A Holiday Train Display to Feast Your Eyes Upon at the Offices of Nawrocki Dental
Regardless of age, one of the most cherished holiday memories for generations is the sight and sound of a toy train set chugging around the track beneath a Christmas tree. The memory is so nostalgic that for many people that delight is carried over into adulthood to form similar traditions with their own families.
Some people get bitten by the locomotive bug later in life, as was the case with Dr. Gary C. Nawrocki, DMD, in Cocoa Beach. But it doesn’t matter when it happens. The point is it sticks with you, and it’s something you just can’t help sharing with others. For Dr. Nawrocki, the contagion hit about 25 years ago.
“There’s a lot of history involved in trains, and we’re doing a poor job of understanding or learning from that history,” the doctor mused in October.
“It started back in the Industrial Revolution. Engineering using simple basics brought amazing societal accomplishments that most people don’t realize stem from the construction of trains and railroads. They had to be precise. It was the beginning of time zones. Railroads brought it all together, connecting East to West, and it solved a lot of engineering problems we’d been faced with that are really underappreciated today.”
In recent history, however, Dr. Nawrocki is a full-blown, year-round railroad enthusiast whose Christmas displays are what his family, friends, office staff and patients look forward to every season—not that he doesn’t dabble in the hobby on a regular basis. As stated, he is a full-blown railroad enthusiast.
He likens his family’s Christmases past to that of the Griswolds of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, dragging home a 14-foot tree and having to cut it down to accommodate a 9-foot ceiling as just one of the comparisons. But it’s the family memories of the simple setting up of the train around the tree that made for the warmest memories.
From there, it grew with the addition of more cars and longer tracks. It’s still something he shares with family at home, including his grandsons who might one day go on to carry on the tradition with their own children and grandkids, but it’s his office display at which the public gets to marvel. The setting up of the annual extravaganza starts around Thanksgiving and takes roughly three weeks to complete, so it makes sense he leaves it up till January.
While he changes the trains up each year to keep it fresh—which is easy to do when you have six different sets—he runs four trains on three tracks at the office that includes a Disney set running along a shelf around the ceiling, two tracks that are 40 feet long carrying a Christmas trolly and circus train and one short track (only 15 feet in length!) with an Alaskan train set. He’s also got a beer train, but that’s for other occasions. All of this is complemented by a soundtrack of railway noises.
His enthusiasm for trains and the holidays don’t end there, either. Besides the tree and multiple train tracks, his office has a huge mural done by local artist Frank Rao depicting some of America’s greatest sights, like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and other natural wonders. The office is also covered in holly, lights and a decorative cigar store Indian and black bear dressed for the holidays this time of year. The result is absolutely magical.
If you can’t resist the temptation to sneak a peek at the display sometime, keep in mind that the good doctor has a steam compressor being constructed so he can blow a real train whistle! Some people thankfully never grow up.