I have always been a kid at heart, especially when it comes to trains and slot cars, I guess I was about four when I realized this for myself. When my family went some where we always had to drive by the railroad tracks, and although I am a huge Denver Broncos football fan, Bronco games or the Super Bowl was not the biggest TV event in my house every year, it was the Indianapolis 500 on Wide World of Sports Sunday night after the race, it was awesome!
One day my dad took me to Merrits TV in downtown Grass Valley, same place that Caroline's Coffee resides today, and we bought an HO scale train set and some freight cars. My dad then put a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood on the dining room table and with a lot of my moms artistic help they made an HO scale world with telephone poles, green grass, bushes and even a broken piece of glass for a pond! It was out of this world for me! In fact when my parents went to bed, I would wake up in the middle of the night and carefully pull the cars around, I could not run the trains because it would have been to loud and I would get caught! Plus they put the engines up on the refrigerator out of reach, I didn't even dare turn on the lights. After a few days they would put the trains away and stow the layout underneath their bed, I would lay by the bed all the time looking at this model world and its telephone poles and trees wondering when the trains would be running again!
Fast forward to Christmas 1976, my favorite I think, I got my first HO train set and I got a slot car set, I was in toy heaven. As the years past by, I got all kinds of really cool toys for birthday's and Christmas, but the trains where always the best. So in 1980 on a family vacation to Colorado, my dad took me to Caboose Hobbies in Denver, the biggest train store in the country. We spent hours there, and about $460 in trains. One of the best days of my life!
Later on it was RC cars, plastic army men, control line planes, plastic and die-cast car models, but trains never left my blood, or the slot cars. In the early 90's living in Denver, one of my roomates brought his girlfriend, now his wife over to our apartment, she could not believe that instead of a dinning room table we had a four lane slot car track set up. Even today a bedroom in my house has a complete slot car track set up with my collection of over 500 slot cars, another bedroom and my garage are full of my model trains, really I am just a kid at heart, a twelve year old to be exact in a 49 year old body, I don't think that will ever change.
So as I sit hear today and tell you my story, I have so much passion and excitement for all hobbies, I love seeing the little boy and little girl excitement in the eyes of full grown adults when they come in to share their story and what they have done with their favorite hobby. I hope you take the time to explore our web site and see if there is something we have that can take you back to your special time and place. I also really encourage you to check out our "Customer Galleries" page see what some of our customers are doing with their favorite hobby! Click Here for Customer Galleries
Beyond my experience in hobbies, I want to entice and teach a new generation of dreamers and hobbyist as I have been, sharing the passion with others has truly been one of my greatest joys of my life. Myself and my wonderful staff at Swasey's Hardware & Hobbies really appreciate your support! Thank you, Mark