I received my first LEGO set around 1969. I was 5 years old, and LEGO would be in my life from that point on. My mother recalls being in a Woolworths store and seeing the small boxed LEGO sets. She could not have foreseen how that would change my life.
When I played with LEGO I was lost in a land of fantasy. I spent countless hours building cities, ship yards, and airports. I bombed the enemy, which was made up of hundreds of red 1x2 bricks, with a bi-plane that was made of less than 10 pieces but could hold up to 15 bombs and endless bullets.
One of my favorite books had a how to section for building boats. I would build as large a boat as my collection of parts would allow. They were a beautiful rainbow color... cuz that's just how you built with LEGO. I have a picture from 2003 of my son, then 4, playing with a boat built from that same book. We have many pictures of our family playing with LEGO. They are precious memories.
I built many towers that went all the way to the ceiling. I remember using all of my large pieces to build a model sized airplane that must have been 36" wide. During our play together, my brother Gary and I discovered that a 6x6 brick built tower that was hollow inside could shoot a 2x2 brick a long way when you blew on the end of the column.
I'm certain that my wife had no clue how integral LEGO was to my life. While in college I built a 6' rainbow colored battleship. It endured for several years into my marriage. When our children came along, we got the LEGO out on a more regular basis. We played LEGO together as a family. The tub of LEGO often served as our coffee table.
In 2010 my son and I started selling LEGO pieces on Bricklink. Our store eventually grew to where it was a regular family activity to be out sorting LEGO and pulling orders. We laughed and giggled with each other as we worked. We called our store "Dallas Bricks" and it grew to be very large with over 400,000 pieces in stock.
In the spring of 2015 I was visiting Anthony Bearden up in Denton. His family owned an independent LEGO store, "Minifigs Bricks and More". It was his encouragement that lead Valerie and I to open our own store on the other side of town. We called it Dallas Bricks and our small online store was now an LLC. It required a lot of time.
Valerie and I sold the home that we built. We found a store location in the Firewheel Town Center and figured out how to open and run a retail LEGO store. We are 9 months into this adventure at the writing of this post. It is a lot of work, I am generally here just over 80 hours each week. Valerie and the kids work together to fill in along side me to make this our full time occupation. I could not be more eager to get to work each day.
In the end it is all about LEGO. I am passionate about them. They bring out my creativity and excitement. When I build with LEGO, or talk with people about what they are building, I am happy. LEGO brings people together, it creates a common space for people to interact. I will end with a story I've told my kids many times. They roll their eyes when I start to tell it again. Here it is:
When I die I want to be cremated. "Speaking to my children", I want you to take my ashes to Denmark. While there, I want you to take a tour of the factory and when nobody is looking I want you to sprinkle some of my ashes into the red granules. Then, later that day I want you to go to the company LEGO store and buy a set with some red 2x4 bricks. Take the set home and build with it often.