The December Express

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

Martin Folb was driving from Los Angeles to New York to attend a convention on cut glass, one of his collecting pursuits, when he decided to take a detour to see an antique toy train set that was destined for auction. Folb had been spellbound by trains as a child, acquiring his first Lionel set at age 7 and joining the Train Collectors Association at 10, but he drifted away from them when he went to college, as so many youthful collectors do. But on that cross-country road trip, going five miles out of his way to have a peek turned into four hours of studying and photographing the lot: a 1936 special-order train set by Lionel in near-mint condition with its original packaging.

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