When I learned my friend, Matthew Meath, passed away I did a tribute to him here earlier—after all, Matt was a great guy and he’s the entire reason I got into gaming. This last week another amazing man and great guy in my nerd life passed as well—Andy Lambert.
So, I wanted to take a moment to express my sadness at the passing of a friend, Andy.
When I first met Andy he came to join the Camarilla chapter in Huntsville, Texas. We were in an odd inbetween time when our Domain (what a chapter of a club is called when it got around 30 members) was having a great deal of growth and members from surrounding domains were coming to join. At the time I thought it was because we were just so good; but in reality it was because we were a fairly young domain and our members were still in that “friends” stage where the environment was positive and caring. Andy came in and I think he needed an environment like that—someplace where a six foot tall, red-headed giant teddy bear of a man could be appreciated and really have an impact.
Andy came to Huntsville it was to go to college and he had a house over near MLK not too far from Sam Houston State University. When winter came and it got too cold or wet to hold our games at The Old Main Pit (an outdoor park location) Andy began to offer up his house and again we began to have more people attend because we had winter games when other college clubs would shut down. Those were some wonderful times and I have great memories of Gangrel clan meetings and doing stupid dinosaur impersonations on his front porch. I even went to ICC and SCARE (two Cam Conventions) and hung out with Andy—in fact, his old Nosferatu snuck me into their clan meeting when I was playing my Tremere and future Assamite, Zeus Strucker.
By this point I was driving to Huntsville, picking up friends from the local college, and going over to play card games at Andy’s (usually Jihad, Chez Geek, or Magic the Gathering). He was a wonderful friend and we got along fairly well, but then drama happened in the game and we stopped talking for a few years. Eventually we patched things up; took a year or two, but we both addressed our own wrongdoings and were back on amicable terms. We’d see each other at games and continued to have great times together until I left the Camarilla.
We became pretty good online friends and found that in a world that had changed we had both changed for the better—having similar politics and opinions. Anytime I posted something political, gaming, or religious Andy was right there cheering me on and contributing where he felt it needed it. When Roxy and I were pretty serious she told him she loved his beard and mustache and the two jokingly talked about it.
A few years ago, Andy told me he was going back into the Cam or Mind’s Eye Society or whatever it is called these days. He wrote me about starting up a new chapter and he told me that he couldn’t imagine anyone else, but me, being the storyteller. I was flattered beyond words. Andy was the only person who regularly talked to me from the Cam and I jumped into the job. I began writing and researching a VSS, talking to potential members, and figuring out raffles to attract new and old members….
Then my social anxiety began to show up. Most people don’t know that I was pretty seriously abused in recent years and I’m not quite the person I used to be. I’ve been diagnosed with PDD and previously PTSD as a result and I began dreading getting involved and putting on such huge games. For a while there it got pretty bad and I figured that Amanda and Andy, who were trying to organize the game, would be upset with me. They weren’t. Andy definitely understood and never held it against me. It was as if being upset with me having to withdraw never crossed his mind.
We continued to talk and our lives crossed paths in strange ways over the years. Andy also tried his hand at Podcasting and was a host for Geeky Goofy Interesting Weird and I was excited to see where it would go… but now he’s gone.
How would I describe Andy? A wonderful guy who loved and lifted up others; more than he asked to be lifted up. I’m going to miss him and seeing his posts. I’m going to miss someone who tirelessly cheered others on. If there were any way for us to honor his memory it would be to love others, to stand up for those who are different from us, and to be willing to listen. That’s who Andy was and that’s who he’d want us to be.