Toys that were all the rage 35 years ago centered on the theme of outer space. Oneonta area merchants were hard pressed to keep the selection of Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, Space 1999 and Star Trek toys on their shelves in 1978.
While many kids’ imaginations were racing through space with these toys, other kids — of any age — still liked the old reliable toys on terra firma, such as the electric train set.
Something involving a train set was likely waiting to be opened under the Christmas tree at the Edward Lucker residence in Bainbridge in 1978, as the family went all-out every year during the holidays, setting up a remarkable display of trains in their family dining room for local residents to see.
Edward Lucker told The Daily Star that the village display of trains ran on 120 linear feet of track, and represented about 25 years of collecting trains during his marriage with Jean, and setting up a special display for each Christmas season.
Edward came from a railroad city, Scranton, Pa., and carried on a tradition his parents had always kept during the holidays.
“We don’t touch them during the year,” Lucker said. “We like to keep it a special Christmas tradition.”
Lucker said he and his wife started out with one track and one train. The collection grew enormously.
“When we tell the kids now that we used to put the train up in one evening, they just laugh at us,” he said, “because now, with all the preparation of the platform and the wiring it takes us close to a week — but we don’t put the final touches on it and run the trains until Christmas Eve.”
The Luckers had to dine elsewhere for a short time, as the platform base of the display was eight feet by 15 feet, which filled their dining room.