From Playing at the World:
Gygax’s decision not to accompany Lowry to Maine must have depended in part on ﬁnancial realities. After losing his insurance position in Chicago, Gygax had worked odd jobs in Lake Geneva to make ends meet, as the wages of “semi—professional” game publication, such as they were, could never suffice to support himself, his wife and their young children. From August 1971 forward, Gygax made a steady income repairing shoes.
The bulky cobbling apparatus required for this vocation, by occupying so much space in his basement, forced Gygax to relocate his beloved sand table…
I had no idea about Gygax the Cobbler.