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(TFT) Do you remember the first time you played?

David Michael Grouchy II wrote:

> Do you remember the first time you played?

In July of 1979 I spent a week in Monroe, Wisconsin, knocking on doors and inviting the locals to join us at evening church. We were holding a week-long, old-fashioned Gospel Meeting at little start-up church which my congregation back in Nashville supported.. I was 15, and very out-of-place among the old-timers, but I had a good book to read (I think it was "The Sword of Shannara"?). Besides: I love cheese (see "Monroe Wisconsin: America's 'Little Switzerland").

Sunday after services the gang of us went to the local Luby's cafeteria, located at the entrance of a little shopping mall. Bored by the after dinner conversation, I wandered into the mall to find a little game and toy store. I can't be certain, but I think it was Kay-Bee. A display greeted me invitingly as I stepped into the store. "Dungeons & Dragons". I had heard of this new game for college kids and brainiacs, and - although I was neither - had been intending to investigate it for myself.

"Regularly $12, on sale for $9.99" read the sign. Still too rich for my blood, being almost out of travelling cash. I asked the sales clerk at the counter if she knew of a game "like Dungeons & Dragons - but cheaper?". She pointed at a little counter-top display just to my left, and no more than a foot from my left elbow. "Melee, Wizard, Ogre, Rivets" I read, feeling the excitement welling up within as the titles stirred my imagination. "That one on the front, 'Melee', is exactly like D&D, except it comes in a baggie and doesn't have dice" quoth the clerk.

Oh, how wrong she was (thank the Lord!).

That evening as I devoured TFT Melee, I knew that my life had changed forever. I enthusiastically (but quietly) played alone on the floor of the motel room by lamplight as B.B.Boyd (age 62) slept in the other double bed. I didn't sleep a wink that night.

The next morning, on the way out of town, I somehow talked the Boyds (B.B. & Kitty, who were my ride home) to stop back by the mall. I spent my last $3.95+tax on "Wizard", and giggled all the way back to Nashville.

Gavin =====
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