Monday, September 23, 2002
Ian McKellen At Seattle Aids Walk - Xoanon @ 18:28 PST
From: Peter

Click here to see an image of Ian in Seattle

I just have to get this down before I forget about it, today was absolutely amazing. It all started when I went on the One Ring about a week ago, I scrolled down looking at all of the news like I do everyday when I stopped at one place, Ian McKellen to walk the Seattle Aids walk. I could not believe this because none of the other actors from LOTR had visited the northwest, or none that I had known about. This was my chance, this was my chance to meet Gandalf himself. So I thought about it a couple of days thinking should I go? or shouldn’t I. I finally said I am going to, so I went on the Internet and found out information about it. It’s on the 22, and I am going to go.

Since I live about an hour away from Seattle, I got up early in the morning; I had a friend who had never seen the movie come with me. She barely knew who Ian McKellen was. When I first told her who was going to be there, I think she thought it was one of the other actors, so she was telling everyone that the young one was going to be there. When I got there there were groups of people milling about, I registered and went over to a stage where I knew he was going to be giving a speech. There were a few groups of people waiting, including another group of die hard LOTR fans who had brought a whole bunch of stuff to sign, and a group of kids who were dressed up as hobbits. They had wrote on the pavement in chalk “Thank you, Gandalf”. We waited patiencly, as they introduced a whole group of politicians and other important people in the community. After a woman who was living with aids finished her speech she said that she was very proud to introduce a man that some of us may know, who made a special trip down from Vancouver where he is filming the second X-Men movie. She then went on to say “I am proud to introduce a real superhero, Sir Ian McKellen”. Everyone cheered. And he gave a short speech about how important the aids cause was to him. He spotted the message in the chalk and said “What does that say, oh, Thank you … Gandalf.” “Gandalf is not here” and then he said the famous line from the Balrog, mines of Moria scene. “You shall not pass!!!”. And everyone of course cheered after this. He then jumped of the stage and ran right over to the people who where dressed as the hobbits and started to sign and talk with them. A group started to form, asking for autographs and photos. I, being kind of dumb, had not really brought anything to sign (though I had a permanent marker, just in case) I walked over, and stood by waiting. Then I ran over trying to find something to sign. People where having weird stuff signed, some people had posters, shirts, books, and one person had her ASB card signed. I decided to have a free water bottle from a local medical center signed. He signed it, and I took it back, happy as a clam that I had met Gandalf himself. He stood there for about 10 minutes until everyone was happy. He then ran over to the start of the race, cut the ribbon, and the walk began. During the race he continued to take photos and talk to people, being very polite and nice to everyone. I was very happy about everything that had gone on.

Later when we had decided to go shopping in downtown Seattle, I had an unexpected experience. I walked out of Nordstroms, and I saw Ian Mckellen again, he was just walking down the street, looking like a regular person with no one talking notice. Though he did look a little bit out of place, he was wearing all white and a had a hat with a striped band around the top (I would have photos, but I was having problems with my digital camera). I did include some photos of my signed water bottle, witch I took a home. It was very interesting seeing him walk down the street, looking a little lost, staring up at all the tall building. This was a very interesting day that will be memorable in many ways, he was a very polite man, who definitively loves his fans.