Nate “nnenn” Nielson
I heard yesterday about the death of Nate “nnenn” Nielson earlier this month, but was unable to even think about posting about it. I am not an “active” member of the afol community. I don’t post regularly on LEGO forums, or go to LEGO conventions. I did not know Nate, or interact with him directly in any electronic way. So why am I so affected by his death?
I think comfort and familiarity have something to do with it. I was comfortable checking on his latest creations. He was very much on the short list of builders, whose progress I follow weekly. We are aware of human mortality on a conscious level, but not a “continuously” conscious level. We don’t think about it unless it rears its head right in our line of vision. I was comfortable with the”assumption” that Nnenn was younger than I am, and therefore would live past my death, or at least past my involvement in the LEGO community.
Those are some of the reasons that I was immediately affected by his death, but that was not the end of my day. As I read the Brothers Brick account of his death, and the short description of the man and his family, I came to see how like me (in circumstance) he was: Husband, Father, and artist, (many of his MOCs where made as toys for his sons) to have all of that taken away so suddenly because of something most of us do daily, (and I do a lot) is horrible and tragic. As I sat reading the HUNDREDS of farewell, and goodbye messages on blogs, lists, groups, and the comment section of his last photo, I came to understand the loss his passing represented to the brick community.
I value the time that every LEGO fan takes to post the images of their latest creations, be it on Brickshelf, Flickr, MOCpages, or personal blog. I think of that time as having been spent in the public service of the brick community at large. The online photos of MOCs inspire, inform, and improve us. They teach us and goad us to greater heights than we formerly thought possible. Any who have browsed through Nnenn’s Flickr pages will know, that very few people spend as much time serving the brick community in that way, as Nate Nielson did.
I never met him, but I will miss him. I would love to have some words of wisdom and comfort, something deeply moving, for his wife and two sons, but I am at a loss.
You can see more of Nnenn’s stuff on Brickshelf –
or Flickr –
You can get a brief glimps of his other talents here –