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Gary's back.... or at least trying...

IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
Hi folks.... been away for a long time... too long... :-(
It's been a difficult time for me these last 2 years... after losing my mom to cancer (I was her caregiver for 6 years) and then losing my house, then a year later getting the house back after the Lord sent me an angel to fight in court to do so... I'm now back to square one... my house is full of boxes... LEGO boxes everywhere... I just have to sift and sort... a Herculean task!

I hope to make everyone here that I left "owing".... complete... and I do feel very badly... when I lost my house, I had an intervention of my family to prevent me from doing the unthinkable... after a long bout with depression, which is still a struggle for me.

Well I'm now a survivor, and want to make things right with all who I owe. I did learn a few things... 1) I suck at LEGO sales.... 2) I'm "not bad" at putting together an Encyclopedia of LEGO.

For those of you that I owe a copy of my collectors guide DVD to... or LEGO Windows, etc.... I will make things right! Also, just to let you know... there are no more DVDs... it's now just a computer desktop download, that is compatible with your iPhone, iPad, and Smartphone. So if I owe you one... just drop me an Email, and you will have it in your possession within a few hours. Also, eliminating a "physical" DVD allows me to give you folks FREE updates for future editions... or a free "reship" of the download if you should get a new computer... or worse... a computer virus.

Again, I feel very badly for taking this look to get back to you. I had tried several times to get back online here, but each time it failed with "password not found"... even when I got a new password via Email... it took logging in thru Facebook to get back in here. For some reason I thought that the Admin's here were blocking me... but that was must my own paranoia... which is why I was hanging out at Eurobricks. But Brickset has always been a LEGO Home to me... and I hope to be back for good....

Bless you all..
Gary Istok


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,113
    Welcome back. I hope you keep it all together this time Gary. I always used to enjoy your historical perspectives on things that many of us know little about.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    Thanks CCC!! There have been about a dozen LEGO friends from around the world that have kept me informed with new and old discoveries... and I've done some additional LEGO research to keep my sanity (or what's left of it). Found out some new stuff on British LEGO Ltd (1960-1992) that was not known before...
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    Wow! Good luck with your new start. Losing your Mom OR your home would make anyone go over the edge, so please don't feel too badly after losing both of them. OMG!

    Glad you are regaining your position as Lego Historian. We need what is in your head!
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    Hi legogal... I was already posting over on Eurobricks (where I know you from), but could not get back on here, even after several tries over many months.... I still can't... (even with a reset password)... but can get on finally via Facebook. Yeah... I took care of my mom for the last 11 years of her life, thru 5 cancers... and she was a strong trooper all the way to the end at age 88. She confided to others that her biggest worry was not the cancer nor how long she had... but at my well being...
  • legomattlegomatt Member Posts: 2,548
    edited July 2014
    Always be kind to yourself.

    (When life gets tough, it's much harder than it sounds - but it is during those times we're at our most vulnerable to self-persecution - Being gentle on yourself is the most important thing a person must do in order to persevere, and recover, from the diverse troubles they find themselves beset by).

    Be kind to yourself.

    And welcome back, (in every sense that applies).
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    Welcome back, Gary.
    If you PM me your email address, I can email you back a temporary password with which you can regain direct access to your account.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    Thanks rocao... even in my absence my love for the bricks kept me sane... and I've gotten so much more info stored in my noggin'. :-)

    I just sent you a message!
  • ChrisbstmChrisbstm USAMember Posts: 151
    Welcome back! Stay strong mi amigo!
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    Gary, Taking care of your Mom for 11 years is flat out amazing, and through five cancers is even more impressive!

    My Mom was healthy at 89 when she had her first and only surgery. Keeping her on our sofa for a month during her recovery almost killed the four of us. When she unexpectedly passed on in her sleep two months after that, we all were decimated. It has hit me much harder than expected as I was the child closest to her during all of my life. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a parent.

    In her honor, I completed my Bucket List of visiting all six Legoland Parks in 11 months. She always encouraged us to travel and set a wonderful example. I feel great about finishing my Bucket List, and know that it would have made Mom even happier.

