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HO Trains

Fleischmann makes the best.

While my family was stationed near Athens Greece in 1960, I convinced Dad that I was serious about collecting “HO” trains. HO trains are tiny, scaled down versions of the more familiar “Lionel” trains. Within a week Dad was hard at work constructing a train “layout” in one our spare rooms. I knew I was in for a treat—  Dad never did ANYTHING half way.

Realism at its finest.

Over the span of a few months, the layout grew to astronomical proportions. Tunnels, round-house switching tables, push button roadway switches, whistles, tiny towns complete with people, street lights, trees, ponds, cows— you name it. The control panel looked like a nuclear reactor’s control room. Six different engines could be operated at the same time. An engineering degree was required just to turn the power on. Great stuff!

Issue # 1

But eventually we had to move back to the States. By then the train table was so large it couldn’t fit through the door. And FORGET shipping! Dad convinced me the best approach was to SELL the whole setup. One of his Greek coworkers agreed to buy the contents of the room. With tears in my eyes I watched a reciprocating saw slice “ANYTOWN USA” into four separate pieces.

A couple of years ago I picked up a model train magazine, and nearly ALL of my six German “Fleischmann” HO trains (circa 1959-1960) had become collector’$  items. But that’s okay. During that same move back to the United States, I lost my entire comic book collection, including the “Fantastic Four” Issue #1 (1961).

Flame ON!

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