How I got started: A guy named Eddie.
There's more to it than that. I was in Mrs. Smith's third grade class. Her classroom had a brand new IBM personal computer and we could stay inside and use it during recess and lunch. Since her classroom was the furthest from the playground, our class was last to recess and last to return to class. All the swings and kickball were already taken by the time our class got outside and when the recess bell rang we all lined up in our class and then walked single-file to the classroom behind all the other classes. I didn't start skipping recess for D&D or computers, I stayed because I hated having to just walk around the fence. (that was the only thing to do when all the equipment was taken) Originally, I started playing on the computer with a friend of mine, Steven. He was a huge Star Wars fan, this guy had the Death Star, AT-AT, Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighter and 2 X-Wings. (I know the list because I spent all of the 5th and 6th grade saving my allowance buying all of them, except the Death Star because his brother blew it up with M80's) I was a huge G.I. Joe fan. (I will not go into my list, because if I did I would cry, thanks to a house fire when I was 18)
After a month or so, Eddie started playing on the computer too. He started talking about playing Tunnels and Trolls, he told us it was like D&D. His cousin was the Game Master for T&T. I was already curious about D&D since I had started reading the choose your own adventure books earlier that year. He told us that he did have the D&D game if we were interested, his cousin gave it to him after the Irving Pulling suicide. (Just look up either his mom's name Patricia or BADD Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons, I refuse to do any direct links about that poor misguided woman, she did what she thought was right but IMHO she put a stigma on this game that still lingers 30 years later) We said yeah bring it. He brought in the red box, and the rest is history.
PS. I would also like to say CONGRATULATIONS to Diana Nyad and her record breaking swim, I have watched this remarkable lady try and fail most of my life. After nearly 40 years she turned her dream into reality. You are a real champion, I tip my hat to you, Ma'am.