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"RIP - Kermit Kincaid, King of HMGS Flea Market Books" Topic

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2,326 hits since 5 Mar 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Blutarski05 Mar 2018 5:35 p.m. PST

Some of you here knew Kermit Kincaid by name. Most probably knew him as that wild and crazy guy, always two months overdue for a haircut and attired in clothes one or two levels more relaxed than "informal", who was a standard fixture at almost every HMGS convention flea market over the past two decades holding court behind a table chock-full of useful, interesting and sometime unique military history books… the guy with that special gift of non-stop gab who could inevitably be relied upon to convince you to buy that book you didn't know you needed until after you got it home and read it. It says something about his taste in books that even dealers would drop by to snag a juicy volume or two from him. Kermit had a lot of repeat customers.

Kincaid did not spend so much time and effort hauling 15 or 20 cartons of books down to Lancaster three times a year for profit; believe me when I tell you that he was not hurting in the personal income department. In my opinion, apart from the fact that he was always running out of bookcase space at home, he really did it out of love: a love of history, a love for good books, a love for sharing them with other gamers (which is where his private library has been dedicated), and above all a love for schmoozing and jawing with fellow wargamers.

Anyone who ever faced Kermit over a game table can testify that he was a bold and brave "big picture" kind of player. He would size up the situation, decide on a course of action and then go for it full tilt … no mincing around behind the hedgerow, no half measures, no checking the rules charts, no calculating the dice odds. He always went all in with conviction. Some of his impossible victories on the tabletop are the stuff of legend. I don't know how he achieved them; maybe the dice were scared to defy his will.

Unfortunately, good dice could not help Kermit in his most difficult contest. Kermit Kincaid passed away last Saturday night after a hard fought two year battle with cancer. I have lost a friend of fifty years. The wargaming community has lost a remarkable and uplifting personality. We have all lost a truly good man.

Kermit used to like to quaff a Yuengling at the Lancaster Host bar at the end of a long day of gaming. If you are going to Cold Wars this month, raise one in toast to his memory.

Blutarski (Byron Angel)

BW195905 Mar 2018 6:18 p.m. PST

I remember buying from him in the past, a very nice guy that was a pleasure to talk to.

Sad to here of his passing. He is in my prayers as is his family.

Long Valley Gamer Supporting Member of TMP05 Mar 2018 7:59 p.m. PST

Hi Byron
I'm deeply saddened to hear this. I always loved schmoozing with him at the FM and Cons and he was an all around good guy. I always loved how someone could just be browsing his books and when he got done telling the buyer all about it he ended up buying it. I also remember him visiting my home and checking out the book collection. I have been wondering where he was. I will miss him…

kalgaloth05 Mar 2018 9:04 p.m. PST

I was one of the flea market volunteers and Kermit was always in a great mood whenever I spoke with him. He always had the same table and I'm sure I'll be thinking of him when I look over and he isn't there. I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend.

tyroflyer206 Mar 2018 1:33 a.m. PST

Lovely tribute Byron

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2018 6:26 a.m. PST

Well said and a wonderful tribute Byron. Truly remarkable even just attending one flea market you instantly would remember him. And thank you for the stories of his gaming, a side of him I didnt know.

Now he has all the time and all the space for his beloved books.

WaltOHara06 Mar 2018 6:47 a.m. PST

Excellent tribute, Byron. I know EXACTLY who you are talking about here.


Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2018 7:19 a.m. PST

I'm sorry for the loss, thank you for letting us know.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2018 7:23 a.m. PST

Very good job Byron. I have been worried about Kermit since he missed the second or so in a row HMGS convention. Although we were convention friends, I had no other contact with him.

He was one of my true highlights at the conventions. What a fantastic sense of humor. "You don't want to buy that book. You won't understand it. Here, buy this one instead." It worked!!

At Historicon I always tried to get to breakfast at Hilton Garden Inn when he would be there so I could join him. He went to Little Wars in Chicago one year and we had breakfast together every morning at a nearby McDonald's. Those breakfasts with Kermit were worth the trip all by themselves.

He was one of the two or three most entertaining people I have ever known in my life.

He was also a good person. I will truly miss him.


ashauace6970 Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2018 7:46 a.m. PST

Sorry to hear this
Always looked forward to seeing/gaming/shooting the breeze with him
Had many a fun game too

heavyhorse Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2018 12:39 p.m. PST

He was a great guy and always fun to talk to

PJ ONeill06 Mar 2018 2:39 p.m. PST

As Garryowen said- "You don't want that book"- If I took his advice, I was always pleased with the books, if I didn't, I wasn't.
Talking to him was always one of the best parts of cons going back 25+ years.
It is a terrible loss, not only to the hobby, but to the world.
We will raise a glass (or 2) in his honor.

