||The LOTR Movie Site
August 21, 2000
Raising a Second Generation
Around the age of 12, I was given my first copy of The
Trilogy in a nice boxed set. It stood on the bookshelf in my room for the next two years,
until I was uprooted to a new environment.
My family had moved 800 miles to a new state, in a city where I didn't have any other
family or friends. I was a usually outgoing person, who never really had trouble making
new friends, but this is an entirely new situation. Things didn't come as easily for me
(to begin with). That was when I finally broke the plastic wrap on the books and found
myself immersed in the beautiful land of Middle Earth.
I would venture to guess that I read, and re-read those books for the whole summer
(probably three times each). My mother caught me play acting some of the roles of the
characters (Frodo being my favorite). After that, I started collecting other books about
Middle Earth (Companions, Encyclopedias, Atlases, Song books, you name it). I went so far
as to dress up like Frodo in the Bakshi films for Halloween.
I believe that my mom was about at the end of her rope, and couldn't wait until I started
school in the fall. She had hoped that it would bring me back to "THIS EARTH",
as she called it. Boy, was she wrong.
While we were standing in line to buy text books for the year, a cute guy who was standing
in line in front of us turned around to talk. The first words out of his mouth were
"Have you ever read Tolkien?" Needless to say, we spent the duration deep in
conversation, and time lost all meaning. As it turned out, I met the boy again and found
out that we had several classes together.
As the year progressed, we both deciphered the Tengwar and Dwarf Runes. In order to foil
the attempts of the Nuns at Catholic school, we started passing notes in class in Elvish.
I'm sure that they thought that it was some type of Satanic ritual scribbling, and I'll
never forget the look on Sr. Miriam Ann's face when she intercepted one of them.
During that year, we found several others that shared our (shall we now call it an
obsession?). We founded a club that had about 14 people. All of whom adopted a name of a
character in the book. I assumed Frodo, and my cohort assumed Gandalf. We all had a great
time, and had several parties.
One of the best parties that comes to mind was one I held on September 22nd, in honor of
Frodo and Bilbo's birthday. As a game, I had a contest for people to roll mushrooms across
the lawn with their noses (an idea that I got out of one of the fan magazine that I had
subscribed to). However, I forgot to police the front lawn, and a couple of people found a
mess along their way to the other side of the lawn. That ended the game rather
quickly, and I found myself with several large mushrooms shoved down my back and in my
Time marched on, and it ended up being a very brief stay in our new home. We were going to
move back to our original state before the end of the school year. I was happy to be going
back to familiar surroundings, but I was crushed that I would have to leave the new
friends that I had made.
My friend and I vowed to remain in contact, and since the actual year book had not been
published yet, I used a Tolkien Notebook, published by Bywater Press to have everyone sign
The years went by. Every other year, my friend would spend his summer vacations with my
family. On opposite years, I would go to his family's home. We also kept in contact with
at least 3 or 4 other companions, but not as closely.
To make an already long story shorter, 10 years later we were engaged to be married.
Through that one common thread, we found that we had several others. No matter who we
dated, or what we did, we always came back to each other and wondered why we couldn't find
This year, we will be celebrating our 11 year anniversary. We now have two wonderful
children (ages 4 and 2). When I heard that these new movies were coming out, I decided to
haul out all of my old lore and dust it off. We started reading "The Hobbit" to
the four year old (as intended: a bed time story).
Last week, my 4 year old went skipping up to my mother and happily said, "Nana - Do
you know what Hobbits are???". I could only laugh long and loud at the face that my
mom made. She put her head in her hand and sighed, "Oh no! Not that again!"