Goodbye to an Ideal Gamer

By: Kris Hall

The Appalachian Gamers are saying good-bye to Charlie Davis who is getting married and moving away.  And while I have nothing but best wishes for Charlie, I can’t help but feel that our gaming group is going to miss his presence.  To me, Charlie Davis is the kind of gamer we all want in our groups, and that–if we have any class–we all want to be.

Charlie’s first virtue is that he is friendly.  He is as cordial to the latest newcomer as he is to his oldest friends.  In fact, if I were to judge solely from Charlie’s behavior, I would have a hard time figuring out who were his old friends and who were mere acquaintances.  Charlie manages to be welcoming to newcomers without glad-handing or much altering his behavior.  He just seems to genuinely enjoy meeting new people.  And it doesn’t matter the age of newcomer; he will talk to young kids as readily as an experienced gamer.

Charlie is also a good sport.  I have seen him frustrated from time to time, but it takes a lot of bad karma to throw him off his stride.  And even in the worst of situations, he never lets his disappointments ruin his evening.  Like the ideal man in Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” Charlie can treat triumph and disaster (at least while gaming) as one and the same.

Charlie seems to me to have a bit of an old-fashioned gentleman in his manner, which I find refreshing in these days of relentless informality.  Others may treat all conversations as opportunities for locker-room humor, but Charlie can refrain from vulgarity without being the least bit censorious of those with different tastes.

And most importantly, Charlie seems to me to be considerate.  This virtue goes beyond mere friendliness, and has to do with the on-going way that Charlie treats people with respect.  Charlie makes allowances for people, and when one member of the Appalachian Gamers gets irked with another, it is often Charlie who points out that there may be a good reason for a particular behavior.  It may simply be that Charlie likes people, and that any decent individual who makes his acquaintance will be given the benefit of the doubt and treated like a friend.

Charlie Davis is a better gamer than I am, and I am not talking about skill or strategy.  I wish more gamers could be like him.  I wish I could be more like him.

Rick Thornquist: I’ll add one more thing to Kris’s list: Charlie is a great game teacher.  I’ve observed many people teach games and Charlie is one of the best.  I saw him teach Domaine to a group and his explanation was a picture of crystal clarity (and, though I hate to admit it, better than I could have done).  It’s always a pleasure to play with Charlie and even a greater pleasure to learn from him.

Greg Schloesser:  Your loss, Kris, is our gain.  Charlie will be gaming with our East Tennessee Gamers group each and every week.  Woo, hoo!  As you say, Charlie is an extremely nice, friendly and fun person.  He always livens-up any game in which he is playing.  He is encouraging to newcomers, and will play just about anything.  Of course, the latter trait is an absolute necessity if you are playing regularly with Ted Cheatham!  Smoker’s Wild anyone?  :o)

I met Charlie via Ted, and enjoy our get-togethers at Gulf Games, the Gathering and my occasional forays to the mountains of West Virginia.  I am truly excited that I will now get to see and play games with him every week.  He and Sheila Morton (soon to be “Sheila Davis”) make a wonderfully cute couple, and I’m happy and honored to be their friend.

Oh, did you notice Charlie’s avatar on BGG?  I think I was the first one to point out that Charlie looks EXACTLY like the accountant in Palast Gefluster!

Mary Prasad: Charlie has one big fault – he’s moving to TN instead of NC! If you are going to move, at least do it right! That goes for Sheila too. Both of you are wonderful people; I am so happy you found each other. It has been a pleasure gaming with y’all. I hope we’ll keep on gaming with you guys far into the future! Best wishes for many happy years together. Charlie: if Sheila stands on your shoulders, she *might* be able to look Ted Alspach in the eye. Just a thought ;-)

Valerie Putman:  I love it when gamers meet gamers and fall in love.  Congratulations Charlie and Sheila!!!!

Larry Levy:  I was all set to do a friendly roast of Charlie, but really, what’s the point?  He’s just too nice a guy.  In fact, he very well might win the award of Friendliest Gamer Evar.  There are gamers out there who people like to play with because they’re funny, or because it’s a challenge to beat them, or because they keep a game moving.  But everyone wants to play with Charlie because everyone likes him.  I don’t mean for this to sound too sappy, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say anything bad about Mr. Davis.  It’s not that he lacks faults (I’m sure Sheila will be happy to give us an itemized list the next time she runs into us), it’s just that he has the wonderful facility of making everyone feel welcome and enhancing everyone’s enjoyment of whatever activity is going on.  That’s a rare thing and something we can all use more of.

