Bill Paley (mycroftca) wrote,
Bill Paley

Every now and then, I try to find old friends and acquaintances via the Internet. Sometimes, I'm successful, and I have a quick exchange of emails. Sometimes I'm not, and I wonder what happened to people.

Last week, forestcats asked me whatever happened to someone we'd known who lived in the San Diego area, and I told her that I'd been trying a couple of times to find him with the Worldwide Web, but I hadn't managed. We tried to recall when we'd last had contact, but couldn't dredge up the date. So she promised to try her hand at finding him, being that her Internet Fu is better than mine.

Last night, when she came to bed, she informed me that she'd discovered that Chuck Anshell had died in 2003. His mother survived his demise by several years, and died in her 80s. Chuck had, through most of the time I'd known him, been quite obese, but the last time we saw him, he'd lost a lot of weight, possibly hundreds of pounds. I don't know if he'd done that in a manner that left him ill or not, or if his death was due to misadventure, but I am saddened by this.

Chuck first came to my attention in the late 70s, when he purchased a fan magazine for Dungeons & Dragons from Paul Jacquays (I've forgotten how to spell that!!!), who I'd met at Gencon in the past. I was one of Paul's subscribers, and I was in my freshman year in medical school, when the issue announcing the change in editor arrived. Chuck called for contributions for the magazine which up to that time had mostly been filled with Paul's works, and to a lesser extent, his friends, IIRC. He then published his phone number (!) to contact him, and he lived in Chicagoland, so I gave him a call. On that first contact, he was very non-committal, as one would expect, but then I hand-wrote a few things, and mailed them to him, and he phoned me back asking for more.

Later, Chuck was hired by Judges Guild to edit their works, including their own house magazine, and The Dungeoneer was also published by them, as well. He brought with him all of the contributors to his magazine, and this led to my being one of their pet writers for something on the order of two years. In fact, I was paid a fee monthly for a certain number of pages of copy, most of which went directly into the two magazines. Later, I had a separate contract to write Dra'k'ne Station, the very first adventure ever written for Traveller, the first SF RPG.

When Judges Guild closed its doors, Chuck made his way to the San Diego area, and moved back in with his mother, who herself was ailing; later we moved into the Inland Empire, and occasionally we'd end up south into San Diego. Once or twice we'd see him there, and IIRC, the last time Chuck reminded me that he still owned the rights to The Dungeoneer and that he would be contacting me to produce some copy. Unfortunately, that call never came.

He was a fun, interesting guy, and he is missed.

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