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.
We did a lot of self-promotion for the book and got great coverage for it.
A TV show called Neat Stuff came over to do a story on the collection and book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.