Kelvarhin: How did you discover Tolkien?
grammaboodawg: It was 1971 and my (then) husband, 1yo daughter and I were homeless hippies living out of an old 1961 Ford van travelling the country. I’m very hobbity, so I was quite homesick and quite hungry. One day, when driving through a very upscale neighbourhood in Florida, we saw the entire contents of a house at the curb with a sign for the thrift store to pick it all up. I saw a stack of books by the mailbox. Hubby slammed on the brakes, jumped out of the truck, ran around to pick up and hand me the books. “Here. I’ve read these before. I think you like them.” It was a mis-matched set of mid-60s Lord of the Rings. I have a sort of dyslexia, so it’s hard for me to read; but I started to read these and couldn’t stop. I related so much to the hobbits in their homelessness and simplicity of life. The friendships. The sacrifices. LotR became my escape and my best friend(s). I’ve been reading from that same set of books at least once a year ever since. It’s highlighted, marked up, scribbled in the margin, mouse-chewed, ripped up, tear-stained and autographed by the films’ hobbits.
grammaboodawg: I’d be very lonely and would have spent my life working and paying bills. I would never have found a story and wonderful characters who became my companions, or travelled, gone to conventions, met many of the cast and crew… and I’d have never found TORn. One of the very best parts of my life 🙂
Kelvarhin: If you could ask Tolkien one question, what would it be?
grammaboodawg: Did you have any idea that your world would change the lives of so many?
Kelvarhin: If you could live anywhere in Middle-earth, where would it be and why?
grammaboodawg: Bag End! The Shire! Hobbiton is a little gossipy, but I could handle it, too 😉
Kelvarhin: How would you spend your perfect day?
grammaboodawg: Wake up when I wake up; watch a little tv; go for a long walk down my country roads in comfy clothes; have a yummy meal while watch a really good movie; just do what I want, when I want, with no one waiting for me.
grammaboodawg: Book or Film? Book, I like… I like… oh geez! It’s like asking me which of my kids I like the least 😉 AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN! (I know, I’m evil, lol, Kel x)
Kelvarhin: What was Peter Jackson’s worst casting decision?
grammaboodawg: I know I’m going to get flamed, but Christopher Lee’s performance reminds me he’s acting.
Kelvarhin: Which part of the LOTR and/or Hobbit movies do you always fast forward through?
grammaboodawg: *hangs head* I tend to wear out batteries during The Two Towers… The Saruman stuff 😉
Kelvarhin: What do you think was Peter Jackson’s biggest movie mistake?
grammaboodawg: Of all his movies? Hmmmm… I haven’t seen the gory ones, so I can’t make a fair call on that one. (Nice dodge there gramma! 😉 Kel x)
Kelvarhin: Who would win in a fight – the talking purse or the thinking fox?
grammaboodawg: The thinking fox. He would quickly “think” about walking away from a mouthy old bag.
grammaboodawg: GOOD QUESTION! I haven’t found it yet 😉
Kelvarhin: If you could make an ice cream fortress (or dwelling), which Middle-earth fortress (or dwelling) would you re-create, and why?
grammaboodawg: MERCY! That’s easy! Minas Tirith. SEVEN LEVELS! Need I say more?
Kelvarhin: Which do you save from a sinking ship – the freezer of ice cream tubs, or the shelf full of Tolkien books? You can only pick one.
grammaboodawg: NO FAIR, PRECIOUS! *twitch* TRICKSY! What I WOULD do is quickly empty the tubs of Ice Cream *burp* and fill them with the books.
Kelvarhin: What are you most grateful for?
grammaboodawg: Having such a great family. I seriously have the greatest parents every created, the best sisters (3) and brother, and my own kids and grandkids are incredible. I’m very blessed 🙂
Kelvarhin: Of course, we just had to ask you, what was your favourite cartoon growing up? 😉
grammaboodawg: Popeye! The old ones. “I yam what I yam. And that’s all what I yam.” Plus… I love it when he mumbles stuff. BUT Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny) is a very close second.
