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[page 2] A Meeting {Title Art: The title is handwritten in red ink and a stylized font.} OF HUMAN BEINGS--STATISTICS NO LONGER During the space of time between August 20 and August 24, one more step was taken in the direction of improving communications among human beings. During those halcyon days of a summer now past, three statistics from far away came into personal contact with a small group of other numbers, and when it was lamentably over the involved were mere statistics no longer. A state of rapport had been established that no mere letters could build and the world seemed to be in a somewhat better condition for it. Among the people concerned with this joint effort to gain understanding and friendship were many important, active members of N-N. They are as follows--Ann Tonsor, L. Bryk (H.T.), Doug Cross (Faramir), Bill Oswald (Imrahil), Mary Walters (Luthien Tinuviel), Clyde Leigh (Isembold Took), Kit Roe (Firiel), and Tom Cook (Brandoch Daha). These people, excepting a few who were unable to come, are the very cream of the organization, the diehards of a club in which nearly everyone once was active and concerned. Now, through new ideas, better communications, and willpower, this group is trying to take N-N to a golden age it has never acheived @achieved@ -a golden age that the participants seemed to acheive @achieve@ during the conference at Monmouth. While the members from St. Louis and Dearborn were visiting with the Monmouth group, many things were done of both light and serious nature. On the serious side we managed to iron out many problems concerning _Triplanetary_, which is one of the major tooks involved for reform and increased understanding in Neo-Numenor. The most important item was the merging out of necessity of the _MTES_ and _Triplanetary_. Though the name is still _Triplanetary_, _MTES_ is not dead. Articles, comments, etc. that _MTES_ would have printed if possible have been included in _Tri_. We have even adapted the motto of the _MTES_: "Our Country--The World. Our [page 3] Countrymen--All." We hope that, eventually, _Triplanetary_ will surpass the old _MTES_ at its height. For a summary of some of the recreational activities, we had quite a variety of experiences. As I had to work, unfortunately, in the daylight hours during weekdays I only had the evening free, so I am accounting for what occurred while I was with them. The first evening was the pandemonium that accompanies all such visits by relatives or friends. Would you believe there were eight in the car, with luggage inside with the passengers? This was leaving the train depot. We dropped F.T.'s luggage off at my home where he was staying and then we reared off to descend like the 'shadow' upon Dog 'N Suds, a place that serves fabulous hot dogs and root beer as their most important products. After causing an unforgettable state of consternation and driving the proprietor (a great guy) to the point of madness, we left for our next objective, the House of Imrahil (Auggh!). There we encountered no resistance (no one was home) except for Bill's unfortunate, aging dog which H.T. scared out of five years of his life. Bill remarked later that if this was so his dog should have been dead three years ago. (We found that this dog is the one Bill modeled his incompetent warg after in "A.F.T.") After staying at Imrahil's until late that night, Bill, Mary, H.T., and Ann went their separate ways to take a long walk to Mary's house. As H.T. & Ann were not familiar with the town, I bet H.T. he'd get lost. He did in a way. He slept over at Bill's that night and rolled over on Oswald in the morning nearly crushing him. They then proceeded to come over to my house at 6:00 a.m. to spend a little time with me before I went to work. There is no sight like opening your eyes at 6:15 a.m. and staring at two characters like H.T. and Bill Oswald. I rolled over to go back to sleep, but how could I after that experience? Drowsily, I stumbled (fell) out of bed and with some help got dressed. We then ate breakfast. During the afternoon, I guess, Doug came from St. Louis. That evening we were all out at a private lake that one of Bill's [page 4] relatives belong to and had dinner there. We then walked around the bend to my parent's cabin. There we went boating in a leaky rowboat that was half sunk before we bailed her out. Needless to say, the daring crew of that unseaworthy craft wore lifejackets. We lost Imrahil out of the original crew of four. (No, he didn't go down; we rowed him over to his aunt's cabin and dropped him off.) On the way back to H.T., Ann, Doug, and Carol (Bill's cousin) the crew mutinied (Isembold) and as a result we almost never got back. Just before we had to pull alongside the dock there was a counter-mutiny and I took over the oars and beached our erstwhile sinking craft. Bailing out again, H.T. and Ann went out for awhile. As darkness covered the lake, we tried shouting over the water for them to come in. Among such phrases used were "Watch out for that iceberg!", "Hoo hah!" (what else?), and "Where the hell is the _Carpathia_?" While yelling "hoo hah!" (all seven of us) we would be answered by people across the lake saying to themselves "Hoo hah?" or little kids yelling "Hee hoo!" H.T. finally managed to blunder through the darkness and close to