I first starting playing D&D in December 1979. I was in 4th grade. My babysitter had just got the Holmes set for Christmas -- the first printing with module B2, The Keep on the Borderlands. I rolled up a thief, I think. (Or was I a halfling? That was its own class back then.) Anyway, I died.
The following year, my friends and I bought everything D&D we could. My best friend ran a Basic game, and I ran an AD&D one. That lasted until the end of middle school/beginning of high school (around the time 2e was coming out). In high school, a lot of our core group moved to different schools, everyone else got into other things, and we never really recovered. I gave up the hobby for 30 years.
Today, I'm a father of three boys and I'm rediscovering all of the things I forgot I used to like. Having recently discovered Pathfinder, I've taken up gaming again and wondered why I stayed away so long. Best of all, I get to play now with my own kids. :)