I remember taking the son of the Former_Lady_Semah, Alex to Milwaukee Games Fest and Alex getting to talk with him for well over a half hour. He was warm and friendly with anyone who wanted to talk to him, but particularilly young people, who he constantly referred to as the future of the hobby. He thanked me for introducing a young person to the game. (Though it was Alex's dad who had, but I wasn't telling him that. ) Alex told the story to anyone who would listen about how Gary grabbed Alex's little box of 6 siders (About a hundred of tiny, tiny dice) and said, "Let's see how many of 'em roll 6's) Alex won't forget him for the rest of his life and neither will I.
Gary may have been a stubborn, stuck in his ways, Grognard, who in many ways had let the modern aspects of the hobby he helped create pass him by. (The only thing lower than his opinion of Wizards of The Coast was his opinion of TSR after it was taken from him) and was a terrible fiction writer, just terrible. But if not for him, neither I nor Alex, nor millions of people would have had such indescribable hours of fun in our basements, living rooms, dorm rooms, convention centers, and dinner tables. Gary will be missed.
And because I'd be remiss if I didn't make the following joke, as Gary would have wanted it that way:
Does anyone have 5000 gp worth of diamonds handy?
*pours a bottle of Mountain Dew on the curb*
From B. Miller:
Back in 1982 or 1983 when I was about 12, I wrote TSR a letter asking about some rules clarifications. Mr. Gygax hand-wrote a reply (and gently scolded me to send a SASE in the future). It always blew my mind that a man basically running a multimillion dollar business would hand-write a response to a 12-13 year old kid just so the kid could enjoy the game more. I had the pleasure of a few emails with him year before last. Today I have lost a hero and a father. I wish his family the best.
Some great posts in this thread.
As runstaverun pointed out to me, I might not have a level 70 warlock if it wasn't for Gary Gygax - on both sides of the equation.