As his friends and admirers mark the second anniversary of his death Wednesday, a piece of talk show legend Tom Snyder’s life is now on display for everyone to enjoy.
Snyder’s elaborate toy train set has been donated to the Golden State Model Railroad Museum in Port Richmond. The layout, which took up two rooms in Snyder's Marin County home, includes two water towers which were part of the backdrop of his "Late Late Show" set on CBS.
Snyder hosted NBC's "Tomorrow" show during the 70s and the 80s after anchoring at KNBC in the early 70s. In the 90s he moved to CNBC before settling on CBS in late night. No matter where he worked, Snyder would devote at least one show a year to his model railroading hobby.
For a man never at a loss for words, he could only explain his love of toy trains by saying, "If you don't love watching these trains going round and round all day, then by golly, you don’t love vanilla ice cream."
It took volunteers from the museum several trips to transfer the layout. It was lovingly put back together and is now prominently displayed in the front room of the museum, with a plaque acknowledging Snyder’s love for the hobby.
At a recent dedication ceremony, friends flew in from all over the US to reminisce, trade stories, and admire the collection. A statement by NBC's Jay Leno was read, in which he likened Snyder's interviewing style with his train hobby.
Leno said, "When I watched Tom on TV, he always managed to pull out some fact or story that no other interviewer was able to get. This train collection reflects that. As you look around this marvelous collection, you'll see bits of business that everyone has and unusual features no one has. That was the great thing about Tom…His passion and his eye for detail live on in this collection."