Our Member of the Month for March, 2023 is Samuel Hemphill of Bismarck, North Dakota.
Sam says: “I grew up all over the US, for most of my life my father was a project manager for a large construction company that built interstates. So every two years we would pack up and head to the next job spot. Although I am originally from Wyoming, we also lived in a few places in Arizona, and a few places in Montana before settling down on a ranch just outside the Crow and Northern Cheyenne reservations. The constant moving, meeting new people, and exploring new places gave me a nomadic heart and wandering feet. Knowing that if I was going to make something out of myself without many prospects, I joined the military and never looked back. I've been to the ruins of Ur and Babylon, drunkenly explored the time haunted alleys and byways of Sarajevo, and patrolled the primordial forest of Kosovo where werewolves and worse things seem to be behind each massive tree. It has been the adventure of my lifetime, and given me opportunities I couldn't have imagined in my small Wyoming community. Now at the twilight of my career I work on a HAZMAT response team based out of North Dakota. We are designed to respond to everything from meth lab busts to WMD incidents. I'm sure there are at least one or two good Delta Green scenarios I could get out of my experience.
I got into H.P. Lovecraft in the dark days before the internet, although it was only a few years down the road. I frequented used book stores and would buy the horror short story compilations that were so common back in those days. In one I found "The Music of Erich Zann" and the editor's note before the story gave a short outline of HPL and stated that this wasn't even his best story. I fell in love with it and the author and spent most of my time and money after that tracking down more of the stories. Around 1997 I finally found the Del Rey publishing collections, with those amazingly horrific covers and was able to read the collected works. I've been a devoted member of the fandom since then.
Thanks to the HPLHS for what you do to keep the HPL fandom alive. I appreciate all the things you do from the society itself, the collected reading, and the excellent Voluminous!"