Thursday, July 5, 2007

Childish Things

Last Saturday, Byron drove up from Santa Cruz in his new second-hand (but perfect as new) VW convertible, top opened to take advantage of the beautiful weather. He expressed a wish to go to Tilden Park, where all sizes of model steam trains run each Sunday afternoon. It turned out, however, that this was the exceptional Sunday when none of the East Bay Steamers members put in an appearance. We speculated that they had all gone camping during the 4th of July week. The largest of the model locomotives - the one run by Tilden Park itself - was still chugging away, of course, pulling its usual string of open cars filled with parents keeping a firm grip on their screaming offspring. Usually they screamed with pleasure at the scenic route winding through redwoods and meadows with an occasional vista of the bay below, but in the tunnels they screamed for the pure joy of making noise.
This photo shows the engineer on duty, who also happens to be the man who constructed this accurate scale model of a steam locomotive. Otto (in hat) and Byron are marveling at his workmanship. The project required many years of time and more than 300,000 dollars worth of parts and had only recently been completed, one of three locomotives now running on the Tilden Park track. Otto actually found an old family ticket, left over from who-knows-when, that still had three rides left on it. They were quite excited, at the little built-to-scale depot, to see such an antique ticket! So of course the three of us took a ride.

And, since Otto had unearthed old family tickets, we had to take advantage of some punches still left on one for the magnificent Tilden Park merry-go-round. Here is a picture of Otto and Byron riding a dragon and a rooster respectively. The last time grandson Byron rode this merry-go-round was over thirty years ago!


daria said...

I wish we were there to play with you! Sounded like a lovely time. I love the photo of Grandfather and Byron on the merry-go-round!
xo daria

JonsterMom said...

I think I may have been there as well, the last time Byron was on the merry-go-round! I remember waving at Grandpa everytime around, and I think there was a cousin there as well, which could only be Byron.
Am I right on this, or was that just us that time? Byron & I did spend a lot of time together at your house. I have a lot of great memories of us having fun together!
I hope Jon has as many great memories as I do of time spent with grandparents!
Love ya,

nonizamboni said...

Oh, what fun! You all looked like you were enjoying your day. . .and how nice to find retro unused tickets. Your description of the Park was lively and wonderful as usual.

By the way I like your 'new' format.