Exhibit at JMU

In March of 2002 I was contacted by James Madison University's Student Program Board and asked if I would consider displaying some of my LEGO models on their campus for a single day. This was to be a very informal exhibit in the 'commons area' of campus outside one of the dining halls and such.

JMU is located in Harrionsburg, VA which is about 11 hours away from Auburn, Alabama (where I live). Normally this would have caused me to seriously consider against the proposal, but there happened to be a Scrabble tournament in Flat Rock, North Carolina in mid-April...

Flat Rock, it turned out, was almost exactly halfway (and on the way) to Harrionsburg.

"If the exhibit day can be scheduled for the afternoon of 22 April," I said, "you've got a deal."

That schedule worked for JMU, so on 19 April (Friday) I loaded up my car with as many of my smaller LEGO sculptures as would fit and started driving northward.

The weekend was spent in North Carolina playing Scrabble (I placed 2nd in the top division at the tourney), and Sunday afternoon after the games were completed, I continued my journey until I arrived in Harrisonburg later that night.

The next morning I set up the models I had brought: Milhouse, The Chess Board, The BSD Daemon, Santa Claus, The Globe, The Parrot, The Suicide King mosaic, Pentominoes, and the recently completed Wedding Cake.

JMU, of course, was simply trying to provide an attraction for its students, and the LEGO models did just that. Let it not be said that LEGO bricks are only interesting to children. The works generated many 'oohs and aahs' from the college students as they passed by between classes.

Especially popular were the Pentomino puzzles I brought (both the classic version and the checkered version). One student spent well over 90 minutes working on the puzzles before he finally completed the classic version. No one ever completed the checkered puzzle.

All the usual questions were asked, and I gladly answered them as well as just listened to everyone's comments. As is usual, each different model found its own set of admirers.

The exhibit lasted only four hours, but it was quite enjoyable. Other than the wind that blew over the King of Hearts mosaic a couple of time (quick rebuilding was necessary), the weather was perfect.

In all, it was much simpler than a tradeshow exhibit, but just as gratifying.

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