See the ladle just above the treetops? That's him, that's the Big Dipper.
It was just a year ago that I called your attention to the plight of Pitt and his admirable wife Radonna who had started a fundraiser to try and turn the tables on their financial and medical struggles. I knew him only from his column in the Zine, but somehow his pen name, the Big Dipper, has always resonated with me. It was an occasion to go through all that he had written and discover his wit and humor, his talent to entertain, his big heart. Some of this will never die.
Now it's your turn to experience the same, as I'll start with an overview of all the articles he wrote for your favorite magazine, beginning with the very first issue of the Zine. Yes, he's one of the pioneers. Commentary by Manus Hand.
The Big Dipper Looks at The Black Sea (Spring 1995 Movement)
The Big Dipper Looks at Shift Variants (Winter 1995 Adjustment)
The Big Dipper Looks Back at World DipCon VI (Fall 1996 Movement)
The Big Dipper Looks Back at the Asia Variant (Winter 1996 Adjustment)
The Big Dipper Looks at Face-to-Face and E-Mail Play (Spring 1997 Retreat)
A short selection of reactions to his passing. We'll add more as they come, or keep them for the Pouch Deposits in the next issue.Tery Noseworthy:
For those of you who are not friends with Radonna on Facebook I wanted to let you know that Pitt Crandlemire passed away earlier this evening. As many of you know he has been suffering from declining health for several years; he decided recently to stop all treatment and come home with hospice care.
Pitt was a great boardgamer and an even better friend. I am glad he is no longer suffering, but I am incredibly sad to have lost such a good friend. I know many of you knew him, and I wanted to be sure you heard the news.
Pitt was the only player to originate from the Email hobby to then go to his first World Championship and win… I think it was also his first Face to Face Tournament.
He later became frustrated with the meta-gaming that occurs at some tournaments and pulled back from the circuit. I believe he was a private investigator for much of his time in the hobby.
The first overseas Diplomacy Tournament I ever went to was WDC in Sweden in 1997. I went, not because I wanted to play at WDC, but because I'd got to know Vince Mous, Manus Hand and Pitt through the online community, and it seemed like a good place for us to all meet up in person…
My understanding from Pitt was that it wasn't meta-gaming, so much as the attitude in every game of "he's a World Champion, we have to kill him before he kills all of us". He just got fed up of being killed every time.
He was indeed a P.I. We had some interesting discussions about it at WDC – including the four of us discussing whether all guns should be banned – an interesting, but rather one-sided discussion, given you had Manus and Pitt (both American, and Pitt was licenced to carry concealed weapons) and me (3 family members have competed internationally at rifle shooting).
Very sad news… Pitt was a great guy and a true gentleman.
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