So congratulations, Charlie, and best of luck as you happily wave goodbye to your bachelor days.  You’re awfully lucky to have found a wonderful woman like Sheila, but I’d say she’s a pretty lucky gal too.

Dale Yu: I’m with Larry (surprisingly!).  I really want to give Charlie a good roast, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.  He’s just too nice of a guy, and since he never has a bad word to say about anyone else, it doesn’t seem right to roast him for it.   I will say this though… Charlie has a catch in Sheila!  Like myself, he married far above his station…  Congratulations to the both of you, and enjoy your honeymoon!

Ted Cheatham: Well, I hate all of this sappy stuff.  Charlie is a crusty old fart!  There you have it. Meeting Charlie (through Jason and Vonda Mathews) has to be one of my highlights of moving to West Virginia.  Over the last 10 years, Charlie has become one of my best friends and he will be truly missed. He really was my traveling buddy going to various game conventions all over the place.  Best of luck Charlie.  I know our paths will cross again.

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
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11 Responses to Goodbye to an Ideal Gamer

  1. John Adkins says:

    Charlie is indeed a great guy and a person who is always fun to game with. We’ll miss you here in West Virginia buddy but I expect we’ll see you at most Origins/Charcons/etc. I am very happy for you my friend. Few of us are lucky enough to bag one of the elusive “female gamers” and when it happens it is always cause for celebration! Cheers!

  2. Anye says:

    Charlie is a class act! We are wishing him (and Sheila) a long lifetime of happiness!

  3. A great man, and a great friend. I am very happy that Charlie and Sheila found one another! However, he was our go to guy for old man jokes… Suppose that means that now we have to aim for Old Man Cheatham…. it just won’t be the same.

    Love you Charlie, good luck buddy!

  4. Charlie Davis…pshaw. I am pretty sure the average age of our game group just went down by 12.5 years. Likewise, the average height went up noticeably as well. We will however need to replace our missing “crotchety” element. Now maybe some of the rest of us can find a few games in thrift stores since Charlie is grabbing them all!

    Charlie will certainly be missed around here. He was always fun to be around and is a great ambassador for the hobby. He is a friend who can always be counted on in a pinch. Our loss is the gain of so many in TN. I wish Charlie and Sheila the very best in their life together. Can’t wait to see you guys again!


  5. Nate Beeler says:

    With the title and the picture in giant at the top, I thought this was going to be a memorial. VERY glad to see it is not.

    • John McMillan says:

      Glad to see that I was not the only one to see the title of this post and picture of Charlie and panic! What a relief to know that Charlie is in fact alive and doing quite well! Congratulations to Charlie and Sheila.

  6. Jim Ferguson says:

    I’m very much looking forward to Charlie joining Sheila at our regular East Tennessee Gamers sessions. We are indeed fortunate!

  7. jeffinberlin says:

    What a nice tribute to an average guy who has made an indelible mark on the hobby. Although I’ve never met him, he sounds like the type of person who can make just about any game fun. As a designer, he is definitely the type of gamer I’d love to have teaching my games to others.

    Congratulations, and may you be fruitful and multiply (through your gaming example).

  8. As nice a guy as you’ll meet. I wish he was moving up here to Massachusetts. :-) Good luck in your married life, Charlie – the headline made it sound as if you were gone to That Great Game Group In the Sky! :-)

  9. Derek Jung says:

    Congratulations, Charlie! One of the many great people I’ve come to know through gaming. Kris, thanks for writing a great piece.

  10. Rob Derrick says:

    I am late coming to this page, but, I feel I have to note that I cannot think of a friendlier gamer that I have ever gamed with than Charlie. It was a brief moment in time, only one Gulf Games, but playing games with Charlie left an impression that will last a lifetime. And, today I have heard that he has just recently helped to make a new baby gamer. So, the world is truly a better place today.

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