Barry Boodman bends over the model train set at the tinkering with the trains.
“I’ve met a number of new friends through the train set,” Boodman said. “One boy named Jacob continues to test my repair skills; he’s very intelligent.”
But Boodman who has created model train sets since he was 15, enjoys seeing the children come in, move things around the set, and add to it.
“The young people get so absorbed in the little town,” Boodman said. “ I love to see people come in.”
The retired lawyer moved to Stamford with his wife seven years ago and quickly fell in love with the little Mystic & Noank Library, the village of Mystic and the people who make it a community.
So when the library was facing extreme last year Boodman donated 1950s era Lionel trains and diorama to the library as a way to raise money.
“I was concerned about the library, especially since it was closed on Thursday,” Boodman said.
This year the library is back open on Thursdays, in part thanks to the generous donation of the individual who bought the train set. Instead of selling the train to one individual, this holiday season, the library is holding a . The library is selling tickets for the raffle for $10, and will hold a drawing on Dec. 24.
The individual who brought the train set last year was the son of the owner of the former Mystic Sporting Goods, and if visitors to this year’s train set and scene look closely they will see the Mystic Sporting Goods building.
The 1950s trains are set in a scene from Mystic from the 1950s, and while Boodman said the scene itself isn’t historically accurate the businesses are, including Mystic Sporting Goods.
Boodman with his friend Bill Salancy, who assisted on the carpentry and wiring, began working on the set back in August. The scene is built on hallow doors with foam trim that was also used for the landscape.
And while the model train set was a ton of work it’s one Boodman plans on continuing year-after-year.
“It’s sort of a traditional holiday set, and it’s a way to give back a little,” said Boodman.