Train show set for Dec. 8

It is time again for the Florence County Library Train Show. This is our 10th year. How time flies. I remember the first year, when we were novices and had only a part of the idea. An elderly man won the train and shot out the door without so much as a thank you or telling us his name, leaving us with a room full of sad children. Bah, humbug! Mr. Grinch is real.

We were not deterred, however. Year two brought “rules.” — you must be under 18 years of age and present at the show to win. Much better results and happy children.

As time passed we realized that just one Lionel train was not enough, as some kids are too small for an electrically operated toy, so we added the wooden train. Last year, we had a pull train for the youngest group, a wooden train for the next-older set of kids and starting with the 9-year-old children, we had a Lionel Thomas the Tank set. A 9-year-old girl won it and we had a terrific time getting her to let go of it long enough to take a photo. The top prize of the day, the Lionel Polar Express set went to an older girl who was happy to be photographed.

We have a great time the second Saturday of each year and we hope you will join us on Dec. 8 of this year. For our 10th year, we may have a surprise or two. If you are old and jaded and cannot see why we do this, you need to attend and watch the kids’ faces.You will need no more explanation. If you are a child, you already know why.

There are Santa’s helpers everywhere. I know Santa is real. I am 74 years old and I cannot remember any Christmas that I did not find a package for me from Santa. The only way to make Santa not real is to not believe. Why would you want to do that? Santa is as real as Christmas, Santa is as real as a child coming up to us on the street and telling us what fun they are still having with their train set. Santa is as real the little boy who first came to the train show at 2 years old and finally got his own train six years later. Santa is as real as the people of all ages that you will see at the train show, as real as the treats on the tables and as real as the library itself. And Santa is as real as the spirit of fun you will find if you join us on Dec. 8.

There is enough bad news to make anyone’s head ache. But at 10 a.m. Dec. 8, there will be some good news in the Florence County Library in Florence Wis. Why don’t you come and be part of that good news and enjoy a good time. You might win and you might not, but I think you will have a good time.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.