    Maybe returning to your work as LEGO historian is a way to honor your mom and manage your grief. Congratulations on so many years of caring for her. I have been on the caring end of the deal for the past ten years and know well the burnout that comes with such commitment. Take care of yourself in every way you can.
  • sidersddsidersdd USAMember Posts: 2,432
    Welcome back Gary. Glad to hear you are back on your feet. Hope to see some good posts from you soon.
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,862
    Welcome back Gary. Family and economics should always take presidence over contributing to a forum.
    You insight was definitely missed, but I think everyone is just glad to hear from you again and know you are doing OK.
  • RedbullgivesuwindRedbullgivesuwind Brickset's Secret HeadquatersMember Posts: 1,886
    Glad you are back Gary. And I am very sorry to hear about what happened. Sometimes life just likes to kick you.
  • plasmodiumplasmodium UKMember Posts: 1,939
    Welcome back Gary!
  • jdylakjdylak Member Posts: 281
    Dumb question but how come you have been on eurobricks all this time like nothing was wrong?
  • RomanticWarriorRomanticWarrior United StatesMember Posts: 248
    Welcome back. Stay strong. :) Your LEGO 'family' is here for you
  • bricktuarybricktuary Krakozhia (temporarily stuck in London)Member Posts: 549
    Welcome back.
  • timinchicagotiminchicago USAMember Posts: 239
    As a fan of history, pop culture, nostalgia and of course LEGO, I always enjoyed your posts, welcome back.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    edited July 2014
    Thanks all folks.... I'm really not worthy of all this welcome... but my heartfelt thanks to you all!

    And jdylak... you ask a very good question... :-) Fugazi the Admin on Euro has been a great friend to me during my hard times, and encouraged me to post even when times were tough, not just emotionally, but financially... since there are some here I still owe LEGO to.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    Also... LEGO has been truly a lifesaver for me... even during my darkest moments... I kept plugging along with researching about LEGO. There were about 20 folks worldwide who sent me new (old) LEGO items and images that were still unknown to the LEGO world, or very obscure. I'll be sharing much of that with you folks. :-D
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    In my time away.... LEGO set info has been stacking up like crazy... so many sets of the last 65 years that have yet to give away their secrets! ;-)

  • sonsofscevasonsofsceva 1904 World's FairMember Posts: 542
    Wow! Great to have you back! I just received a box with some bricks with those old logos and my children were so surprised at some of the parts, like the gears and the old wheels.
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    edited July 2014
    Thanks for all the words of encouragement... and thanks for those of you who sent me Private Messages. For those still waiting for a download copy of my Unofficial LEGO Sets/Parts Collectors Guide.... please include your Email... so I can send you the download instructions... only takes 6-15 min. to download a 688MB desktop copy of my collectors guide!

    Also, anyone here who already has a copy of my guide (or is waiting)... I'm giving out a freebie to everyone... a FREE download copy of my 70 page Unofficial LEGO 1:43 Chevrolet Trucks/Wagons (1952-57) Collectors Guide, which I had been selling for $7.95.

    This will also give me a chance to update my Address Book and add "DVD" to your address book listing... so that I can send you free future updates to both my collectors guides! ;-)
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    edited July 2014
    For those of you who have or are expecting my collectors guide DVD download... please contact me for a free copy of my LEGO Chevrolet Trucks Collectors Guide. I just checked, and noticed that there are no mention of these in any online LEGO databases. The nearly 100 1952-57 1:43 scale plastic LEGO trucks were sold in only Denmark, Norway and Iceland (not Sweden, surprisingly).

    Even if you ordered and got my collectors guide 2 years ago, you still get a free complementary copy of this historic LEGO collectors guide. Here's my banner for the 1:43 LEGO toys... and an image showing many of them from a 1956 Norwegian catalog showing many of the models... which are very highly prized by collectors today....

  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,191
    Opps... here's the 1:43 truck catalog image....
  • DuqDuq Member Posts: 23
    Hey Gary, good to see you back. I'd already been enjoying your recent updates on Eurobricks, I just don't visit here very often.
    It's good to have something constant in your life to hold on to. For some people it's their favourite team, for some it's fishing, for most of us here it's little pieces of plastic...
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    Well stated, Duq! Yup, just little pieces of plastic.

    We tend to take plastic for granted. A good friend of mine does not. Her father introduced plastic to China opening the first factory in Tianjin and was murdered during the Cultural Revolution because he was in management. He was the first Chinese person to import the plastic making process from Russia to China. Lives have been given so we can have our little pieces of plastic.

    Gary, thanks for sharing so much info about these little pieces of plastic. (OUCH, just stepped on another one. Dang!)
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