I thought I’d send in a report from the Atlanta TORn Moot this past weekend. It was a pleasure being one of the planners of this wonderful weekend and it was certainly a weekend of special magnificence! Pictures of the event should start filtering in soon, but in the meantime here’s an account of the whirlwind exciting weekend! The excitement (for me) began on Friday evening, the day of my Howard Shore concert tickets (he was conducting three shows that weekend). Haunting, moving, wonderfully emotional, and exhilirating. I could not believe it was Howard Shore standing there right in front of me (I had fantastic 3rd row tickets from the stage), and what a treat to see him conduct! It’s obvious the man loves his music, his entire BODY is into the conduction, he’s got this wonderful smile on his face, and oh, the soloist. She was incredible. He received not one, not two, but three standing ovations at the end–absolutely deserved.
A definite highlight of that weekend was the opportunity to meet Alan Lee in person at the art exhibition center where some of his original work was being displayed. A fantastic TORnSib Fiver (who was a member of the press at the adjoining ‘Mythic Journeys’ Conference where Lee was a speaker) was able to personally ask Lee if he wouldn’t mind making a visit to the art center in order to meet members of The One Ring.net who were in town for a Moot. Alan Lee unbelievably agreed, and drove down with Fiver on his own time just to personally meet members of TORn!! We were humbled at his kindness.
Alan Lee is one of the nicest, most cordial, kind-hearted individuals I’ve ever met. It was such a joy to see how humbled he was when we professed our admiration and love for him and his work. He was so personable, stopping to speak to each of us, looking us in the eye, and signing anything given to him. It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for all of us, and we were ones humbled to have had him there with us. After that we all gathered outside under the bright, warm Atlanta sun and took a TORnSib group photo–with Alan Lee smack in the middle. 🙂
Fiver also had another surprise for us, We were also in for a surprise, Fiver also brought with her Dr. Verlyn Flieger, a world-renowned Tolkien expert who was also here for the conference! It was an unbelievable treat.
A total of 42 TORnSibs attended the Dinner Moot later that evening at a local restaurant in Midtown Atlanta. We began the evening by introducing ourselves (what our TORn nicks were, where we were from, and how long we’ve been posting on TORn), and playing a couple of ice breaker games that got everyone off their seats and chattering< away--luckily my partner-in-crime Sib ltlberr was able to round the troops with her commanding voice whenever we needed to organize everyone back again.
Thanks to TORnSib Kally, we were incredibly lucky to have as a guest speaker for our Dinner moot, Ms Karen Wynn Fonstad, author of “Atlas of Middle-Earth”. Ms Fonstad was an incredible speaker, who enthusiastically shared with us the journey she took in planning and writing her legendary book.
As dinner arrived, we broke off into groups and with yours truly playing the role of “Alex Tribeck”, we played a rousing game of Tolkien trivia. I did my best to stump the Sibs, but failed (these folks are brilliant!) The evening ended as many sibs had to leave right before 8pm to attend the last Shore symphony, but not before enjoying dinner, eating a gorgeous Elf leaf shaped cake (thanks to Shuya’s baker friend!), and grabbing some goody bags. 🙂
On Sunday morning, about 25 (very tired) TORnSibs crammed into my apartment to enjoy a bit of breakfast along with a group viewing of ROTK. It was incredible sharing the magic of ROTK alongside other die-hard fans. 🙂 It was a tearful goodbye at the end, everyone having to head home, for Monday (today) was an inevitable workday.
Oh and one more thing! We had ATL TORn Moot t-shirts made, and guess who became honorary recipient of them? HOWARD SHORE and ALAN LEE!! Some sibs caught up with Shore after his 8pm symphony, and he was so pleased to hear that there was a TORn Moot underway at the same time, that he requested to have a picture taken with any members of TORn who were in the area!
On a personal note wanted to send a deep thanks to fellow ATL sibs Ringers reprise, Shuya, and EowynWannabee for helping make this Moot a total success.