shore. We could just make out something dark moving slowly through the water, so we yelled, "It's the Loch Ness Monster!" As the boat came in, Clyde decided it was time for a dramatic rescue. Picking up an oversized innertube @inner tube@ from a tractor wheel, he tosses it to H.T. & Ann in the boat. As a result, the good ship _Titanic_ almost loses another crewman overboard this time. When H.T. got ashore he almost set Clyde's tennis shoes adrift--Clyde with them. We then visited for a while in the cabin before going back to Monmouth. The third evening we all went out on a pastoral retreat for a picnic. We descended upon Dog 'N Suds again (the proprietor had recovered by then) and bought four and one half gallons of root beer. This came in very handy as it proved. We then drove to a creek that had an old mill at one time and pitched camp in a small clearing near the bank. Surrounded by trees and wild undergrowth it was magnificent. Here was something that one did not do everyday. It was a welcome haven for lovers of [page 5] nature, even though there were some realists in the crowd. This was a place where civilization could be said to be near the minimum and it added to the festivities because it was not an ordinary park outing. The feast went well. Despite the root beer spilled here and there we still managed to drink most of it. It was there that a new concept was introduced. You have heard of Heinlein and "Sharing water"? Well, we became the first root beer brothers. Hoo hah. Everything went smoothly until Bill decided it was time to have some watermelon. Almost immediately, warfare broke out in a hail of seeds. I believe Isemhold fired the first shot (the one heard "round the mulberry bush."). He catapulted one at H.T. He missed. H.T. adroitly sixed up the situation and did the proper think @thing@. He ducked. He was on one side of me (I was in the middle) and Isembold on the other. H.T. peered up for a quick glance. It was then that Clyde scored a direct hit with a seed right below H.T.'s eye. (It looked like eye makeup from a distance, for it stuck.) H.T. promptly fired back, hitting Doug who had been watching with detached amusement. Doug promptly launched his reply and hit Clyde instead. Meanwhile, Clyde was still carrying on against H.T. and accidentally (I think) hit me on the ear. (I was neutral and was getting the worst of it from all sides.) Turning around, Isembold retaliated against Doug. (This is beginning to sound like WWI and how that particular chain reaction began.) Somehow, through this Battle of the (7) Armies, the girls had remained untouched. Their neutrality was more successful than mine. This state was soon ended, however. [page 6] when Imrahil decided to throw in his two seeds worth (oog) and attack Mary. Somehow, one of his missiles hit Ann. You can paint the rest of the picture. Eventually, the belligerents ran out of ammunition (I was under a blanket, or at least trying to). So ended the Great Watermelon War. I can only say that it was fortunate no one brought out the tomatoes until it was over. We did have some trouble, almost, from some unsavory lower class degenerates who drove by on the road several times yelling "great obscenities," as Bill Cosby would say. They evidently had no use for a group of people who appeared to be possibly hippies or anyone enjoying themselves innocent fun. We answered their calls with "root beer power" and "hoo hah." This, no doubt, did incite their curiosity and infuriate them to a degree. As we were ready to put out our campfire, we thought we heard them stop to catch us as we left, but it wasn't so. (Fortunately for them.) A couple of the guys had taken up empty rootbeer @root beer@ bottles for defense and H.T. had gathered up a still glowing log from the fire. As it was, however, we had no trouble. So ends our own personal version of the "Log of the Bismarck." There was no fourth evening. I just was able to rush home at the end of the work day to see them off (H.T. and Ann) to the train. They were going to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to see a Tolkien group at a wargaming convention. I think we all felt depressed for awhile after they left. Fortunately, Doug did not leave until Sunday morning so the group of us had a most enjoyable time for a short while longer. We came up with a few important solutions for the problems concerning N-N and _Tri_. I must say that I do not think I could have placed the paper in any better hands that those of Doug Cross, right-hand man of this paper. I hope he is awarded the title, for what it is worth, that he so much deserves. So ends the account of a group of people, who though separated by great distance, were able to forge a bond of friendship and understanding that shall not perish. Never again will these involved people come to quarrel and bicker over matters that tore the old N-N apart. Through this new rapport and determination [page 7] Numenor shall rise from beneath the sea of apathy and conquer its dilemmas. Long Live King Faramir!! --Tom Cook A few comments. First of all, I had nothing to do with the writing of this article, especially the last comment. Secondly, and vastly more important, I wish to express my thanks to all of you in Monmouth who made this meeting possible. I'm sure I can speak for Larry and Ann in saying that we had a most enjoyable time.