Tag Archives: It’s A Small World

Gamehole Con – A Second Unexpected Occurrance

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the most unexpected coincidence. Today I write about another unexpected thing that happened on Sunday.

On Sunday, I had a game of DCC’s Excape from the Purple Planet from 10 am to 2 pm. I was in a group of experienced players and we all made the right choices and were done in an hour and a half.

I went downstairs to see what was going on, and I ran into Michael Witwer, author of Empire of Imagination. I did a mini review here. Michael and I first met back at Gary Con 8 in March. I wrote about how I ended up being the only person present for his presentation Genesis: Unexpected Journey of Gary Gygax.

Michael was at the autograph table outside the vendor hall. He was talking to a couple of people. Michael just finished talking about Empire of Imagination. Then mentioned his next project: opening day at Disney Land.

That was my queue. When the people he was talking to left, we exchanged pleasantries and then I said, “I have to tell you this because you mentioned Disney.”

My paternal grandmother was a first cousin of Disney’s chief sculptor, Blaine Gibson. My grandmother’s generation, my father’s generation, and many of my own first cousins were all born in the same town. I went into detail about my cousin.

Michael then said, “That’s incredible, I just finished reading about him the other day.” He then pulled out his book and showed me all the underlining about Blaine. “Can I contact you later for some background?” I had an article when Blaine died in July, 2015.

I said, “Sure! I can probably get you in touch with his son.”

Michael then signed a few more books and then started making preparations to leave. He was only there for a short time. If my game had not wrapped early, I would not have ran into him.

As Michael and I were approaching saying goodbye, +Chad Parrish, of Dead Games Society, walks out of the vendor hall, and I call him over and introduce the two of them. Of course, we had to tell the story of being from the same town. Then Michael and I share the Disney connection. Chad then says he wants Michael on his podcast, and they exchange contact information. Michael and Chad are both in different suburbs of Chicago, so they will be getting together for that podcast soon.

Now I just need to figure out how to monetize this newfound role as a broker of information/connections….

Gamehole Con IV – The Most Unexpected Coincidence

By way of explanation (and burying the lede): I had hoped to be able to do a running blog post for each day of Gamehole Con, unfortunately, the available WiFi was not up to the task. I could not even stay connected to my blog long enough to get to the drafts using my cell. I’ll do a wrap up post later today.

On Friday, after dying in Jim Ward’s Metamorphosis Alpha game, I had a Gamma World 2e game with +Chad Parrish of the  Dead Games Society podcast.

Chad also does a podcast with +Satine Phoenix, Gameschool, under the new TSR. (See here for all of the TSR Podcast Network Podcasts.) I write for Multiverse, which is also part of the new TSR. Chad and I met back in March, at Gary Con 8.

At one point either before we started or after a break, he mentioned to another player at the table that he went to the University of Missouri. My ears perked up at that, and I asked him if he was from Missouri.

Chad said, “Yes, but it’s a small town, you’ve probably never heard of it.”

I replied, “That’s OK, just tell me the name.” (I have lived in 6 different places in 4 different parts of the state, and driven through a lot of other places, and know people from small towns all over the state. So I’m thinking I might know the name of the town.)

Chad said, “OK, it’s a small town called Oak Grove.”

My eyes got big, I said, “Jackson County?” (There are at least 4 towns in Missouri with the name, the one I’m from is the only one with a zip code.)


“[zip code]?” “Yes”

He says, “Panthers?”

I say, “Orange and black?”


Then Chad says, “Do you know the Hamiltons?”

I just hold up my name badge.

Chad almost jumped out of his seat and says, “No way, you’re Robert Hamilton’s brother?”

My turn to say, “Yes.” “He’s the older of my two brothers.”

Chad says, “Robert Hamilton! He’s like the best DM ever!”

I said, “I know, right?”

It turns out that Chad was seven years behind me in school. My brother Robert and I are only ten months apart, and went through school in the same grade. I didn’t know Chad because after graduation, I went off to college and wasn’t around.

When he was in middle school, Chad tried to get someone from my youngest brother’s class, Michael, to get him into Robert’s game. So Michael took this 13/14 year old kid over to my parent’s house (I can only imagine the interaction with my father, who did the whole dad thing to anyone who stopped by.) Robert would have been like 20 or 21.

Michael told Chad he didn’t get in because Robert said he was, “Kind of a spaz.” I can just see it now.

I confirmed that Robert is still running the same campaign from back then, just not as often. If we manage to coordinate our schedules we still play.

Chad was telling this story to everyone at the con, I did too.

Chad had a similar thing happen later that same day. He was talking to Steven Chenault of Troll Lord Games, and it turns out that Chad’s father is from the same town where Steven is from. I was amazed something like that happened once to me, I can’t imagine having two such instances on the same day at a convention.

I had met Steven and mentioned to him that I was the one from his hometown, so we talked about the oddity of that for a bit.

After all these years, Chad still wants to play in a Hamilton’s D&D game. I tried to get him to let me pull together a game Sunday afternoon, but he had to leave before my Sunday morning game finished. So he’s talking about some Roll20 action with some DGS fans and himself.