I’ll get back to books next week. This week, it’s more personal.
One of my friends in Portland died on Friday. Brian’d been sick for some time and even hospitalized for a stretch. I heard this mostly via Facebook and other people closer to him than I was. From what I’ve gathered is that he died of natural causes due to complications of the illness. He wasn’t much older than myself which hit closer to home that I’d normally be willing to admit. After I left Portland, I didn’t have much contact with my former group due to distance and that most of the members were/are private people.
I first met Brian via a website and a local meet-up of Portland peoples. We gathered for pizza and to talk about gaming. After it’d ended, a few of us moved to another place to have coffee and play games. This is where I was introduced to Apples to Apples and a little game called Chez Geek. I had a hoot of a time and started me down the path which crossed his a few years later.
Again, the gaming website came in play, as one of the member moved to Portland and ended up staying with Brian and his boyfriend at the time. We talked and she invited me over for their Friday evening gaming session. I played a couple of games and the one that stuck in my mind was Power Grid and Ticket to Ride. Nowadays they’re a bit old hat, but in those days, they were new as hell to me. I got to hang with some really cool people.
Brian, as it turned out, had a number of hobbies besides gaming. His interest and knowledge in prog rock rivaled many people and while he wasn’t the most outspoken of people, he had a passion of for it. He worked hard to include everyone and make the times were got together interesting. When I headed over to his place, there was usually something new on the gaming shelf and Brian was ready to explain the rules. He wanted to make sure that everyone had an even footing when we played. More times than not, he won, but not because he knew something we didn’t. He was just that good of a player and more often than not, a very unassuming one.
Brian suggested that I go to PAX with him and a couple of other guys. There I learned that Will Wheaton was a fantastic speaker and the joys of soaking in the eye candy of gaming. He knew all the cool little places to go for breakfast and introduced me to really good sushi for the first time. There were a lot of firsts thanks to Brian. I learned to grow in my outlook of people and found new enjoyment in the gaming hobby.
Thank you Brian for the little things. They’re the ones that mean the most even if I didn’t understand them at the time.
You’ll be missed by everyone you touched.