Thursday, July 21, 2016

Where's The Beef?

Who remembers Clara Peller? She was the irascible “little old lady” in the Wendy’s ads in the early to mid ‘80’s demanding to know “Where’s the beef?” She made a million bucks demanding answers, in a sense.

I have a new question for the Gygax Mem. Fund (GMF). I have searched the records of the State of Wisc; I have contacted the Probate Court of Walworth County, Wisc.; there has been no Will probated after Gary’s death. Gail Carpenter Gygax (GCG) would have the world believe that Gary died intestate. I happen to know that he had one while I worked for him; he told of the unique provisions that he had modeled after his (I believe it was) Grandfather. I wonder what happened to that one?
Nearly two months ago, the GMF, through one of its shills, promised us a complete audit by a third party firm or accountant. Where is it? The tax returns provided, some years after they should have been available (according to the laws concerning 501-c-3’s chartered in WI) do not add up. Literally. They don’t add up.

They also show another disturbing trend. According to the expenses listed on the returns, the GMF has ground to a virtual standstill. Allowing for the fact that GCG was ill for a good deal of time one year, I find it odd that the GMF raised more money during the year she was ill than they did the following year when she was apparently healthy (or at least healthier).

Now the GMF wants to sell us bricks. Come on… where will they likely end up?

According to public records available for the State of Wisc., there has been no meeting with the City Council in Lake Geneva about “the site” for some time (a couple of years?).

One has to wonder and can only speculate in this tangled web. One might speculate as to the values apparently displayed. If the Memorial is so very important to her, why did she feel it was necessary to spend time and money Trademarking Gary’s name, even going so far as to force his sons to give up their publishing effort, Gygax Magazine?

Tower of Gygax—possibly the best way we gamers could have celebrated Gary and his creation, was essentially killed by GCG. It started out as a volunteer effort to do something to remember and pay tribute to Gary. A bunch of us old farts and a bunch of younger ones all designed and wrote up one or more rooms for The Tower, the premise being that if you survived a room you were immediately in another. Deaths were frequent, and expected frequently. When a player died, he got up from the table and was immediately replaced by the next guy in line; we had all ages and laughed ourselves silly more often than not. Then GCG told GenCon that they did not have GCG’s permission to use the name Gygax. If they wanted to use it, she demanded a piece of the action. Trouble was, there was no action. So, what could have become a living, dynamic tribute is now just a memory. (Ironically, Indiana is the only state where that might work.)

What’s next? An admission cost to a Memorial that is no closer today to being built than it was four years ago? One can only speculate…

All of us that have a stake in this issue, who made contributions and bought books, deserve to know what is going on. Otherwise must we begin to see this as yet another failed “kickstarter-like” project foisted off onto the gaming community?