Men II Boyz on the 8:16


It appears the good will on the 6:33 last night carried over until the morn.

A pair of middle-aged white guys (I know, major surprise on Metro-North) sat across from each other. They were dapper in a dress-down Friday kind of way: pressed shirts, sport jackets, shiny shoes.

They didn’t know each other. The train was silent.

Around the time we breezed through Wakefield, the two were engaged in a full-scale conversation about toy trains. I don’t know how it started. “My father and I played with trains when I was a kid!” enthused one. “Now I play trains with my son!”

They discussed old Lionel trains, and the piece-by-piece way that one of them assembled his little train village as a child: the school, the church, the general store, even the plywood that it sat upon.

They discussed a particularly arcane Lionel model from the late ’50s.

“That one never sold,” said one of them, shaking his head in disbelief. “It never sold.”

They were like a couple of boys discussing their latest Christmas acquisitions. They discussed train shops–a large one in White Plains, a tiny one in Ardsley.

The train (the big one, not some little Lionel) chugged into Grand Central. The man from Purchase pulled out his wallet and fished out a business card. The other, from Chappaqua, did the same, so the two of them could conceivably call each other up and talk about toy trains. They shook hands.

Everyone stood up to exit.

“My wife, she doesn’t understand it,” Chappaqua said. “She wants to throw them away. I tell her, you throw that away, you’re throwing away a piece of me.”


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