Well. That’s it. About 1800 played in GP Madison for Legion’s Last* GP. I was fairly overwhelmed all weekend with all of the good will and assurances of so many people who expect that I will be back on the schedule for 2017.
And then this happened:
Dan Bock and the folks at Powernine.com spent a bunch of time putting this together and while I was whisked off to dinner Sunday night made an announcement to the room and had a bunch of people come sign “Shrine of Loyal Legions” to put in a binder. the binder has sections for vendors, staff and players and there are hundreds of signatures and notes from so many amazing people.
It’s no secret that Dan and I have been good friends for a long time. Back in the old PTQ days when it was sometimes hard to get vendors to show up at the 100-120 person PTQs we had, Dan was always there at mine. We occasionally even traveled together and shared hotel rooms. He’s become one of the most recognizable sellers on ebay over the years with a rating that is both incredibly high and incredibly well deserved. I’m thankful to call him my friend and thankful to all the years HE’S given the Madison community as well.
When I was approaching high school graduation, I wasn’t sure what to do. I grew up on a farm in rural northwest Illinois but spent most of my childhood not feeling like I fit in terribly well. So many kids in school knew what they were moving on to and I just… didn’t. I eventually settled on becoming an electronic tech and got an Associates Degree for that and worked as an electro-mechanical tech at various jobs over the years. I ran various leagues and games for my friends and eventually Magic was created. The first couple events I ran, I ran because, well… no one else really wanted to do it and we had a pretty good community around us that I wanted to be a part of. So I threw in. Many years later, several years after I began running PTQs and Prerelease events for WotC I figured out that this… THIS is what I had been waiting for. I’d been stuck in the traditional role of what a job ought to be and it took me a while (and some personal struggle) to figure out that I could do what I wanted to AS my job if I applied myself.
This weekend so many people thanked me for my time, and for the years of giving them a fun thing to do. To all of you I say – thank YOU. Magic players gave me the opportunity to “figure out what I wanted to do when I grow up”. It took me till I was well into my 30s before I figured it out. Its a special thing when that happens and I hope it happens for each of you. Find your joy.
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” That’s a pretty truthful statement. It’s not uncommon for me to put in 70-80 hour work weeks, but it rarely feels like work to me (except when I have to do book work.. THAT part of the job feels like work!).
Each and every one of you gave back to me FAR MORE than I ever gave to you. You allowed me to do a job I love and provide for my family at the same time. There is not much greater than that. Thank you all.
(*I’ve been told this could change in the future, but its not clear)