The Best Gift You Ever Got

Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 08:48PM

Some time during this past year, our family was sitting around the dinner table and somebody asked the question: What was the best gift you ever got? I knew what mine was right away. But I'm not going to talk about it right now. I'm going to talk about it in a few days. The second best gift I ever got was something so special, that I have thought about it all of my adult days. When I was very little, my dad had a workshop in the basement of our house. He was always making stuff down there. And it was a fairly interesting place for a little kid like me. Sometimes he was carving things, sometimes he was making something for the house. But one fall, he was making a little town. There was houses and a church and a gas station and a store. Each building came with it's own real estate: a 12" x 12" piece of wood that it was attached to. They were painted with a nice green lawn and a nice black driveway or a parking lot. And they were all made in perfect scale to a hot wheels or matchbox car. I was aware that my dad was making these. I asked them who they were for. He told me that they were for a man that he worked with. He wanted something for his son who was about my age. I don't remember feeling very jealous or envious of this boy. Maybe because my dad had probably promised to make me one afterwards. After a while I was just an interested bystander.

Then it was Christmas morning. I will never forget the sight of that little town spread out from under the imitation Christmas tree and all over the livingroom floor. It was even more amazing when all the houses were together to form a couple of streets with the gas station and church!

Eventually, I outgrew playing with toy cars (it took a very long time) and the town was pretty hard to store. My parents had given it away, probably with my blessing.  And now I want it back. The very best thing about it was all the little bushes and hedges that my dad had carved and glued onto the lawns and all the houses were not old fashioned but actually looked like the neighbourhood that I grew up in. Houses made in the late 60's and early 70's. I would love to have that little town back or even one of the houses. If any of this rings a bell to anyone out there, please drop me a line. I'd love to hear what you know. 

Kevin Roach