Display Full Text
[page 21] A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF THE: RELIVING (more or less) OF BILBO'S AND _FRODO'S BIRTHDAY PARTY SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER l6 (OUR CALENDAR)*_ Well, there was a hobbit-in. Not to say there weren't dwarves, wizards, elves, etc., there but it was quite unorganized. I didn't know about it until I got back from a trip and I knew it would be that way. Oh well. We held a 'planning' 'meeting' (I use terms loosely) but...It was mainly lack of time. Expenses were large: Red Book, posters and advertising, prizes, refreshments, decorations, postage, invitations (xeroxed-200), wax, etc. and took a unbelievable amt. of time. Bill Ratnoff (relation to Plotz & at whose school someone brought a Birthday Cake) even got an invitation but couldn't make it (2916 Sedgewick Rd., Shaker Heights, Ohio). Another hobbit (Lou Haurer, 3766½ W. 54th, L.A.) was fighting in Israel and sent home injured and couldn't come. "Middle-earth isn't at all like Middle East," he says. I also have an abundance of reprints on invitations if you want them for souveniers or elvish. Highland Park News-Herald, Open City, and FP also ran announcements or articles before the Party. The Birthday moot was held on September (our calendar) 16,'67 (Shire Calendar as indicated by JRRT would be Halimath or September, 24th. However I would favor holding Birthdays on either dates as equally hobbitish). My group got there just before 2:00 (Sycamore Grove Park, Highland Park). A sign on Andy Soroker's van said 'Mondor @Mordor@ or Bust' as we're known as devil's advocates. After unloading (the looks we got from passing cars what with axes and banners. One fire engine almost went to our side of the road!) we got into costumes. Steve Rioux (6252 Ivan Ave., Temple City) caame as Barliman. My brother Kent came as Thorin III (one little girl thought he was Santa Claus). Gary Crandall came in an elaborate costume as Gandalf and Greg Hartin (a friend) as Saruman. Bebelled and beflowered I came as Radagast the Young (elvish, before he came to M-e). Dale Zieglar was Aragorn and Terry McClenahan as Faramir (both of 4325 Avocado St., L.A.) Thomas Berry also came resplendant as a wizard (618½ Orange, Azusa) and Nike Smith and Marsha Smith (609, Darfield, Covina) came as elaborate black rider and beautiful Arwen (respectively of course). Becky Edwards (2244 Montrose, Montrose) came as Galadriel. And there were scores of others too numerous to mention. The Red Book of Westmarch (Chris Barczak provided it) produced some interesting things. Front page read "Guests of _____" and he'd elvished in 'Bilbo'. Such comments as "distantly related to the Took family" were found througbout. One person signed as "Prince Caspian of Narnia--Narnia". Unfortunately this isn't sufficient for mailing list as there is no street number... Over 100 signed in eventually. The first hour & 45 minutes was given over to decorating the place and hobbit talk. Ziegler & McClenahan put up a huge "Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo" sign. There were also streamers, mushrooms, banners, the eye of Sauron, signs, some art, a Poem tapestry, flowers, the names of prominent hobbit families as "Proudfoots" and "Tooks" near tables, the emblems of Rohan, Gondor, Dol Amroth, etc., a Party Tree sign, a mushroom reading 'Hark!' at the gate along with a sign signed by Bilbo reading "Admittance on Party Business only", and much other stuff. Dave Scarborough (2323 Chapman Rd., La Crescenta) presented me with an _excellent_ sword made by him. Mary Lou Loper of the _LATimes_ was _trying_ to take notes. Finally Steve Morford, games chairman, hussled everyone to a lawn where the Mushroom-on-a-Spoon race took place. After several valiant heats Billy Ivers (609 Inverness, Pasadena) won and received a can of Brandywine Mushrooms. After that I passed out songsheets (I have plenty extra if you want them) for the Royal Mordor Barad-dur Chamber Singers (Orc <Handwritten.> *As Glen 'Elrond' Good Knight announced-Bilbo & Frodo couldn't make it... +AROUND 14th or 22ND. <End handwriting.> [page 22] [unreadable]ble & Ka[unreadable]eo). The kazoo didn't arrive til later but noone @no one@ knew the tune to famous carol as we didn't sing "Far, Far Away on Dagorlad's Plains" but started with "Home, Home In Mordor" went to "Joy To the World (the Dark Lord Is Come)" and finished off with "Lugbúrz Über Alles". Immediately Jim Schumacher, Meriadoc Brandybuck, & Fred Hollander burst into "High Fly the Nazgul, O!". After that things broke up again. There was free entdraught on the table with the mathoms and we ate Tea and talked. Things were so confused (what with eating those fermenting grapes) I forgot to meet a lot of you I wanted to and gave one person an uncollated _Nazg_ (horrors!). Then we went over to another area where the Middle-earth Folk Dances were (a lot joined in). (*address: of 3 singers: 508 S. St. Andrews, L.A.). After that we went to the stage area. Two teams got on stage (Westfarthing & East.) and acted out characters assigned. I did record time for Sauron in 3 seconds. Longest was Barliman on other team. Unfortunately they Westfarthing won. Then Chris Whitaker, myself, Greg Martin, Gary Crandall, and Toni Tejada-Flores were on a quiz panel for quotes from the Books. I came in second and Toni (10949 Ophir, L.A.), a sharp hobbit, took first by getting extra points. She won a Mushroom Cookbook (Henderson, 6057 Melrose, L.A. 90038; 40 ¢). In the meantime more had gathered and we then went back to tables and sang "Happy Birthday" and cut the Cakes (most of them undecorated though we brought materials like fake mushrooms but no time). There were about ten cakes and filled all. Mathoms were picked up also. I liked the originality of some (tho some showed no thot @thought@) like some gems in a small box sealed in elvish whoever got this the owner wants to know; write me), a necklace with the elf-letter "B" for Bilbo, some hobbitish books, buttons, and all sorts of things. Ioreth Juhren came and cold herbs for a penny and contributed quite a bit at the end. She wrote me a detailed list of the herbs (mine are _still_ fresh) and their choice. Most were Ithilian types and selected from our plants of likeness. Their @There@ were then several hobbit feasts and the costume judging. Dale Ziegler as Aragorn won first prize and hardbound Tom _Bombadil and Verses_. Second was Greg Martin as Saruman (_Tolkien Reader_), third was Marsha Smith as Arwen (_TR_), and honorary hobbits were Don Simpson (in real small) & Lyn Stier (508 St. Andrews) as medieval couple. Following this were announcements of sorts and then things started breaking up. Unfortunately a lot of things weren't done as planned like games and a long piano impression of Middle-earth I recorded and mystic M-e song I had and some other entertainment like Stan Hoffman's and Sandra Ballif's songs which were played when people were leaving, etc. But it was interesting & a solid block for hobbitry. Uncle Tom name late and passed out FP's with Party announcement in them. He showed us some interesting things like the Tarot Castle postcards, confirmed the rumour that _The Silmarillion_ (or part) is in publisher's hands and told another incident of someone seeing a copy. I have lots of FP's with Party Report in it free for asking (given to me) and several extra _LATimes_ layouts on Party (Sept. 19) also. The San Gabriel High paper ran an article and Cal State will too. I think _Open City_ did but maybe not. Several hobbits stayed until all hours debating fine points of Tolkien scholarship and took down decorations and stuff in dark. I went down to booth to make a call and got quizzical looks. Glen and I were last to leave in the cool night and me, a negro boy who had heard about some 'carnival' here and became interested in hobbits. Then we went our ways and the trees were left to muse over the events of that day....the custodians probably did too...