Essay by Barliman Butterbur

I was never a member of a fan club before, and when I first started to post on the message boards I stuck to the Rivendell and Middle Earth boards.  I couldn't stand all the drooling on the Fellowship board. When I would dare to venture to the Prancing Pony I was completely lost.  I couldn't make head nor tails of the bizarre posts, which I now find awfully amusing.  The message boards have become more than just a place to have silly conversations with friends, but also a place to express a wide range of emotions.  The message boards have changed my life for the better, and I think I have grown and become a better person because of them.  Ararrat has been a big inspiration to me. It has warmed my heart to see how many people care about him, even though he is a stranger.  Seeing how many people wanted to send their get well wishes to Ararrat reminded me that there are still people out there who are capable of caring for someone they have never met.  People caring about someone who they've never met means that they are not strangers like I stated before, but they are actually family.  That is what all of the people on the message boards and in the chat room have become to me, family.

25-Feb-02