Well, 2011 appears to have been the year of the photo. At least for us. From all of the grandparents we received a lot of old (and some more recent) pictures. Dad found some of the old 8mm films and put them on a DVD and there's a progression from the wooden push train set to a plastic version. I don't recall if it was push or battery powered. The films are fun, and our childhood was surprisingly well
documented. For some reason, though, 1974 is missing.
My baby books also have a lot of great photos, but none of the trains. No pictures have turned up in Basking Ridge (c1975-1977) where I know I had my first 'layout' in O-27 scale.
But in my brother Brad's book there's this:
That would be Brad on the left, me in the middle, and Dad setting up what was his Dad's Marx set. I still have it, but for some reason it's missing the just the locomotive as I've got the tender. I might just see what I can find in Springfield this year.
So this was the beginning. It's sandwiched between a picture of talking to Santa and Christmas morning, 1974. If I recall, Brad and I got our first HO scale trains in Christmas 1978 after moving to Ridgefield. Brad received an Atlas B&O cab locomotive, and I got an ATSF geep of some sort. He got Athearn passenger cars to match, mine were Tyco freight cars. Dad built an 8'x8' layout in an extra room in the basement, and I don't know if Brad ever went down to use it. I haven't found any pictures of that yet either.
But here's the first. I'm sure we'll come across more over the years.