Thursday, February 4, 2010

The MM&J Railroad

Among the playthings in our Weston, Connecticut backyard was a miniature steam locomotive attached to half a dozen open flatcars with seats for ten children (or five adults), which traveled on a quarter-mile of track meandering through the apple orchard. My father got the idea from Walt Disney, who had a similar setup at his Hollywood home. Both ours and his were large enough for the engineer to ride just behind the engine (on the tender) while taking passengers around the track.

Walt Disney's comfortable but not ostentatious house in the Holmby Hills district of Los Angeles, had a backyard steam train, 1/8 scale, the Carolwood-Pacific RR.  It stemmed from Disney's lifelong fascination with trains, which began when he was a teenager selling newspapers and candy on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.  My father's fascination was with anything mechanical, trains included.

1 comment:

  1. Would you say you had a magical childhood? Reminds me of the children's railroad in Santa Barbara. Giving joy to others was a goal for both Walt Disney and J.M. And both succeeded in a timeless way!