Nathan's Train Collection

There once was a young boy who lived in Syria, who loved watching the steam engines that occasionally raced through his little town. He loved the smoke as it bellowed out of the spout that released the white wispy steam. He thrilled at the sound of the whistle that shrieked through the valley. He loved the roar of the heavy engine speeding over the tracks.

When Nathan turned 10 years old his parents decided to try a new life in America. So they moved to New York City sadly leaving all of Nathan's childhood friends behind.

But Nathan being a wonderful boy didn't complain. His parents had raised him well, and when they moved, although Nathan grew sad, he didn't let his parents worry about his feelings. He did as he was told, and made the best of his new life in America.

One of the pleasant surprises that Nathan realized after the move to New York was the wonderful sound of those large Steam Engines that were all so prevalent in his neighborhood. He loved the loud chug chug and the wonderful whistle that sang throughout the neighborhood. He watched with fascination as the billowing smoke poured from the large black monsters.

With time Nathan's father recognized Nathan's love for trains. And one cool Fall morning they boarded the big city bus. Nathan had no idea where they were going as his Father wanted it to be a surprise.

Once off the bus Nathan noticed his father's eyes light up as they walked rapidly. In a short time they came to a building with a large picture window. And within seconds Nathan understood why his father had acted so excited. For there before them was the most beautiful scene Nathan could imagine. There in that picture window were small miniature trains that Nathan had never imagined existed before. His eyes lit up like the flash of a camera as he gawked in the window, his mouth opened wide with excitement.

‘Papa, Papa the trains', he cried out with a shriek of glee that brought tears to his Father's eyes.

The trip to the Lionel show room was all Nathan could talk about for weeks. He couldn't wait for the next visit, but they were far and few between because the fare for the bus was a luxury. Nathan knew that his parents could never afford to buy him an electric train set in those beginning years to their new life, but he hoped upon hope that someday he would own a train. Not just one train. He wanted lots of trains!

The years passed, and although Nathan's parents made ends meet, prosperity did not come easily, and before long it was time for Nathan to serve his new beloved country in Hitler's War.

Nathan served valiantly in Europe. Never complaining, always volunteering for difficult missions. He was happy and had found a love for the Military. And finally when the war was over, the brave young man returned home to pursue a distinguished career in the Army.

And shortly after returning he met the woman of his dreams, and in time they were married and had a child. A wonderful boy that they named Allen.

Nathan's career flourished in the armed forces, and he and his wife and Allen move into their first house. And one day unexpectedly Nathan received a bonus check from the Army for his fine service. The check amounted to $3000.00, which at that time was a considerable amount of money.

They didn't particularly need the bonus, and Nathan hadn't a clue what he would do with the money. But then it came to him, and he excitedly hurried Allen into the car without an explanation.

Nathan smiled non-stop on the trip into the city, as seven year old Allen wondered what was happening.

Nathan smiled with glee as Allen gawked at the trains that ran behind the same huge picture window that his father had taken him to see.

‘This time we go in and talk' Nathan said to his son, knowing exactly what he would do today.

The salesman in the Lionel showroom was very polite as he listened patiently to the young man.

‘I want to buy trains' Nathan announced excitedly.

The salesman explained that Lionel sold only to authorized dealers. Nathan explained again that he wanted to buy the trains directly from Lionel, and he would become a dealer to do that, realizing that by buying direct he would be able to purchase more trains.

The salesman argued further that where Nathan lived there was already an authorized dealer. Lionel couldn't sell him the trains for that reason.

But there must be someway Nathan thought to himself. And suddenly he asked the salesman. ‘Syria, do you have any dealers in Syria?'

The salesman rubbed his head as he left the showroom to talk with someone. As he returned, he looked directly at Nathan, smiled and shook his hand, indicating that Nathan would become the new Syrian Lionel Dealer.

Of course Nathan never sent the trains to Syria. In fact Nathan and his son built a wonderful layout with the trains purchased. Finally Nathan's lifelong dream had become reality. And now he had a wonderful son to share it with.

[This is a true story. I had the pleasure of purchasing Nathan's train collection several years ago!]

Charles Siegel (traincity)