My father is a funny man, but oh how I love him for it. He has a passion for the miniature, and ever since I was a little girl he’s been a model train hobbyist. It’s insane, really. He builds these enormous setups, constructing mountains, buildings, and railways. Down to the last detail, everything is so lifelike. Little lights even change in the stop lights, and small people animate the town. He collects special engines, sometimes going as far as to pick up rare models when we go to Europe that aren’t available in the US. He puts a lot of work and time into building these little fantasy lands, and then he plays. As my mom preps dinner I linger at her side, and the whole time we hear the echo of steam engine hoots. Getting him to dinner (his second favorite thing after trains, is eating) is like ripping a child away from a brand new toy. Last time I was at home, we sat in the train room and watched him go at it. It’s funny to remember the days when I used to jump at the chance to help him build a miniature house, or to pick out people for the town. I remember those trips to the hobby store and the all-encompassing fantasy that would sweep you up. All grown up now, I may have lost a tiny bit of that feeling. The fact that my father has been able to maintain such an untouched imagination through the years is something very heartwarming to me. In a way, he’ll always be a kid. A very large, bearded, kid. I hope that a part of me will be able to follow in those footsteps.
These photos are of his most recent projects, taken over Thanksgiving vacation.
Love you, Babbo!