A Father's Journal / Lego talent not a chip off the ol' block
Published 6:34 pm, Tuesday, October 30, 2012
For the next few weeks our area will be the epicenter for Legos. Cancercares will be hosting Blocks of Love at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport on Nov. 17, and the b-Cause Foundation will be hosting a Lego Block Party at Fairfield Ludlowe High School Saturday, Nov. 10.
Both of the events involve builders creating logo kits and Lego artwork. The event at the high school will let kids play Lego videogames on large screens and feature a plethora of Lego activities I never knew existed. My daughter Julia is participating in the Block Party event.
The Lego Block Party has asked to display Julia's Lego art. Julia has created portraits of famous people, including her favorites, Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhardt. To create these, Julia has taken over a room in our house with thousands of her Legos. The room (now called her studio) can't be entered, at least with bare feet as the blocks really hurt when you step on them.
Julia uses a lot of Legos, some of which we get from e-Bay and some donated. Either way, they need to be sorted according to size and color. We have a sorting basket that has a series of holes that get progressively smaller. My job is to sort the blocks. Shaking the sorter and picking out the colors is therapeutic for me. I like to think of myself as Julia's prep cook, getting everything ready for the master chef to work her magic.
My wife and I disagree about where Julia and her sister Caroline get their artistic ability. I claim it is from my side of the family, while my wife claims it stems from her side.
My wife points out that Julia's portraits share many of the same brilliant characteristics as her own colored macaroni-and-dried-bean mural of the Nina, Pinta and the Santa Maria she made in third grade. It's hard to judge the claim. All we have is a faded black- and- white photo of it after their dog chewed up most of the Pinta. She points to her subtle use of pinto beans to simulate the hull of what's left of the Pinta. Unfortunately, the beans proved to be delicious.
I have no real proof of my artistic acumen. Growing up we didn't own a camera. We also didn't have a Lego room; just as well, because we didn't have any Legos. We had a large collection of small, angular rocks that we liked to play with. But we didn't have a special room for it; it was in a designated outdoor area. The small rocks were called gravel and the area was called our driveway. Often when we completed works rivaling Michelangelo's "Last Supper," dad would come home and drive over it. Without photographic proof, my wife is skeptical of my genius claims.
We have Lego artists on both sides. Cousin Jason on Laura's side builds giant spaceships -- yet so does Cousin Anna on my side. A tie. Jason is extremely musical, mastering several instruments, but Anna makes wallets out of duct tape. They are really nice wallets. The duct tape has patterns. One of the patterns is Spiderman.
The Lego party Nov. 10 is sponsored by b-Cause Foundation, founded by local women to help families in crisis and provide for a service outlet for area youth. According to Cindy Citrone, one of the founders, they are working with a family in Fairfield whose son was terminally ill. In addition to the other assistance they offered, they gave him a Lego kit to work on for the upcoming Lego fair. Sadly, he passed away a few weeks ago. His younger brother has vowed to finish it and display it at the fair.
The Lego fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. For more information, visit http://b-causefoundation.com.
Thomas Lawlor lives in Southport with his wife and two daughters. His "A Father's Journal" appears every other Wednesday. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org