It was 1976. And really cold. I was stationed at an air force base in Plattsburgh, New York – almost as far north as you could go and still be in New York, or the United States for that matter – when my roommate tossed a book to me and suggested that I give it a try.
I didn’t just enjoy reading the Hobbit. Enjoy would not adequately describe the sense of being completely drawn into the book, surrounded by the world of Middle Earth created by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. I could hardly put it down and, once finished, I kept the book with me as a favorite possession (for years). Shortly after finishing the Hobbit, I discovered the trilogy of the Rings and spent the next few months fighting goblins, evading wizards, and traveling with elves. Great fun for an 18 year old kid who was farther from home than he had ever been before, farther than he realized, to be sure.
Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien…and thank you.