I had lunch yesterday with some old friends, and I mean old too. I met several of these gentlemen 30 years ago when I first started at Bell Labs in Naperville IL in 1982. Some of them had started an APBA Baseball draft league the previous year, so when I saw the game first played they were in the middle of their second season. I joined in 1983 and have been associated with the game in some context almost ever since.
Many of us have moved on in some way, form or fashion, so we play the games on computer now and e-mail our results in. It's a fun way to play and to keep in touch, but let's face it, the best thing about playing tabletop games whether it be APBA or DnD is being able to play the games face-to-face. The camaraderie, the
arguments discussions, the anticipation of the die rolls, and the occasional bouts of swearing (but no actual fisticuffs to my remembrance). You could always count on some grown man (or woman) finding themselves with an unusually set of shaky hands when they drew close to winning the last game of the annual World Series as well. There was an incident once involving Crown Royal, but at least it didn't become a tradition.
The occasion for the lunch was that one of our members who lives in England was in town for meetings this past week so for those of us who still live in the western suburbs of Chicago we quickly scrambled to identify a location and a date/time and we sent out an invitation and hoped as many could make it as possible. The stars were in alignment or something because we had nine people in attendance and it really was a great time. Some of the people I still see regularly, but some I hadn't probably seen in person in 15 years or so. There was a lot of gray hair, many have grandchildren now, but once we sat down it was just like old times. Lots of baseball talk, APBA talk, and a lot of catching up on work and family news. I also think there was a desire for those of us still live in the area to maybe start doing this on a little more of a regular basis. Let's hope so.