In seventh grade (1980-81 school year) our language arts teacher told us to form groups and to choose a favorite living author. Each group would submit their choice, and the school would try to contact the authors to see if they could arrange a conference call during school hours so we could talk to and ask questions of them.
I made sure my group consisted of the buddies who I played AD&D with in the library during free period and I suggested Gary Gygax, which the rest of the group thought was a great idea. Mrs. Ball, our teacher, told me later that he was very easy to contact and very accommodating. We got to talk with our gaming hero about everything we could think of, from the Village of Hommlet (which was where I based our game out of) to where he got his ideas for adventures. I don’t remember how long we talked for, but all I knew is that it wasn’t long enough.
Gary Gygax was very easy to talk to and very forthcoming with information and advice for gaming. It was the best possible experience I could have imagined and it has been one of my favorite gaming stories ever since. I still reflect back on the things he said when I am creating games for the players now and I am so very happy to have had that one moment in time when I got to talk to Gary.