Giants of the Earth
Most anyone who reads this site probably knows that Gary Gygax died today, and who Gary Gygax was. I remember thinking of him as this egotistical monomaniacal loon that clung to his creation with kind of pitiable stubborness. We were already flexing our wings and rewriting his rules by the time he told us we weren't playing "Real D&D." His later works did little to inspire me, though I was glad to see he was welcomed back to the D&D fold in the last few years, at least in Dragon Magazine (while it still existed).
A few years later (okay like 25 years later) my feelings are a little different. I don't want to overstate this, but this "little game" as Gygax was fond to call it, had a pretty big impact in my life. It was an outlet for my creativity, a refuge from adolescent abuse, an alternative to the other temptations of youth, a secret signal to future life long friends, and the 'flavor text' of my life. Gygax was not solely responsible for that, but he had a big role in it.
Just looking at the cover of that blue book was like one of those moments where a smell takes you back to the kitchen of your youth. Mmmm smell that blue book.