TRAIN ENTHUSIAST EXTREME JIM HUGHES SAYS HIS FAVORITE PART OF SETTING UP AND RUNNING THE SANTA EXPRESS IS THE JOY IT BRINGS TO CHILDREN AS THEY SEE AND HEAR THE TRAINS GO BY.
THIS PAST WEEKEND WAS THE FINAL RUN OF THE YEAR...SO WE ARE TAKING YOU BACK THERE TO GIVE CONDUCTOR JIM HUGHES THIS MONTH'S SPIRIT OF TEXOMA AWARD.
ON AN EXPRESS TRAIN THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO SEE GOOD OLE JOE BROWN SITTING IN HIS PEACH ORCHARD READING THE NEWSPAPER WITH HIS DOG CLOTHESLINE... AND TO WHAT IS KNOWN AS THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH...
JIM HUGHES BEGAN THIS TRADITION OF CHRISTMAS TRAINS BACK IN 1954...
HIS LOVE OF TRAINS STARTED WITH A GIFT WHEN HE WAS JUST THREE YEARS OLD.
Jim Hughes says,"Christmas Eve, Downtown Dallas, blinding snow storm and there was one set left
THAT LOVE GREW EVEN STRONGER WHEN HE FINALLY CLIMBED ON BOARD A REAL TRAIN.
Hughes adds, "It really started when my Grandad retired and he took me on four summers of train trips and we covered forty of the 48 states."
THIS FASCINATION CONTINUES TO BE A FAMILY AFFAIR. HE AND HIS BROTHER HANDLE THE ONE MILE OF WIRING...
Hughes explains, "Of the 13 weeks to build it, five of those are just wiring, there is quite a maze of wiring under the table."
HIS SONS AND GRANDKIDS HELP SET UP THE ONE THOUSAND FEET OF TRACK, 20 TRAINS , AND HUNDREDS OF BUILDINGS AND PEOPLE.
He reminds folks, "You could come through four times and still not see it all."
JIM'S FAMILY MEMBERS ARE ALSO BEHIND THE CONTROLS.
FROM THE TIME THIS TEAM MOVES IN UNTIL THE DAY THEY BREAK IT ALL DOWN SEVEN MONTHS PASS...
JUST LAST WEEKEND THESE WARNING BELLS SOUNDED FOR THE FINAL TIME ON THIS YEAR'S RUN...
Hughes ends by saying, "It's been a fantastic run and we hope to do it again."
YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED PAT'S DRIVE IN...JIM ADDED THAT BECAUSE HE JOINS HIS FAMILY FOR LUNCH THERE EVERY WEEK.
IT TAKES A SEMI TRUCK TO DELIVER ALL THE TRACK AND PARTS TO THE MUSEUM OF ART AT MSU...WHICH HAS HOSTED THE DISPLAY SINCE 1991.
THE DISPLAY RETURNS EVERY THREE YEARS.
OWENS AND BRUMLEY FUNERAL HOMES CONGRATULATES JIM AND HIS FAMILY FOR THEIR AMAZING DISPLAY FOR ALL OF TEXOMA TO ENJOY.