My Dad could be tough, but he had a very playful side which is how I most often remember him. He was a big kid at heart and in some ways, he never really grew up.
Over the years he collected Lionel HO Gauge train sets. These were precious and expensive and not something we ever got to play with. I remember him selling an engine at one time and the man who bought it paid him with a one hundred dollar bill. I can remember the amazement I felt thinking we were suddenly rich! One hundred dollars to me was the kind of money dreams were made of.
When my dad passed away he had a huge set assembled on plywood in the attic. It was complete with scenery, people, hills and tunnels.
My favorite of all of my Dad’s hobbies was his small collection of slot cars. He stored them wrapped in cloth in an old army green ammo box. In Ohio, there were huge slot car tracks downtown and we would often go with Dad on Saturday afternoons to race slot cars. This was something we actually got to do!
The slot car tracks seemed huge to me. When I think of the place now, it seemed a little seedy — dark and smoky. Each race cost a quarter, so I suppose it was an affordable way to occupy my siblings and I on a Saturday afternoon.
This link to the L. A. Times, shows a resurgence of interest in slot car racing and an indoor track. Unfortunately, the article states the interest line is primarily with men in their 60’s. Maybe they don’t know some of us girls loved it, too!