The DODW’s Tolkien Birthday Celebration - 01/03/03
This event was held at Bilbo Baggins Global Cafe in Alexandria, VA, starting at 6:30pm. We had half the first floor dining room to ourselves. B.B. has a wonderfully cozy and Hobbity feel to it, so it was very laid back and informal.............just the place for Hobbits.
We started the gathering off with introductions all round, as we had some new members attending and new Tolkien fans from the DC metro area and New Jersey there as well. For the first hour and a half we all ate, drank and mingled. Of course everyone there had seen ‘The Two Towers’ at least once, so we did not need to worry about ‘spoilers.’ I even did some LOTR ‘Oracle’ readings for those interested..............though I really was in need of practice (I did a lousy job).
Then around 8:15pm we started off the Tolkien readings. It was great, everyone did a fabulous job! We heard from The Hobbit, LOTR, The Silmarillion and more.................everything from the march of the Ents to Bilbo’s return to The Shire. Then DODW member Rachel (Eleanor Gamgee) brought lyrics for the ‘Tookish Pub Song’ and ‘The Walking Song’ for everyone. I could not believe it, 24 voices in perfect unison................we were awesome!!!
Just before 9pm we all stood and had a countdown to the toast. So at exactly 9pm we raised our glasses and said “The Professor!” Then of course I added something else to that:
“In remembering his 111th birthday, let us take to heart these words he wrote: If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” And that signaled the end to the gathering.
This was a gathering that Tolkien himself would have liked..........just the simple pleasures of friends, food and drink, what more could one ask for.