Saturday, March 7, 2009

Honoring Gary for his Artistic Chutzpah!

We go to Legion Hall this weekend to honor the memory of Gary at Gary Con II (correction, Gary Can I), where in the distant past the intimate Winter and Spring mini-cons were held. My distinct memories of these include learning Mah Jong from Schar Niebling and being absolutely amazed by the massive temples erected by Dave Sutherland for his Empire of the Petal Throne campaign. But even more special, Gary ran Greyhawk. You see, swamped by the growing business of TSR, Gary had turned the Greyhawk campaign over to Robert, and thus, Greyhawk adventures run by Gary were quite scarce outside of these seasonal venues.

I had the fortune of attending one of these Spring Con Greyhawk adventures, which was also attended by a friend of Gary’s up from Chicago. However, this fellow, whose name I don’t recall, seemed oddly unaccustomed to Gary’s judging style. Of course, Gary was quite patient with him, even mildly amused when the fellow insisted upon taking a pack mule into the dungeon. Where, after a few warning signs, it became clear to everyone that the mule would soon become our party’s doom. But rather than sacrifice the mule, this gent took issue with Gary's judging, and with the raw impudence that only a childhood friend could conjure, our muler shoved the open DMG into Gary's face, insistently stabbing at one of its pages. Gary leaned back and waved off his recently published volume and surprisingly disclaimed that he didn't care what was in it, he was ruling this way now!

One might be tempted to conclude a moral from this, wherein we appreciate Gary’s dictum that rules are merely guidelines, etcetera. However, we would be missing the more interesting point that Gary could often be as stubborn as a mule! And for sure, while living in a terribly politically correct world this might seem wrong to say. But we here have our feet deep in fantastic worlds outside those kinds of restrictions, so please bear with me.

Back at the gaming table, relieved by Gary's decisiveness, his chutzpah was of particular clarity to me in that moment: it displayed that glorious, deeply respectable wherewithal that every creatively invested human can toast for its utility and power to move things forward, especially when clouds of doubt and confusion would otherwise pervade. On this honorous weekend, we can now appreciate that same stubborn streak for setting uncountable worlds in motion, which now revolve deeply within our collective imaginations and continue to pull from all sources in a grand play of pure thought.

One might even ask, if we are not so stubborn ourselves, then perhaps our own creations could become more impactful and complete if we were more so? But, with this conscious freedom to realize our creative power made clear by our honored exemplary, then another moral to this anecdote should acutely strikes us to temper the thrill:

It is sometimes wiser to leave your mule at home!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was an excellent weblog entry, Eric!

Thanks for sharing your recollections . . heh, "mule in the dungeon" ~ fool!

However, a jackass in the dungeon should be perfectly acceptable. ;-)