and the Lionel

2 Sep

My life long obsession with model building started as an infant. My Dad launched my passion with model trains, which he purchased for me in 1953. I was one year old, what could I possibly do with them? I was simply an excuse for him to play with them. All post war GIs loved them. They were his toy not mine. He built a huge layout in our basement, it had everything, I remember how he sit me on his lap and let me push the reostat, and drop the little pills in the stack so it would puff along. As I got older he let me take over, I would lay on that whistle and increase the speed hoping to derail it, which I did time and time again, much to Dads dismay. Time on,my sister was born and we moved, we never again had the space, the trains were packed up and sent to the attic.

As a much older teen I would occasionally set them up on the attic floor and long for the original layout, grass, gravel, trees and hills, but that was never to be again. Time moved on and I went away to college. Never really to return home, my mother called and informed me that they had sold the house and were moving into an apartment. She was going to hold a garage sale to get rid of everything, the train set was first on her mind. She did have the sensitivity to ask if she could sell it. Mom said she would forward the money to me if I gave her permission. What a fool I was,I said yes, she later sent me the fifty bucks she sold it for.

I have regretted that decision ever since. Not only because my is Lionel worth a good deal more now, around 500 bucks, OUCH, but I miss my trains and all that went with them, especially the building of the miniatures. Plasticville U.S.A. Produced hundreds of hometown buildings, a strangely appropriate name, don't you think? A plastic city doesn't have to be in a box, just take a ride to your local Walmart.

Years have passed and I found a way to satisfy my obsession with miniature model making. Being an urban dweller I knew a train layouts are square footage hungry and I had no room. While prowling around thift shops, to funish my humble flat I found a doll house kit, unassembled. Hell! why not I thought, little did I realize what that small and somewhat boring kit would morph into.

Its been over 30 years since I started building and It is still unfinished, The Painted Lady Hotel…..Collection of photos I've taken over the past 7 years…

On Flickr




3 Responses to “Dad and the Lionel”

  1. cider12 September 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    My dad was a model railroader, too…guess the step from there to miniature houses is not far. Love your hotel and am impressed with all the architectural details you managed to get in there.

    • vori52 September 2, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

      Thank you for your kind comment…very few except close friends know the Lady, good to hear others like it too.

      • cider12 September 2, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

        Perused some of your other posts…made me chuckle a little when I learned you were in Philly and loved everything French…on top of the miniatures. I’m half French, just moving to Philly, and seem to be building my own Victorian mansion in miniature (see blog). Great minds must think alike.

        Truly, the details in your hotel are amazingly inventive and well thought out.

        One question: how did you find the room to keep your Victorian hotel in your house? My fiance keeps looking at my growing mansion and wondering where in the world we will put it when it’s done…

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