New Doors Open

“Whenever a door closes, another one opens.”

This is the kind of “fortune cookie” advice that we all love to hate. But in this case it happens to be completely true. I have always figured that suicide is foolish because it’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

But it’s also stupid because, at the very moment when the light goes out and your ship sinks beneath the waves, denizens of Atlantis appear and you’re carried away to a land where “surface dwellers” live in glory, surrounded by people who are thousands of years ahead of our puny civilization.

Or something.

The truth is that one door opens BECAUSE another one closed. It’s very difficult to see “how this works”– but it does.

I was very sad about the collapse and final departure of plastic model kits from American shores. Sure, there are a few scavengers hunting in the rubble, but let’s face it– the Age of the Model Kit is over the U.S.A.

When Revell, Monogram and Testors all pulled up stakes and quit– that was a blow to my sense of self, as well as a serious assault on my ability to do this little dumb thing I call a hobby.

But then came that other damn door. Opening up, just to spite me.

I found that, unbeknownst to me and any other grumpy old plastic model builder, that a whole new world of Atlantean majesty had been aborning far, far out in the hinterlands and among the distant islands of Young People and New Ideas.

The world of Miniatures and Warhammer and Dungeons and Dragons and all that Tolkien-esque stuff had grown and grown, and glommed onto the new board game revolution, and the result is a hobby that is healthy and happy and blissfully unaware that in the next room some old farts are dying off from sheer boredom and a lack of paint.

While I was laying in my hospital bed, feeling sorry for myself and fingering old, yellowed photos of me and my buddies–Testors and Pactra, Revell and Monogram, standing around a jeep near Da Nang– a whirlwind of fresh young faces, ruddy cheeked from having just painted a hundred minis and playing an all-night Warhammer game of some kind, burst into my room, greeted me and tossed an angry cat in my bed as a prank. Then they poured Vallejo paint on my head and left me to sputter–in aggravation but also in a state of arousal.

These kids. They are onto something...

I had no idea how large this “hobby” had become. It’s huge. The numbers on Youtube don’t lie. Millions of views on HOBBY stuff? Impossible! But it’s happening.

A new generation takes command. Old man, I say to myself, perhaps this would be a good time to shut up, and seek out teachers, and learn.

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