Note that this is a Sunday, not our usual Saturday, and a day later than originally suggested in July–though I did send this date out in August.

David Lenander writes: SUNDAY, Sept. 25, the Rivendell Group of The Mythopoeic Society and The Minnesota Tolkien Society will assemble at the home of Margaret Gates to celebrate the birthdays of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. This is the same home that we’ve celebrated the party at for some years–but this year we will have to celebrate without host Richard (Dick) Gates, who died last month. I suggested moving the party, but Margaret (my mother) felt that it would be good for her to keep to this tradition, and remembered that Richard always enjoyed having the Hobbit partiers visit his home.

Begin arriving about 1:30 p.m., but we’ll probably stretch out the meeting over different activities all afternoon, with people coming and going as their schedules dictate. We’ll talk about things Tolkien, from the original Hobbit to the Lord of the Rings films. I’ll have a few Tolkien-y mathoms to hand out.

I’d appreciate ideas for the party–if you’d like to do something, bring something, whatever, let me know! Sharin’ Schroeder, who’s written a manuscript about Tolkien-themed parties, has a million ideas–I just don’t know which one to try out this year! It might depend upon who comes and who has the energy to put something together. We’ll try to start a proper discussion by about 3:00, for those who want a proper discussion. This year we expect to be joined by members of the Minnesota Tolkien Society (MTS), and I imagine that they will bring along some of their display materials for anyone who missed our previous joint meetings, over the past several months. Please let me know if you can or can’t make it, especially if interested in future meetings—next month we’ll be putting on a Tolkien Mini-Festival with the MTS’ers at the Southdale Public Library, and the MTS has all kinds of activities planned for the next few months. In fact, you should check out their new web-site at

If you need a ride (or can provide one), let me know and I’ll see what I can coordinate.

No need to bring anything (though Tolkien memorabilia to show off is always appropriate)! We generally have some displays, including most of the past Tolkien Calendars back to 1974–always good for a discussion topic. Costumes, whether Tolkien or SF or Renaissance Festival-inspired are welcome, and we will admire them, but most do not wear costumes.

And bring any musical instruments or copies of the Swann/Tolkien Road Goes Ever On and The Middle-earth Song Book–or the like. I expect to provide tea, coffee and probably other non-alcoholic beverages, and some form of (birthday) cake-like accompaniment, we’ve generally warmed up some hot-dish such as lasagna somewhere in the mid-afternoon, and you are welcome to bring something if you want to, but please avoid anything containing nuts (including such unobvious ingredients as almond paste or extract, or peanut butter). One of our members is very seriously allergic to the presence of these ingredientsin the room. We will probably have several children and teenagers present, kids are o.k. I’d be interested in collecting some Middle-earth recipes, by the way–whether or not you want to try preparing any food. If you ever have, or just have an interesting recipe for _lembas_ or ent-drink or seed-cake or whatever (orc-gruel??) bring along a copy of the recipe for sharing!

Any smoking will have to be outside.

If it rains, we’ll have some Tolkien-related videos and audio recordings. But I hope it’s a fairly nice day, perfect for watching the river flow by and walking around the Banfill Locke grounds.

Directions to the Gates’ place:

Located on the east bank of the Mississippi River, 6668 NE East River Road, in Fridley–right next door to the Banfill Locke Center for the Arts nature preserve (6666 NE East River Rd).

Take I-694 east or west towards the Mississippi River (you can take I-94 north to 694, and then go east to the next exit). Just east of the river, take the East River Road exit and travel north about 1.3 miles (Dick’s rough estimate), crossing Mississippi Street. Just beyond this street, get into the left-turn lane in the middle of the road (which is mostly intended for the Banfill Locke entrance, you may notice the the sign by the side of the road). Turn left, either into the Gates’ driveway or the Banfill Locke entrance. There is a large parking lot on the Banfill Locke site, and this might be a good place to park, especially if you’d care to take a tour of their gardens and parkland—or if you want to avoid having to get other cars to move when you want to leave. There are paths and picnic areas for anyone who’d care to bring a picnic lunch and eat before the party. Margaret’s and Dick’s home is not the house by East River Road, but the one at the end of their separate driveway, separated from the Banfill Lock drive and parking by a fence.

From St. Paul, I take I-94 west, which eventually curves north to 694, which I then take briefly to the east, just across the river to the first exit, which comes out on East River Road.

Under separate cover, I’ll forward a longer list of activities coming up in September and October and afterwards, one notable addition to previous lists is Arcana, the Dark Fantasy convention held each fall in St. Paul. Because of the death in my family, I’ve been slow to get to updating web-pages and send these notices, but I hope to get caught up over the next few days.

Please don’t publish these directions on the web or widely distribute them over e-distribution lists, outside of Rivendell and the MTS. We’d like to have some idea of how many people to expect (we’ve never had more than about 25, and never had that many at once, I think–one year it may have been as few as about a dozen. But I’m happy to forward this invitation to anyone in the area who’s interested.