Us AFOLs sure like to build wicked awesome LEGO models…it is the main draw to the hobby, or is it? Chris Maddison, reminds me/us that it is just as much about the relationships formed (whether they be in person, or over the interwebs), than it is about the builds. And sometimes it is simply a beat-up 2×4 that can create a smile.
The Life of a Keychain
Brickfest 2001 in Washington, DC was my first Lego Convention. I had a blast sharing it with my then-AFOL then-girlfriend, putting faces to the names I knew so well on Lugnet, and getting to know people and build friendships beyond just sharing a common interest. For a whole weekend I was free to talk about my passion with, well, basically everyone around me, and have that same passion reciprocated. It was a lifechanging event, for sure, and I’m forever grateful to Christina Hitchcock, her entire team of organizers and volunteers, and every AFOL that attended for showing me the true community of this hobby.
One of the items in the goodie bag was a red 2×4 brick keychain with the Lego logo on the side. It was my favorite item that I brought home from the ‘fest, and it immediately became something that was with me every day. Through a lot of change, both good and bad, it was always in my pocket, jingling against my almost-janitor-myriad of keys. During my 9 year long dark ages, my collection was packed away in storage, but that keychain went with me everywhere. Every single day.
As you can see, that once proud 2×4 brick is now beat and battered, worn down and filthy. It’s got 12 years of travel and grit on it and in it, 12 years of beating against keys and pocketknives and change and whatever else happened to be in my pocket. The logo’s long faded, the studs are wearing through, the chain is tarnished, but the memories and the hobby it represents are cherished forever.
Thank you little red brick, for all that you mean to me. And thank you new little red brick, for being shiny and ready when your predecessor finally succumbs to time. And thank you, reader, for taking the time to share this with me.