Once you get a collection of Legos, it’s silly to throw them away. Future generations might use them. Or even kids who aren’t as young as they used to be.
Colette Sorensen, who has two sons in their 30s, never threw away their Legos. Her grandchildren now play with them. Her grown sons might play with Legos once in a while. Sorensen’s husband even occasionally sits down with Legos. It gets him away from the TV and computer and gets him thinking, she said.
Sorensen was among the Shoemaker Elementary teachers who brought 40 students to the Grand Island Public Library Monday morning for the annual appearance of the Lego Guy.
Another parent on hand, Beth Omel of Giltner, says she has “millions” of Legos in her home. She has five kids, four of whom are older. The youngest, 6-year-old Fostin, even has a Lego room. It’s his bedroom.
She and her husband, born in the 1980s, grew up playing with Legos.
Now, like many other parents, she knows the pain of stepping on a Lego. She has ruined two vacuum cleaners that had problems trying to inhale the little plastic bricks.
Omel says she finds Legos all over the house, including the kitchen and the bathroom. Her son likes to take a bath with little Lego people.
Leigh Lillibridge also had a Lego go up into her vacuum cleaner.
“It has a distinct sound,” said Lillibridge, who brought her 9-year-old son, Jonah, to the library.
Doug and Kristie Hartman of Grand Island don’t have a lot of Legos. The parents of 4-year-old Russell own only three sets. They’re “just getting started,” said Kristie, who is pregnant with their second child.
Doug, 27, still enjoys Legos. He shows Russell how to play with them.
The couple just bought a new house. They will use a room on the third story as a playroom.
“That way we don’t have to step on Legos,” he said.
Erin Rosenthal, the mother of three boys, has more Legos in her house than she expected to have. “Because they love to build,” she said.
Rosenthal’s 8-year-old twins, Cooper and Carter, were busy playing with Legos Monday morning. In her arms was Ben, who’s a year and a half.
Ben is already following in his brothers’ footsteps, so it wouldn’t be smart for the Rosenthals to get rid of their Legos.
“I don’t think they’re going anywhere anytime soon,” she said.
No matter how many Legos you have, one mother said, you still buy more.
Youth and Family Services Librarian Celine Swan estimated that 250 kids turned out for the morning Lego program, which was for kids in preschool through fifth grade. The Lego Guy, Curtis Mork, did another show in the afternoon, for kids 10 to 18.
A good portion of the morning crowd was made up of groups from day cares and preschools. The YWCA brought 25 kids. Other groups came from the YMCA, Giggles, St. Mary’s Cathedral Day Care and other places.
Missy and Vic Nelson brought their 7-year-old grandson, Colton Nelson, who lives in Cairo.
The Nelsons, who live in Grand Island, arrived about 30 minutes early. When they saw the buses pull up, they were glad they were early.
“We thought it was our little secret,” Missy said.
Mork, 43, has built his career out of Legos. His home in Platteville, Colo., houses the biggest Lego collection in the state of Colorado.
For his library appearance, he brought 24 sets with him. Altogether, his collection consists of 673 sets, and is still growing. “My house has pretty much turned into a museum,” he told the kids.
Mork gives the kids an interesting history of Lego. The Danish town that produces Legos is home to 7,000 people. Because of Lego, it attracts 3 million visitors a year.
This summer, Mork is visiting six states. Besides Nebraska and Colorado, they are Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin.
He thinks Monday’s visit was his fourth to Grand Island.
“This is actually one of the biggest turnouts I get during the summertime,” he said. “Grand Island usually has the biggest attendance.”
On Tuesday, he’ll be in Hastings and Clarks.
“I was in St. Paul on Friday. And they usually have about 100 kids up there,” Mork said.
On Wednesday, he’ll be in Central City and Stromsburg.
“I come around this area every year,” he said.
The library might draw bigger crowds than it got Monday.
“Sometimes we do. You just never know,” Swain said. “But this is one of our bigger programs for the summer.”