Monday, January 16, 2017

ERPGA and Yahoo, Gone but Barely Remembered

Long before my current group, threre was ERPGA!

I know I dropped some of this background in a previous nostaligic post, but I shall reiterate.  In the Lehigh Valley, we had the Lehigh Valley Gamers Association (LVGA).  The essentially ran the first four Lehicons, as well as a monthly gamer meet-up at the George Washington Motor Lodge in Allentown that netted about four or five full tables of games.

We were high school gamers wanting to our own local club without such crazy things as membership dues, or even actively seeking out new members.  Think of it as the gaming equipvilent of a bowling team, without the awesome shirts. We formed the Easton Area Role-Playing Game Association (ERPGA) with our friend Scott as dictator for life because (1) he seemed really into it and (2) he could get photocopies made for the ERPGA Newsletter done at his Dad's workplace.

The newsletter was essentially a pre-Internet blog, with our interests, cool new releases, and some character, vehicle, or 'mech that we just had to share with the world.  Scott is a bit a packrat, so I wasn't surprised that he said he had a complete run of the newsletter, probably all still in mint condition. 
We are expanded our ranks through community college and not much changed until this whole world web web thing got popular. Yahoo! established their Groups, and since everybody back then had a Yahoo (and Hotmail... and AOL) account, we all jumped on.   For years we had random posts about whatever Scott wanted to talk about.   He was the main admin of this group, afterall.  Some of the threads deal with my "college" D&D campaign, largely the same methods we use texting or Facebook Messenger now.  The group eventually fell by the wayside because (1) we stopped gaming together on a regular basis and (2) Scott got locked out of his Yahoo account.

Recently I revived my Yahoo! to account (essentially to completely purge it before letting it die off) and I was bemused to find Yahoo Groups clinging to life in a cave and ERPGA having one post over the last three or four years.  The service has gone through multiple versions and conversions with similar service Yahoo acquired over the years, and it's quite a mess. Many of the message trees can't be opened up, and many posts are empty, save the first line sample, under the topic, broken off in mid-sentence.
I managed to pull off a few odd photos from the group gallery.  This is all back in the day where cameras weren't on a cellular telephone and those cameras required a exotic substance called film.

A skinny Viscount Eric, Wooly, and Scott
This fuzzy picture is must be our second pilgrimage to UBCon in Buffalo, NY, circa 1995. Yep, we're holding a sign that says "Buffalo or Sheep" rather than bust. Trench coats were all the range
I guess this one doesn't need a caption.
UBCon '96 with Monongahela Phil and Wooly's Jeep "Old Blue" well before it logged the miles and Jeep jamborees to earn it that nicknamed.
Wooly on the third floor of Minsi Hall, East Stroudsburg University.  With that spelling, it's no surprise he was a visitor and not a student.  Then again, ESU doesn't have the highest academic standards.

And this final one is actual proof that some of the groups activities happened without me.  There was an ERPGA beach bash one year well after college....  That hair could have killed any chance at making it an annual occurrence. 

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