Train Shows & Guys

Tim Menees Train Shows & Guys
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When they hit male menopause, some men buy a sports car, or a sailboat, or take off with a young woman named Amber. Others take the cheaper and more benign route: buy electric trains and go to train shows.

A local volunteer fire department held one Sunday and it was jammed, mainly by men who had Lionel trains as kids and have reverted to childhood — or never left it. Train shows are guy things, although a couple had wives in tow, their women looking as thrilled at looking at cabooses as their hubbies would be in a fabric store.

(One of the women may one day send the above message to her spouse.)

The room resembled a souk: venders, buyers, gawkers, tables laden with trains. Big trains, little trains, antique trains, new trains. You need a Lionel box car, or a Plasticville depot, or some extra wheels or track or an entire Pennsylvania Railroad passenger train?

Buddy, you have come to the right place.

I have long considered “jaw dropping” a literary exaggeration, like “unbelievable” and “bone weary” and women in Victorian-​era novels blushing and fainting. No more. I bought nothing at the train show but told my wife I plunked down $225 for a long-​coveted (by me) Santa Fe diesel locomotive.

And, oh yes, her jaw dropped.

Tim Menees

Tim drew political cartoons for the Pittsburgh Post-​Gazette for nearly 30 years. His work appeared in national newspapers, newsmagazines and on network television. He also paints and has drawn comic strips, written and illustrated a column and feature stories, and written one-​act plays. And, he plays in a blues-​zydeco band: piano and, uh… accordion.

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