by Tom Butcher
It came as a considerable shock to learn that Carl Burger passed away last December 17. I had only known him for about a year. He was one of the many BuE subscribers whom I had never met face to face yet felt close to due to the number of times we had talked on the phone. Railroad gaming was the passion of his life, in particular his own design of 1831, a fine game which he was of course most anxious to popularize. Winsome Games has the game at present but is finding the copyright barrier formidable. Hasbro is the copyright holder in the U.S. and Hartland Trefoil in the U.K. Winsome had planned to put out a $100 edition by the end of 1999, but present plans call for an "eventual inexpensive edition." Carl and I had started the game in BuE by sending out a black and white xeroxed edition, but our five-player game has now virtually died along with its designer. I would hate to see that as the final disposition of the game, but we need more participation. A man's life work is at stake.
Carl's death is a particular blow, to me at least, because he represented a rare combination in a player: enthusiasm with expertise. He was in three of our games, 1831, 1851, and 1856, all of which he kept set up at all times at home. His orders were always meticulously thought out and every detail attended to. He will certainly be missed by everyone connected with him in the hobby, though I will add that I am doubly disappointed because he was the only tournament bridge player among the readership. At my age I should be used to seeing friends pass away, but I cannot remember being so moved as on this occasion.
[Reprinted from page 1 of issue #48 (Feb. 2000) of "Blut und Eisen," a multi-player PBM gaming magazine which is published by Tom Butcher.]