This isn’t the first blog I’ve started. Nor is it the second. I have a terrible habit of starting a journal, posting a few times, then getting distracted by something shiny and new, and forgetting about the old blog.
So today I’d like to share a bit about Legends.
Legends (Or Legends Games of Vincennes) kinda got it’s start as Midwest Comics. In 1994 I worked for Midwest Comics, and in 1996, it was sold, and I soon went to work for the new owner. Midwest Comics carried Magic: the Gathering, but in 1996, we started carrying more games. By 1998, I became part owner. For reasons I can’t even begin to recall or explain, we changed the name to Onyx Dragon. Onyx Dragon operated from 1998 until 2000, and was frequently mistaken for a chinese restaurant. In 2000 we moved to a new, spacious location, and changed the name to Dragon Pro Games. To this day, I’m not sure what a “dragon pro” is, but I think it might be an escort service for the scaley set. When we moved, we also sold all of our comic back issues, and stopped carrying comics altogether. We operated there until early 2002, when the building we were in was sold, and we were forced to move (That also happened to Midwest Comics in 1996).
For a very short time, we remained open in a small (very small) office next door. During this time, we also provided dial-up internet service. The office was too small, and needed too much work, though, and we closed a few months later.
In 2003, my then-girlfriend and I almost partnered with a friend of mine to open up a small gaming and bookstore. We thought a one-word name would be good for that, and thus Legends was born. We had secured the building, but lost our partner, and Legends quickly became a gaming only store. It operated from March until November of 2003. This time, the closure was related to the inability to heat the building. I was buying the building from my father, and the furnace for the first floor was so inefficient, the first gas bill we got (early in the year) was nearly 600 dollars. We had the gas shut off and hoped we’d have a better solution by winter. We didn’t find one. When I closed, I swore I was done. It was too heartbreaking to close our doors. We had a very loyal crowd, and it was very much like losing friends.
To that end, in 2005, I hauled hundreds of roleplaying books to GenCon, to sell in the Auction. We also volunteered that year, and we made enough off the books to pay for the trip, but not much more.
So of course, in the summer of 2006, I was missing it. A few friends had asked if I’d like to try opening a gaming center again, and I needed a distraction. The girlfriend from 2003 had become my wife, and things weren’t going very well. I didn’t want to set up a full-blown shop again, so I tried a different approach: I set up gaming space, and started carrying a few new comics every week, as well as packs and decks of Magic. Everything else, we could special-order on demand.
It worked fairly well. We quicly outgrew our space, but stuck with it until we found a space we liked. We found it in a building that once housed one of vincennes few bookstores (and the place where I bought comics in junior high), so I found that a wonderful bit of nostalgia. We moved there in 2008. By then I had A: Divorced, B: Met Jamie, and C: Moved her here. She took to the management of the shop in no time, and grew it into something wonderful: A community center for the nerdy set, and a fun place to be.
But heating always seems to be our nemesis, and in the fall of 2009, we decided to pack it in, once again. But this time, it was a planned temporary thing. We continued to run regular tournaments at the coffee/ice cream place across the street, and kept our eyes out for a better location.
I never stray far from Main street, and our home presented itself to us in April of 2009. Two doors down from our previous spot, a space opened up that was almost twice as big as our former location. It needed (and still needs) work, but we put up shelves, painted alcoves, rebuilt the bathroom, and brought in our tables.
We went back to the “Gaming Center First” motif, and made the whole thing a part-time job for us, since we both have full-time jobs that keep us pretty busy. Again, it has thrived, and thanks to some dedicated volunteers, we keep a fairly active schedule, with roleplaying groups, board game fans, and card game players all spending a fair anount of time with us.
We now have the opportunity to make the building our permanent home, as we are trying to buy it. It needs work, some pretty serious work, as soon as we get it. But we love the place, and we will do everything we can to make it a great place for our extended family.
One last thing… This is something I’m really proud of. A couple of weeks ago, we acquired 4 more tables, and 38 new chairs, all from the local school corporation, who had a sale/giveaway of older equipment that didn’t move to the new school with them. It brings our table count up to 11, and we can now support several separate groups at the same time.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I wrote it mostly so I’ll never forget the parts of the journey that have brought me to the wonderful point my life is at now. All of them, the good and the bad, are stepping stones in the river of memory.