I get asked all the time on how I got into Dungeons & Dragons. Its a pretty long story so I hope you guys and gals have a few minutes to read this weeks treasure chest post.
When my parents moved to Florida way back in 1979, it was because they both got jobs out at the Kennedy Space Center for this new thing they called the "Space Shuttle Program." It wasn't like I had much of a choice or anything, I was five years old and my brother was two years younger then me. We moved to an area called Port Saint John and wow, I remember nothing was there. Nothing but a ton of those god damned sand spurs I dived in the middle of when I wrecked my bike learning to ride it.
Now days it is a massive area which I think is actually considered a city now because of the population. Well, when we first moved there there were no schools and we had to be shipped to a small hillbilly town called Mims. This was about about a 20 mile north bus ride to go to my new school. That was just one way now to be clear. It was absolutely horrible. We did not even get a PE or lunch period. I remember that all of us kids that were shipped were being "stored" in portable classes, or trailers. I remember we had a different teacher every week. Our lunched were delivered to us in brown bags but the scary lunchroom lady. God, it was horrible. This went on for me in Kindergarten and then half way through my first grade year. There was no PE there like I said, so therefore no Dungeons & Dragons. lol Why did I even tell you this?
Next, all of us kids were now being shipped south about 10 miles to Cocoa to Fairglenn Elementary. This school was much better and we actually got to eat and have recess with all the other kids that actually went there in the first place. This was for the rest of my 1st grade year until the end of my third grade year. Once again, no Dungeons & Dragons, but I did get introduces to kickball and dodge ball and had the scars to prove it. I loved Pete Rose as a kid so I tried to do one of his slides on the hard orange clay to show off. Yea, not a good idea. I took all the skin off of my chin, elbows and knees. lol
Now Port Saint John is starting to have 3 elementary schools built. Then for my 4th grade year we were shipped north again to Titusville which is in between where I lived and Mims. It was Coquina Elementary, home of the Cougars. I wish you guys could hear me making this ridiculous cougar noise right now. lol Well, I was in the 4th grade now and getting a massive education in our new state of the art EC, or electronic classroom as they called it. It had a pad that you pressed A - D or maybe it was A - E, I can't remember. That classroom was so fun and awesome and was how I was introduced to computers. I actually talked me mom and dad into getting me a Tandy 1000 EX personal computer. I was the most popular kid in town with my dual cassette drives and Earl Weaver baseball. haha
After time in the "EC," we would go to recess for about an hour or so. The school was on a hill and at the bottom of the hill there was a group or four massive trees. These trees were huge from what I remember. There were also a bunch of huge, massive, dirty, smelly, wet, bug and snake riddled tractor tires. I watched these three kids build castles and sword fight in them with sticks, until one of the teachers took them away. They were chasing one another in the huge tractor tires by rolling each other down the hill. I remember they would be filthy at the end of PE. You would literally see nothing but eyes and teeth because they were so dirty.
So after some weeks or watching these other kids have all this fun I finally went over to them and asked them what they were doing. They thought I was going to pick on them or something I think because I was a lot taller than they were but they eventually told me they were playing Dungeons & Dragons. I had no clue what D&D was so I asked them if they could show me how to play because it looked. So they did. They all pulled out their mangled, ripped dirty character sheets out of their pockets and showed them to me. I thought this was so cool because of the numbers and the dice. We would do the rolls first on one of the tires and then act out what happened. What a blast we had.
When I got home from school that day I had to tell my mom about this and I finally drive her batty enough to take me up to Walden's Books in the mall and she bought me a few of the D&D books. I was hooked from that point on. I could not put them down and then the rest is history.