The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Posts Tagged ‘Obituary

RIP Josephine Grabow

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Josephine (‘Jo’) Grabow is now the third bridge partner I’ve lost. Not only was she a much more frequent partner (I haven’t played with her in a few years, but we had 5-6 of us that would play practice and rotate houses, but she seemed in perfect health. She just performed the lead in a local theater production two weeks ago, and I saw her last weekend at the tournament. She played at the club on Monday, and Tuesday suffered a massive stroke. It’s infuriating and heartbreaking.

Written by taogaming

January 24, 2020 at 9:42 pm

Posted in Bridge

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Pitt Crandelmire

I — along with many of you — heard about Pitt Crandlemire’s death and I have nothing to say except my condolences to his family and friends. He was a constant for years — seeing Pitt at conventions, and then he stopped coming due to illness.

Now he is gone, and I am diminished yet again.

Written by taogaming

June 15, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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RIP Al Lochli

Yesterday I found out that “Big Al” Lochli died on Monday. He wasn’t terribly old or in apparent poor health; he played a day or two in the sectional Friday, so this is a surprise and shock. I hadn’t played much with him recently, but he was a fixture of the San Antonio Bridge scene for years, being the owner (until a few years ago) of the Turtle Creek club, and winning the District 16 Jacoby Award (for work to promote Bridge, mentor new players, and other services).

In many ways, Al was a stereotypical grognard, except that he played bridge instead of wargames. (And that includes the relative lack of social graces … at a gaming convention you wouldn’t bat an eye but he raised hackles at the bridge club with blunt talk from time to time. However, he was insanely protective of new players. I heard several echoes of this sentiment last night). I’ll miss him.

Al is the 2nd semi-irregular bridge partner I’ve lost since moving back to San Antonio (the other was Darlene Riely). At some point it will be too depressing to go back to the bridge club as the empty chairs before game time become burdened with memories.

I told my favorite story in Judy’s blog, but I’ll copy it here.  (The reference is to the Italian Blue club that Al and Robert played that “nobody else understood”).

I played a few games with Al when I moved back to San Antonio, he loaned me the [Blue Club] system notes and I found a copy of the Terence Reese book [describing the system]. So we played Blue Club (maybe 5 or 10 times). One day (a year later) he and Robert had an auction with a bunch of alerts. Since I knew the system, before the lead I just asked Al “Same as we play?” and he said “No” and then turned to Robert.

“Even he’s read the book! Why can’t you read it?!” and then proceeded to explain their auction.

Written by taogaming

September 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Misc

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RIP Darlene Riely

While I was at the Swiss Teams event yesterday, I discovered that local expert (and my sometimes bridge partner) Darlene Riely died of a respiratory infection a little over a month ago.

I’ve known Darlene for 20 years, and she was hilarious and vivacious, as well as a hell of a player. Bridge is now mainly played by retirees and elderly … but Darlene was only 67. It’s amazing that we live in a world where dying at 67 seems tragic; but we do, and it is.

Written by taogaming

October 13, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Posted in Misc

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My life is my own

Rest In Peace, Patrick McGoohan.

Written by taogaming

January 14, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Posted in Non-Gaming

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Thoughts on Gary Gygax (RIP)

I never met Gary Gygax, but he was (by all accounts) a nice person. It’s easy enough to praise Dungeons and Dragons (and role-playing games). But I want to praise Gary for something that (I think) gets lost in the shuffle. So let me put a bit of hyperbole on it:

Mr. Gygax did more for young boys than all the teaching colleges of this country.

To be clear, I don’t think he did more than ‘teachers’. But he did more than those who taught the teachers. They provided techniques. But his games … those provided motivation. How many people learned the basics of probability from D&D? I don’t think I saw a Bell Curve before the Dungeon Master’s Guide. How many ‘wasted’ weekends (and months) playing these games? And all they had to show for it (apart from the sheer enjoyment) was an introduction to various mythologies, military history, literature (say what you will about the D&D novels, which I’ve never read, but many of my generation went from D&D to Tolkien, instead of the other way around), philosophy, acting, writing, or other interests.

I like role playing games, but more in theory than in practice. (That being said, I may as well reveal that we organized an actual D&D game recently, but it was delayed until … this Friday). I don’t actually enjoy role playing as much as the system … which is why I gravitated towards board games. But D&D remains one of the most tinkerable systems around.

Not everyone is inspired by D&D (or even games). The sports page has taught more than even Gary dreamed of. I’m not convinced that you can get a PhD in statistics without following baseball.

These ‘recreational pastimes’ matter. I’ve learned more outside of the classroom than in it, because what I learned outside was more fun (and important to me). And it’s not just role playing. How many kids (and adults) grasped economic concepts because of Magic, Pokemon and other collectible card games? When I was in North Carolina, about a decade ago, a ~15 year old boy tried to trade away his laptop for several hundred dollars worth of magic cards. His mom forbade it, since she had bought the laptop, but then came into the local game store to discuss it with the owner. The boy argued that the laptop was depreciating, but the cards were gaining in value. When she confirmed that he was right, she allowed him to make the trade.

My kids (like many before them) are going through a Pokemon phase. My daughter has been learning the perils of eBay (buying cards, and games for her Nintendo DS, a device that the 10 year old me would have killed for). I have real hope that Pokemon (the CCG) may finally spur my son to take reading seriously. Right now he can spell roughly four words — his name, Mom, Spider, and man.

So, Rest in Peace Gary. Your praises are being sung by us, while “right thinking, serious” people ignore you so that they can make the world a better place by doing important things, instead of ‘wasting time playing games.’

Written by taogaming

March 5, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Posted in Ramblings

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