While in a thrift store in the late 80′s, I stumbled across a game I had as a child.  That vintage find spiraled into a collection of over 1500 games and toys.  While doing research on the artists and designers of my game collection, I decided to write a book on the subject.  Along with Fred Schaefer, a friend from New Orleans, we authored Spin Again, Board Games from the Fifties and Sixties, a coffee table book published by Chronicle Books in 1991.

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We did a lot of self-promotion for the book and got great coverage for it.

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A TV show called Neat Stuff came over to do a story on the collection and book.
 

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Here’s an episode of the Home Show I was on to promote the book.

I set up a small studio in my apartment and did all of the photography for the book.  I used a variety of lighting, such as fluorescent UV fixtures and highlighting long exposure shots with flashlights, to capture the rich graphics and intricate pieces of the games.

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I loved hunting down information on these long lost games.  Doing a lot of detective work, we interviewed many of the game designers, producers and artists and got some great insights and funny stories about the industry.

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We did a book signing with Buzz Aldrin at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.   I spoke with him about the space program, the future of NASA and how I went to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in 1969 to watch him take off.  I even had a few things I kept from that momentous occasion.

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Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved the Ripley’s Believe It or Not books.  Sometimes I would have friends over from grade school, turn on creepy music and read excerpts from them.  Forty years later a friend came up to me and said he just saw me in one of the Ripley’s books.  Now, I couldn’t believe it!

 

 

 

A follow up book was done after Spin Again entitled, Baby Boomer Games published by Schroeder Press and this one had  a lot more photographs.

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Candyland was invented by Eleanor Abbott who, while recuperating from polio, enjoyed creating amusing pastimes for children with the same affliction. She designed it to be very simple so children who couldn’t read could understand it.

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The folks at Chronicle and I got along so well that they asked me do a proposal for a book on Model Kits from the same era.  My third book, Classic Plastic, came out of that proposal and was ultimately published by Collector Books in 1997.

 

 

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 Website042My ‘sploded bio from Classic Plastic.