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Post Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:23 am 
 

One thing my two avatars have had in common....both Dallas Egbert and Robert E. Howard commited suicide at a young age.  Huh.  :?

They had in common an isolation from humanity, creative temperaments and apparently enough self-hatred to kill themselves.  They also have in common the fact that I think both of them would have been good members of my gaming group....and it might have saved their lives.

Why is it that we might think of Egbert's suicide as more tragic than Howards?  Because he was younger?  Because it was more recent?


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 12:38 am 
 

FormCritic you forced me to do it.  I just had to know why you changed your avatar and what did it mean.  My search is over.

http://spartanedge.com/november8/061108-dallas.html

Edit:  I was busy searching this out as you were posting the explanation... funny... minutes apart.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 7:00 am 
 

I think the loss of Dallas Egbert seems greater because REH did leave behind a body of work, whereas Dallas showed promise, unrealized.  My two oldest are in college right now - one has a much firmer direction than the other, and I can see (and remember) how intimidating that time can be when you have to find your purpose on the planet.  And hope that you're an Alpha instead of a Beta!


If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error. - John Kenneth Galbraith

  

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:25 pm 
 

leadjunkie wrote:FormCritic you forced me to do it.  I just had to know why you changed your avatar and what did it mean.  My search is over.

http://spartanedge.com/november8/061108-dallas.html

Edit:  I was busy searching this out as you were posting the explanation... funny... minutes apart.


Did you search out Dallas Egbert, or did you somehow trace where I got the photograph?

If you traced the photograph....how did you do that?

I usually don't think of Egbert as a tragic figure...if for no other reason than that the legend of his disappearance did so much harm to role playing games and caused such an unreasoning panic in so many well-meaning minds.

A part of the legend of Dallas Egbert was that police believed he may have been kidnapped by THE DUNGEON MASTER (add dramatic musical flourish) and was being held prisoner in the steam tunnels...for some reason...or other...pretty much.

News articles of the day left out details of Egbert's story...such as drug use, depression, social isolation (a genius teenager at college), parental pressures and inner conflicts over homosexuality.   They made it sound as if Egbert's only flaw was....DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS (add musical flourish).  News stories about the disappearance tended to emphasize off-hand comments from the police about D&D and the steam tunnels.  Had someone taken the game too far (sinister musical flourish)?

Remember the gay gunman who shot Gianni Versace toward the end of his multi-state fugitive killing spree?  Imagine if Andrew Cunnanin (sp?) had been a D&D player...and what the press would have speculated....

In fact, Egbert was only a marginal D&D player by the standards of people on this forum.

Egbert's story was referrenced in the comic strip Knights of the Dinner Table:  One of the Hackmaster players (Bob?) in the comic strip was one of the infamous "Ball State Seven," who made national news by getting lost in the steam tunnels under Ball State University while LARPing.  Bob got separated from the others when he "went to look for food."  According to fictional TV figure, Ted Koplov, Bob was found whimpering in a corner, clad in only his underwear.

Dallas Egbert's "disappearance" (his parents didn't know where he was but another relative did) was not directly connected to his suicide.  He killed himself two years later, upstairs in his parents' home.  (I am dredging up the details from 20 years ago...anyone feel free to correct me if I have them wrong.)

His name has become iconic of the ridiculous claims that were made about Dungeons and Dragons back in the day.  Today, I imagine that most parents are relieved that their kids are hacking up imaginary monsters with their friends rather than taking drugs or using the same time downloading internet porn.  Perspective...perspective....

Mark   8)


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:03 pm 
 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_tunnel_incident

I had a few details wrong...like the two-year timeline was only one year...but here is a good article about the legend.

http://ptgptb.org/0006/egbert.html

Here is an even better article about the Egbert disappearance.  It clears up many of the issues in the case.  It is not a pretty case.  

Egbert and I would have been the same age.  His high school photograph could have been any one of my D&D friends.

Mark  8)


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:55 pm 
 

Did you search out Dallas Egbert, or did you somehow trace where I got the photograph?

If you traced the photograph....how did you do that?


I did not recognize the photograph, so I traced it's source.  Right click on your avatar, click on properties in the menu.  The URL for the photo is displayed.  I then went to that address which displayed just the photo.  From there I started removing sections of the address one folder at a time until I got to the index of images.  In that index I saw that there were several images of Dallas.  I tried to gain clues from the file names.  I used the dates, the name, etc.  That didn't get me anywhere, so I went to the domain (spartenedge) and googled just that domain with keywords that I thought might be relevant.  Within a few minutes I found the story and knew right away I would find the picture on that page.

The story brought back a lot of memories.  I started playing D&D in 1977 and well remember the the hyperbole and speculation that surrounded that story.  Many of my friends parents frowned on D&D because of this ridiculous press coverage.  Living in the Bible Belt didn't help much either.  I myself was accused of Satan worship.

I'll give the articles you have pointed to read later when I have more time.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:11 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:You would be only the fourth person to recognize REH's picture and mention it.


I was the third! You would think more people would recognise a true American Pioneer such as R.E. Howard.

Every one else must have thought that you have a thing for wearing 1920s
clothing? :lol:

  

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:23 am 
 

ATOM wrote:I was the third! You would think more people would recognise a true American Pioneer such as R.E. Howard.

I knew the name, read some writings, but knew little of the man and definitely not what he looked like until Mark's avatar appeared.

ATOM wrote:Every one else must have thought that you have a thing for wearing 1920s clothing? :lol:

:oops:

leadjunkie wrote:I did not recognize the photograph, so I traced it's source. Right click on your avatar, click on properties in the menu. The URL for the photo is displayed

Hot-linking is what gets people in trouble.  People who host the image or code can change it anything they want.  A certain presidential candidate's MySpace page was recently affected by hot-linking; his page proudly proclaimed "Today I announce that I have reversed my position and come out in full support of gay marriage . . . particularly marriage between passionate females."

  

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:21 pm 
 

I'm sure some others recognized REH but did not say anything.

A Google search last night revealed that there is another photo, obviously from the same session, that shows REH in profile...like a mugshot.

Mark   8)


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