Saturday, September 22, 2012

Student Body Prez Takes the "Haupt" Train

The European Train Enthusiasts set up their exhibit. My high school friend, Stretch Andersen, is at right turning his head to the left.

I stopped by the Los Altos History Museum last evening to have a chat with a friend from high school. He and his friends at the European Train Enthusiasts are setting up a world of wonder. 

I would call it an exhibit: but it is too cool for that. It is a collection of tiny European villages connected by train tracks, on which the European trains will be running all this weekend. (Of course they will be on time, being European.)

Stretch Andersen, train enthusiast and pal from high school days. Except for his gray hair--he looks exactly the same!

Stretch Andersen was high above me in high school, since he was always a truly friendly guy and  constantly getting elected to things--eventually becoming our student body president. (The best I could claim was editor of our LAHS newspaper.) But, we grew up, which is a good thing, and now I count Stretch and his wife as friends. But back to the trains:

He's had scale model European trains since his father, a designer at SRI, bought him his first engine at a fancy toy store at Stanford Shopping Center when Stretch was five years old. That's when the little boy and his father fell in love with European trains. 

The Andersen track appears to travel through the Alps.

And, in this case, he doesn't have to blow his own horn about it.

The villages are absolutely delightful, from Stretch's alpine acreage to his friend's Austrian schloss across the way.

The train goes under the vineyard at the schloss, so as not to damage the grapes!

And the work can continue in the vineyard. You know how those Europeans love their wine.

They didn't have the trains running yet when I was watching the set up, so you'll just have to visit them this weekend at the Los Altos History Museum.  The trains and their owners will be there 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. both Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, September 23, 2012. 

In the meantime, I love thinking of the continuity of Stretch and his father and the toys all these men have enjoyed with their families and friends, all their lives. 

I was just about to tell this guy he had knocked a car out of whack on his exhibit, but, of course, the car accident was part of the show.

Can you find the newsboys in this scene? "Probably a lot of propaganda in that paper," laughed the man who owned the exhibit and was setting it up.

And though Stretch's father is gone now, he pointed with pride to the work on his Alpine exhibit the two had done together. What a sweet way to share the continuity of family. These train tracks don't just carry little trains on them--they connect the past to the present. A son to his father. Today, to loving memory. You can't beat that for a weekend of fun.

Hey I'm working here!

So come on down!

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