Six years ago today the gaming community woke up to some sad news — Gary Gygax had passed away quietly in the night.
Gary was very influential in my life. Both as a gamer and as a publisher. When I dipped my toe into the gaming industry in January, 1990 and started doing Shadis Magazine (along with my wife, Barbara) one of the first people to respond to issue #1 was Gary himself.
Gary didn’t bother writing a letter, and this was well before there was this thing called, email. Gary picked up the phone and actually called me. After telling me everything he didn’t like about the magazine he told me what he DID like. And he ended the call with, “We need more efforts like this in the hobby. Keep at it.”
Had it not been for that phone call (along with a letter from Keven Seimbeida of Palladium Books offering the words of encouragement), I may not be doing what I do today. Self Publishing is hard work, often thankless and perpetually frustrating. There were many times I almost threw in the towel.
I was reminded a few days ago that back in 1990, my wife Barbara interviewed Gary. The interview ran in Shadis #4. Since that issue only had a distribtion of around 500 there’s a good chance few people reading this have seen it. So I thought I’d post it here today.
I was also reminded that I *may* still have the micro-cassette tape with this interview on it. Of course a LOT of commentary and such wasn’t used due to space contraints. I’m going to make an effort to try and find it and transfer the audio to digital (fingers crossed). But it’ll have to wait til spring — there’s about two feet of snow blocking the door to the storage shed.
I’m running a game of HackMaster friday night. I plan on raising a glass to Gary. For over three decades he and Dave’s creation have helped me forge countless memories (and countless friendships) at the gaming table.