Freeze this moment a little bit longer.
Mostly for Almaniacs, but some of the rest of you might be able to identify.
A friend of mine sent word on that Hulings Hobby Shop is closing. Claude's still running it, too, at age 85, for a wonder.
Yes, it has a wood floor. A wood floor so creaky ninjas couldn't sneak across it. Hulings' also has an upstairs. When I was a kid, upstairs was where the action was: all the gaming stuff was up there. The models, too.
But Claude resolutely refused to let anyone go upstairs without his direct supervision, especially impatient geeky hooligans eager to look at the latest TSR or SPI releases. The friend who sent it to me had it nailed:
"Claude never understood what torture it was for a kid with five dollars in his pocket to have to wait while he dealt with someone buying craft supplies."
Which never took less than forever, of course.
James remembers squandering lawnmowing money on blisterpacks of gaming miniatures. I acquired the D&D releases, along with SPI's Time Tripper and War of the Ring. The latter cost me $12 and required a whole lot of sweating and patience to buy. I doubt Claude ever understood what the fascination was, but he had it on hand nonetheless.
I'm going to have to get there before it closes forever. Here's hoping.