Kelvarhin: You’ve been to many moots! Can you tell us about a memorable moment? And I-can’t-believe-it-happened moment? And an embarrassing moment?
Most Memorable: When I was at the 2004 Oscar Party and I lead the “Peter! Peter!” chant at TORn’s Oscar Party when he and the other Oscar winners were there on stage! The next morning I met Richard Taylor and Jamie Selkirk and did a NZ-TV interview with them whilst holding one of Taylor’s Oscars while he held my Two Towers book and baggie of 57 ticket stubs from my RotK viewings. Then they signed my book for me 🙂
I-can’t-believe-it: When I met Sean Astin and Elijah Wood. It started when I was working behind the stage and saw Sean sitting at a table with his daughter Alexandra. Then I heard a very enthusiastic, “HEY!!!” and he jumped up and ran to give a massive bear-hug to Elijah Wood who just arrived. They were so excited and talked so fast. There was no doubt they are incredibly great friends. I just pretended to be a fly on the wall and quietly walked away. Later, while they were on stage, I had a seat right in the center of the front row. As they were talking, I was nodding or gesturing to a few of Sean Astin’s comments or questions and soon he would look over at me like he was checking to see what I thought or if he was right. Afterwards, when they were signing autographs, he saw me as I walked up and shouted that I was awesome and should have been on the stage with them! Omg….
OR when Dom Monaghan sat right in front of me during a Q&A with our Ringers people. Then he popped on stage for a moment and soon came back to the seats… this time sitting across the isle from me. I also got a chance to meet up with Billy Boyd a couple of times. They are all so sweet and patient… and happy to be a part of the excitement!
OR When I was in Wellington, NZ. The whole thing was so surreal… especially when I got to meet up with Tehanu and we had lunch with Daniel Reeve! There are so many moments and incredible experiences. I warm myself on them 🙂
Most embarrassing moment: When I messed up when covering the VIP room during one of our Parties. *sigh* My judgement isn’t what it was 20 years ago.
Kelvarhin: Can you tell us how each of your furry friends got their names?
grammaboodawg: Cat-Squeak: She doesn’t meow… she squeaks.
Cat-FeBea: Full name is Fell Beast. She likes to leap from shelves and tables onto my shoulder then cuddles. As much as 3 feet! So, because she dives at me from out of nowhere… she’s a Fell Beast.
Cat-Monkey: Full name is Uh-oh Monkey. She’s another one who likes to leap for a ride, but she goes for my back. She’s very wide of girth now… so having 35 pounds come out of nowhere when you bend down to tie your shoe can be startling!
Dog-Puddifoot: I got her from the pound (all the cats are strays) one day after a February viewing of Return of the King. The way home from the theatre was turning right. The car turned left and I ended up at the pound. She lives on the edge of everything… just like the Puddifoots 😉
Cat-Wizard: He’s a stray that lives outside. He’s grey and white and tends to come and go precisely when he means to.
Then there’s my pet Ford (my SUV ;). It’s an Escape (to the Ford?) and its license plate is “hobbity”.
grammaboodawg: I have a Tolkien symbol of shingles on my house roof, the shrubs across the front of the house are shaped into a dragon, and I’ve made a picture out of several-coloured and shaped shingles on my garage roof. So far it’s got a Hobbit Hole, a Party Tree, a Road, a Silver Lake, and a Red-Flying Dragon. *sigh* Sadly, my neighbours just don’t get it. They wave as they drive by and are very kind… but I think that’s what you do when handling weirdo neighbours 😉 “Just leave her alone and don’t ask questions!”
Kelvarhin: You get to spend a few hours with the Professor. Would you rather sit down for a hobbity meal, take a walk along his favourite paths, or have a pint at the Bird and Baby with him?
grammaboodawg: Oh… A walk! Definitely a walk… maybe to visit his favourite tree!