RudyNelson06 Mar 2018 4:11 p.m. PST

A very nice guy to talk to. I met him several times over the years.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP06 Mar 2018 11:46 p.m. PST

Very sad to hear. You may want to post this on the Obituaries Plus Board so there will be a record there and more people can see it.

So sad, what a terrible loss.

114th Pennsylvania07 Mar 2018 5:56 a.m. PST


I am so sorry to hear this news. what a great tribute about your friend. We at NJCON enjoyed Kermit's humor and the Naval games you both ran at our shows.

I still laugh when I think about his discussion of Thesis on Masters of History. The only real topic left to discuss is the migration of the Walnut, since everything else has been covered already.

Yes- Long Island Gamer- don't think I did not notice you picked up on some of Kermit's salesmanship when you sold me the "quintessential" book on Rogers Rangers.

Kermit was a real gem and he will be missed, but fondly remembered in our stories. My deepest sympathy Byron

Minis is my Waterloo Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 11:00 a.m. PST

I am very saddened to hear this. Kermit was a great guy. He truly was one of those friends I only saw at the cons, but always looked for and chatted with. I hope he's sitting at the great game table in the sky, rolling dice and chattering away with our other lost cohorts. God bless him.

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP07 Mar 2018 6:14 p.m. PST

I'm sorry for your loss. Kermit was one the Good Guys. Whether chewing the fat at the flea market or sharing a gaming table he was always a lot of fun and extremely nice. He's in my prayers, as are you. Thanks for posting.

Blutarski08 Mar 2018 9:27 a.m. PST

Thanks so much to all who have responded.

Kermit's wife (widow I am still having a hard time acknowledging his passing) really had little idea of Kermit's wide range of friends and acquaintances in the miniature wargaming world. When a couple of us got together for a last weekend with him, she was astounded by some of the "war stories" we were recounting and is anxious to know more about that part of his life. So if anyone has a "Kermit story" ….. please post it here.


Long Valley Gamer Supporting Member of TMP08 Mar 2018 12:49 p.m. PST

At one of the NJ Cons you were both there and I took photos of a lot of my friends and I took one of Kermit. I made digital caricatures out of them. If you would like it send me an email.

masm611008 Mar 2018 1:29 p.m. PST

Too bad, loved buying books from him.

He seemed to have read all of the ones he was selling.
He could tell me about it and if it was "right" for me. If not he, had another recommendation.


stephen116208 Mar 2018 1:49 p.m. PST


I remember Kermit. I had numerous pleasant conversations with him at conventions in Lancaster, PA. He was 66 but looked a few years younger.


Russ Lockwood08 Mar 2018 7:27 p.m. PST

Sorry to hear that. I remember him as always upbeat.

47Ronin10 Mar 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

A very fine tribute, Byron.

Even if you didn't know him by name, anyone who passed through the flea market at an HMGS convention over the years knew who Kermit was. He had a way of standing out in a crowd. My table was often in the same neighborhood as his and Kermit's wit and wisdom always made the time in the flea market fly by. He had a great book collection and was more than willing to share his considerable knowledge on a variety of subjects.

He will be missed.

dapeters12 Mar 2018 7:47 a.m. PST

I played with him a couple of times at HMGS cons, he was nice guy. He had interesting insights as to what sold in the flea market.

snurl1 Inactive Member13 Mar 2018 4:10 p.m. PST

I will remember him, he always had something to say.

Blutarski13 Mar 2018 4:50 p.m. PST

snurl1 True words.

I remember one trip from Lancaster back to MA when I swear Kermit kept up a stream of consciousness monologue for six straight hours that covered everything he had seen and learned at the con (back during the great Baltimore melodrama) … while driving all the way home.

What a guy!


Mike Paine Inactive Member19 Mar 2018 6:52 a.m. PST

Kermit made me laugh every time I saw him. So many wargaming memories with him as a GM, playing against me and playing with me. Always great fun when he was at the table, hanging with him at Historicon while he sold his books was as much fun as any game I've played. He would find books for me on subjects he knew I liked but he also did something for me that I haven't thought about lately. Next time you are hanging around my Hanghai game take a look at the back of the big junk with the red sails. On the stern is a Chinese coin Kermit gave me and I used it to decorate the junk. Feels good to know he's got something in my game since he played in some of the first ones. Once at Carnage Con I asked him to take on the roll of The Mysterious Doctor Satan he was up against the Two Ed's no easy job. We all had a wild time! I'll never forget him.

– Mike Paine
P.S. I have a photo of him with his back to the camera and I might have one or two more I would post it here if I knew how.

47Ronin19 Mar 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

Very nice tribute, Mike.

Kermit would have made the Showroom at Cold Wars much more enjoyable.

He was, and will be, missed.

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