Essay by Doctor Gamgee

I remember about three years ago, I was surfing the internet (at that time, a rare occurrence - - alas, no longer!). I was looking at 
E!online at the info for the new "Lord of the Rings" movie. I had never heard of Peter Jackson, and seen not one of his movies.
But there was a link to the "official fan club" and a little bit about "charter members" getting their name in the credits.

I clicked on the link, and saw that it was $30+ a year, and with my new wife living in Germany and I here in the states and big phone bills
looming, I almost said, "I can't afford it." Then I thought that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. How often would they make your
favorite book into a movie and let you have your name in the credits! I knew I had to or I would regret it, so I plunked my money down,
and trusted that God would get me through if this was a stupid move.

Never did I dream what a blessing this would become! For the old-timers, I logged into the Messageboard (there was only 1!), and started
reading and discussing not just Tolkien, but life with a group of people from all over the world. And, my dear friends, you are such a common
topic on the board, that my wife asks how you are all doing, and if there is any new scuttle going on. I have sent CD's to some of you, and
received gifts for our child to be.

Sometimes we have to take risks to discover our destiny - - is this not what we should learn from the story of Frodo and Sam? Now, granted, a
few dollars was no great "life or death" risk, but opening my mind, ideas, and heart to you all has reaped a reward as big as saving Middle
Earth. I have been able to witness friends sharing joys (like our little Lena on the way), sorrows (deaths and heartache), and all aspects of
life (frustration, questioning, creating avenues, giving, and surprising Rosie with a wedding dress!).

So thank you, friends. For allowing me to share these moments with you. Your ideas, jokes, kindness and laughter have added to my life
beyond measure. May God bless you all.

19-November-03