The First Forty Years

In the summer of 1980, I had a job as a Counselor in Training at Camp Collier, a Boy Scout Camp on Lake Wampanoag in Gardner Massachusetts. I was almost 14 years old but had hit a growth spurt, finally, and was a Life Scout very close to being an Eagle. It was the first time I was away from home for an extended period and I was thinking it was going to be a very long six weeks. One of the adult counselors in our staff cabin asked us one night if we wanted to try a game, he played called Dungeons and Dragons. He had the Basic Blue Boxed Set and a copy of the Dungeon Masters Guide, Players Handbook, and Monster Manual. By the end of the six weeks I had gone on some incredible adventures, slain a host of orcs, and had an alter ego named Arthanial Fireside a ranger of some renown. I graduated from D&D to Advanced D&D. I had also read through each of the books cover to cover, twice.

After camp was over, I used some of the money I earned to buy my first set of 1st edition books and a couple of boxes of lead figures. This was back in the day when miniatures were cast metal and not plastic. I talked my best friend into buying a player’s handbook and by the start of school, my freshman year, we were recruiti