I think it was just the right time for me to have found the book- I was bright enough to puzzle out the rules on my own, more or less, and we'd play as best we understood. We didn't have dice or character sheets or anything, but we would play diceless and, basically, rely on our understanding of both fairness and the capability of our characters. Oh, and drama. We would both work on creating the most interesting story we could.
Once bitten, I could never turn my back. I still look fondly back at AD&D, warts and all, as the foundation for my passion for gaming. These days, I play a little bit of MMOs, a little bit of regular old console gaming, some RTSes, some Warhammer Fantasy. A little bit of everything. I'm a hobby gamer by blood, and it's just who I am.