Why I am here?
I am a member of a couple of other fan clubs, but this is the first and only one with which I have become intimately involved. The reasons I stay are myriad; foremost, of course, is the people here, as well as the knowledge I have gained of one of my abiding interests. I feel I have been welcomed into a family that accepted me on the basis of my love for Tolkien and not on superfluous things such as gender, education, nationality or age (although I am definitely at one end of the age spectrum, I thankfully fit neatly within the brackets). This family doesn’t judge me, but accepts my foibles, is patient with my mistakes and is grateful for any small thing that I can humbly contribute. As with most families, there are differences of opinion and squabbles. The differences of opinion educate us and help us grow richer in tolerance of others, and the squabbles usually blow over, demonstrating a maturity level not evident on other boards.
I first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings over 20 years ago and have re-read them many times (as well as other books by, about or related to Tolkien). I should have read them sooner, but I was very deeply into another genre and, at the time, nothing could dislodge me from that. Once I finally picked up The Hobbit, which was recommended to me numerous times by others, I was transported, and have never completely left Middle-Earth since. No matter what else occurs in my life, a little corner of my mind can always be found traipsing down one of the roads in Middle-Earth in company with a diverse group of deep, emotional and entertaining characters. Although the movies were a catalyst, everyone here has assisted in that journey to some degree, whether it be those who are blessed with literary talent to continue a journey I don’t want to end, those who make me laugh or cry or those who support without question.
I have corresponded with others on this board, been the recipient of favors done for no reason other than being a member of the family, and will actually meet another Fan Club member and message board participant in less than two weeks. This will be for a showing of The Return of the King and I look forward to making a new (or rather, better) friend.
My world is richer for being here. I have learned so much and hope to continue learning more. Many thanks to the family of these message boards and bless you all. I hope we endure forever.