Sunday, January 25, 2015

Joseph Lappin: The end of an era.

This post was a long time coming and was a hard one to write. Joseph Lappin was a true friend, and a long time gaming buddy. I met Joseph sometime in the fall or winter of 1972 and have been gaming with him ever since. I was blessed to include him in my circle of friends. 

Halifax gamers cira 1984. Joseph wearing the hat
Joseph passed away after a brief illness on November 18. It is difficult to sum up the life of a man, especially in a blog devoted to war gaming.  Joseph is missed by Susan, his wife of almost 30 years and their 3 children as well as by his friends and colleagues. His death was a shock to us all.

Family and life take priority over our little hobby. One of the ways Joesph tried to cope was to have an annual game at some point over the Christmas holidays.  This tradition has been an on-going event for over 20 years. 

WRG 7th Ed Game 1990, Persians vs Vikings (Joseph and I)

The event varied over the years. At times we have played miniatures, and at other times a board game such as Britannia, Merchant of Venus, or Kingmaker was featured. The event included high school buddies, long time wargamers, or family members. It became something that I looked forward to, on my trips home to Halifax. 

Multi-player HOTT Game Christmas 2003

Joseph and Susan, always made me welcome and often I hung up my hat and make use of their guest room. When I stayed with the family, Joseph and I always ended up having an evening of miniature games between the two of us. Favorites included quick games of DBA, HOTT, Blitzkrieg or Cold War Commander.  

Cold War Commander Christmas 2008

DBM Game Christmas 2000; Roman Civil War (Joseph and I)
HOTT Amy Choices Christmas 2007
Joseph: Christmas 2007 HOTT Games

In recent years, the event settled into a routine of some favour of multi-player boardgame. For a number of years, we played Twilight Imperium. In 2011, the game was played by Joseph and his son Andrew, Paul Smith and his son Stuart, Mike Haynes and myself. I didn't get to Halifax in either 2012 or 2013. In 2013, Twilight Imperium was replaced by War of the Ring, which was the game on tap for Christmas 2014. 

Twilight Imperium Game 2011 Robert, Stuart (background), Paul, Andrew and Joseph

Unfortunately, Joseph would not be a participant. Susan, informed Mike, Paul and I that Andrew wanted to host the game in place of his father. I knew that it would be a difficult session, and Mike, Paul and I had more that a few Skype conversations over our feelings about the planned game. 

Andrew and Mike ponder their move: Lord of the Rings

None the less, we decided to move forward, and I for one, am glad that we did. I do not know if next year, there will be a game involving us, at the Lappin residence, but this year there was one last event, played to honour the memory of a good friend.