Kelvarhin: What is one Tolkien/Middle-earth related dream or ambition that you haven’t fulfilled yet?
grammaboodawg: I’d dearly love to go back to Wellington. My dream would be to move there. The ambition I haven’t fulfilled yet is to get to Matamata and see Hobbiton for myself 🙂 *spasm*
Kelvarhin: Which of the trees in Arda would you most like to see (or hug, if you prefer)?
grammaboodawg: Laurelin with golden light and yellow flowers. I’m a sucker for that time of night when the sky is just right and the sky turns golden. I think seeing that tree would be something like that… multiplied by hundreds 🙂
Kelvarhin: What is your favourite poem?
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can.
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And wither then? I cannot say.
Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun
Actually, that last stanza I’m having carved into a bronze plaque and, one day, will have it mark my resting place.
Kelvarhin: What is the geekiest observation you’ve ever made?
grammaboodawg: Now that’s a tough one! Uhhhhhh…. wow! I’ve been geeky-observing for so many years; I really can’t just nail one down! Does keeping the lists count? *snigger*
Kelvarhin: If you could pick one costume from the five Peter Jackson Middle-earth movies to slip into, which would it be?
grammaboodawg: Frodo’s Shire outfit WITH that awesome green cloak!
Kelvarhin: What would you do in it?
grammaboodawg: Find me some trusty sidekicks and go for a walk 🙂 (Count me in! Kel 😀 )
Kelvarhin: What’s a boodawg?
grammaboodawg: It’s the “tail” end of the nickname my grandson gave me when he was about 2 (he’s 19 now). He called my dog “boo-boo dog”… so I became gramma boo-boo dog. I made it grammaboodawg.
Kelvarhin: Do you have a “mathom” room in your house filled with Tolkienalia?
grammaboodawg: I have a house filled with rooms of Tolkienalia 😉 I’ve been collecting since 1971.
Kelvarhin: If you stacked all your Tolkien books one atop another would they be higher than a Hobbit?
grammaboodawg: If you stacked 4 hobbits on top of each other, my books would still be higher.
Kelvarhin: If you could change the name of your street would you pick “Bywater Road”, “The Great East Road”, “The Greenway”, or “Bagshot Row”?
grammaboodawg: GREAT QUESTION!! I’d live in the old Bag’s End on Bagshot Row! 🙂
Kelvarhin: If you had a visit with Prof. Tolkien would you ask him politely if he changed your life on purpose?
grammaboodawg: This one makes me smile. 🙂 And it makes me teary for some strange reason. My response to one of the questions above was basically that thought. Yes… I would ask him that and quickly follow it with how much richer and happier my life has been thanks to him.
Kelvarhin: Do you have a favorite Dwarf from the Hobbit book? Films? Who is it, if yes?
grammaboodawg: In the movie… It’s a tie between Bofur and Balin. They each touch my heart in different ways. Balin is so fatherly, wise, funny, and supportive. Every time he’s on the screen, I can’t take my eyes off him. Bofur is a maniac who is so devoted to his friends and so brave… but his mind works in a way I completely relate to. He just cracks me right up. How he always looks out for Bilbo is wonderful. Both Bofur and Balin appreciate Bilbo so much.
In the book… well… Balin again. BUT the other dwarves really didn’t have a chance to gel; so it’s an unfair judgement for them.
Thank you so much for doing this, Kelvarhin. And thanks to everyone who came up with the questions. You really made me stop and think 🙂
Thank you, gramma, for agreeing to take part and for sharing your love of Tolkien with us all. Loves Ya! Kel xx
As always a big thank you to all our message board regulars, Blackfox, Darkstone, DanielLB, Ataahua, Riven Delve, Silverlode, Arithmancer, dernwyn, Bombadil, SirDennisC, dormouse and Bracegirdle for our questions this month.
Till next time from TORn’s resident Tiger.