My first thoughts — after getting past “damn, I feel old” — are fond memories.
I first saw D&D during rookie band camp my freshman year of high school, when a trio of my friends tried to put together a game over their lunch break in the music storage room.
I don’t remember much about that particular game itself — I was just an observer — but I remember my immediate fascination with the very concept, marveling at the character sheets, the books, the dice.
Oh, the dice.
Later that year, with those friends and a couple of others, we formed a regular gaming group, though we wound up playing a different fantasy role-playing game; it was a couple of years before I played in a proper D&D game, which only lasted a summer.
Most of my role-playing game experience is with other games, actually, but through many years, games, and players, it all goes back to that day, those friends, and “the” game.