A Major Decision

In 1906 my Grandfather was ten years old.  He received one gift that Christmas, a toy locomotive engine. That engine occupied a place, on a prominent shelf, in his shop for as long as I can remember. It was always there.  It was important to an old man.  It was important to a boy in the process of becoming a man.


Near the end of his life, my Grandfather told me that he wanted me to have “the old engine”.  When I asked him if he was sure that he wanted me to have it, he simply said that it had always been mine.

Through the years I’ve thought about “refreshing” the “old girl”.  I thought about repairing it, making a new bell and headlamp, replacing piston and tie rods, giving it a bright new paint job, maybe a nice green and red theme.

But then after reminiscing about the hours and hours that I spent with “the Old Man”, I realize that this simple toy has been witness to so many important lessons in my life, that I’ve decided to put a coat of linseed oil on it, put it back on the shelf in my shop and leave it just as it’s always been.  I’m pretty sure that Grandad would approve.

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4 Comments on “A Major Decision”

  1. kmhatch Says:

    From John Prine’s “Souvenirs” :

    “..Memories they can’t be boughten
    They can’t be won at carnivals for free
    Well it took me years
    To get those souvenirs
    And I don’t know how they slipped away from me…”

    Wonderful that you still have it,


  2. Carroll Says:

    So glad that you have such a wonderful heirloom to trigger great memories of a very important man in your life.

  3. Carl Kuhnle Says:

    Most people, if they think carefully, have something on a shelf or in a drawer that brings back fond memories of their past, be it an individual who you cherished and loved or an event that is burned into your memory. Do not lose touch with those items and let family and friends know what or whom they relate to.

  4. Wojciech K . Says:

    Good decision …

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