21 February 2008

"The Train Table"

This is a picture from Andree in Vermont. When I was strolling through her blog at midnight and things were quiet, no mail coming in, no axes to grind, no phones ringing, nothing burning on the stove, no duties to do, I came across this. It took me WAY back to my childhood and my train set. My father had a table built for it, about ten inches deep, held up by pipe legs screwed into flanges underneath. It was made of plywood, and a fellow owed an oil bill he couldn't quite pay, so Dad had him build this table instead.

The table was covered over with two half-sheets of thick plywood, concealing the train and tracks and whatever inside, and this allowed its use as a ping-pong table. It got an awful lot of use...my brother became an expert on that table and could not be beaten. At festive occasions, that table was used to carry the weight of all the great potluck dinners we had with the neighbors and relatives. It bore all the Christmas presents when we moved into the basement of our uncompleted brick home, the one Mom designed.

But it held my train, too. And the tunnel I built for it: plywood and chicken wire and paper mache. And this picture brings all of that back, and more!


Andrée said...

Its strange the train of memories that are triggered, and by what. I don't even know what this building is. It's not near the CP tracks, its just out in the middle of nowhere, sitting there. Thank you for posting this, Michael.

---Michael--- said...

The sawyer's tools in the shot maybe some kind of a clue. I may be mistaken, but I think this is a workshed that probably once was on a spur line to another larger one, and was where spare ties and rails and equipment could be kept out of the weather, ready for use.
It probably also housed a plowcar, judging from its size. A plowcar could be placed at the front of a train to clear tracks of drifts. You would want such an animal kept clear and ready for use in the event of a big fall.