What do we do when we have too much stuff? Why, we get a garage, of course, Or, in Brandon Obert’s case, borrow a garage.
Obert has had a passion for Legos ever since he was small boy in Monroe, Wisconsin.
“Throughout my childhood, more often than not, I could be found building castles, pirate ships and farms as often and as fast as my imaginative fingers could move,” he says. But alas, adulthood crept in, and he found it necessary to “lay down the brick” and pursue other, more adult, priorities. (The Lego world has a term for this period: “The Dark Ages.”)
“Thank goodness for AFOL (Adult Fan of Lego),” Obert laughs. “I became a lifetime member in 2007. At that time there were only two conferences in the United States. Now there are 14.” Obert tries to attend as many as possible, transporting his structures with great care.
His first major creation as an adult was a 3-foot by 7-foot 11,000 piece American flag, complete with mounted inside lights providing illumination at night. He is quite proud of this, and it has made many trips across the U.S. with him. But this year — as a matter of fact, this month — he is planning to execute the most complex and delicate transport of all.
Now in his 30s and living in an apartment in Adel, Obert admits that his “passion” has taken over his living space. Now what?
Enter John Fieck, the associate pastor of Brandon’s local church. In essence, he generously told Obert, “My garage is your garage.” Not only that, Fieck even helped transport dozens of Lego masterpieces to without one mishap. The room was cleaned out except for tables and shelves set up ahead of time for Obert’s artistic renderings.
The pride of Brandon’s fleet is his football stadium.
“This took over two years to complete,” he says. “It measures 6.5 feet by 10 feet, complete with 3,500 mini figures consisting of fans, players, referees, staff, etc. There is even a retractable dome covering the grounds.”
Each week Obert volunteers at The Adel Youth Center as a sort of “Lego mentor.” This summer he and his youth pastor are taking several of these energetic young people to “Brickworld” in Chicago. They are entering the annual nautical competition held there, using uniquely created Leo boats, racing them from one end of a huge pool to the other. The winner receives a huge trophy — made of Legos, of course.
Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or email@example.com to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”