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UTICA – Making the transition to a retirement community is a difficult one, but when one resident of Masonic Care Community learned he would be getting two rooms, it made that transition so much easier.
But the second room isn’t for sleeping – it’s for playing.
“I enjoy this. I think the people here enjoy it,” said Bill Sheerin. “They all come in every once in a while and watch what I’m doing and everything.”
Bill Sheerin is fondly known around Masonic as the Chief Engineer of the Masonic Care Community Railroad.
“It’s very important to me,” Sheerin said. “I enjoy the hobby. I can come in here and sit and just watch the train go ‘round and ‘round and it doesn’t bother me. It keeps me smiling, I guess.”
Masonic Care Community learned early on that trains were a passion of Sheerin’s. His father worked for the railroad and he’s been collecting trains since his wife passed away in 2007.
“When I moved here, I happened to mention in my interview that I had an interest in model railroading,” Sheerin said. “And then after I got in here, the director comes up to me and she said, I’ve got a room for you to put your trains in. And I was floored. And here I am.”
“There’s a car up there that dumps logs here,” Sheerin explained. “I have that Greyhound station. When i first saw it, I fell in love with it. I had to have it.”
“Saw mill over on the other side, a draw bridge, a water tower.”
Many of Sheerin’s trains are on display at the Children’s Museum, but now, he has a room to fill at Wiley Hall as well.
“It looks like I’m going to get my wish,” Sheerin said.