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Reynoldsburg man creates legacy out of Legos
When most men celebrate their 50th birthday, they don’t usually have a Lego-themed birthday party.
But Reynoldsburg resident Bob Edwards isn’t your typical man. After a long day at the “office,” which in his case is working as a truancy officer for the Columbus Division of Police, he races home to continue his latest Lego creation.
Constructing with the brightly colored toy building bricks has been his passion for more than 30 years. It started innocently enough.
“My wife bought me a police Lego set,” he laughed, noting that Sonja Edwards probably had no idea what she was getting into.
Gesturing around his “Lego room,” which was previously his daughter’s bedroom, he points to his system for meticulously organizing the toys.
Large sets are in plastic tubs, tiny pieces are sorted by color and type into small bins, and instructions for construction are filed carefully away. A giant table fills the room, topped with bright green felt to resemble grass, and light blue paint and fluffy white clouds adorn the walls.
Eventually he would like to have a larger table with an open center so he can work all around his creations.
“But it’s her house, too,” he said.
Having a fulfilling, relaxing hobby became particularly important in 1986, when Edwards – who was then a deputy for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department – suffered a near-fatal motorcycle accident at work. Throughout a year-long recovery, Edwards used Legos to keep his mind and body active.
“Back then I used to build little things and put them away,” he reflected. Now he has the space to spread out his collection, which he estimates to be valued at about $25,000.
Over the years, Edwards has used the Lego kits to inspire his creations, but he often disregards their instructions and builds his own visions. He has created just about anything you can imagine - towns, farms, airports - even medieval castles and a police metropolis.
He estimates he spends at least an hour a day working with his Legos.
“When I get tired of what’s on the table I put them away and start over,” he said. “For me, I get just as much enjoyment from deconstructing as I do construction.”
He admits he is a little selfish when it comes to his Legos.
“My wife gets mad at me because she wants me to bring my 9-year-old grandson in here to build, but it’s not a joint venture,” he said.
Instead, the grandchildren have their own set of Legos – and they are allowed to come into the Lego room and look at Edwards’ creations - supervised, of course.
Up to this point, Edwards has worked on his hobby without the assistance of some of the large Lego clubs.
“It would be a blast to do, but right now I’m just too busy,” he said, noting that the Lego clubs often build huge creations that are displayed at public venues.
“It’s a very singular hobby,” he said. “Even within the big clubs, each of the participants builds only part of a site.”
Of all his creations, his favorite is probably the medieval castles. He has built them numerous times – a different way each time - and set up various armies ready to prepare for battle.
Another favorite is his police metropolis, for which he combined countless police Lego sets to create one giant police station. After his most recent town is taken down, he will create a winter scene – complete with a Lego railroad and station.
“There’s always something you want,” he laughed. “It’s whether you can afford to buy it.”
Most of Edwards’ friends and colleagues are well aware of his unusual hobby, and they realize it is part of his persona.
“Part of the reason I do it is you can get lost in what you are doing and it allows you to just relax,” he said. “There are very few other hobbies that are easy to work on, store and have some value. It’s a good return on your investment.”
Upon his retirement from the Columbus Division of Police in about seven years, he plans to spend even more time working on his hobby.
“As long as I am physically able to do this, I will,” he said.
|On January 2, 2012 Virginia said:
This was a well written article and quite interesting.
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