J.R.R. Tolkien's
Eleventy-First Birthday Party


The American Tolkien Society held an Eleventy-First Birthday Party for Tolkien on September 22, 2003 in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Granted, that wasn't his birthday, but it was the anniversary of Bilbo's great party, and through some mathematical gymnastics, we concluded that Tolkien's age and the Society's worked out to 144 - almost. . . we had to average the ages of the Society and our journal to accomplish this, but it worked out, somehow.  Photos by Phil Helms.

Participants were greeted by top billing on the Bavarian Inn Lodge’s welcome sign.  The event was held in Frankenmuth, Michigan on September 22, 2003.  The American Tolkien Society celebrates September 22 as Hobbit Day, an event proclaimed statewide by former Michigan Governor William Milliken.  Frankenmuth was chosen for its Bavarian ambience and famous cuisine, as the most hobbitish venue available.  The Lodge itself is pictured on the front cover of this issue, and is accessible only by crossing an authentic covered wooden bridge built several years ago using historic methods.

The Bavarian Inn Lodge, Frankenmuth MI

Laura Schmidt delivered her paper, which appears in this issue.  During her studies in Wheaton, Illinois, she worked at the Wade Collection at Wheaton College.  She is currently working on her Masters at the University of Michigan.  The ATS honored her with a
Doctorate of Hobbit Letters (DhL).


Amalie A. Helms is the daughter of two ATS BOFfins: M. Zoe Starkweather and Philip W. Helms.  She appeared on the back cover of the first issue of MTES for the ATS, in costume as Frodo.  She has earned a B.A. in English with minors in Literature, Communications, and Theater
from the University of Michigan.  At the
party the ATS honored her with a
Doctorate of Hobbit Letters.

(from left) Claywise Evans, Sylvia Hunnewell, Rachel Hunnewell, Tristan Hunnewell, and Mr. Hildifons Took, Esquire, of Tookbank.

David L. Dettman is one of the four members of the ATS Board of Founders (BOFfins).  He has earned a B.A., M.A., M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and flew in from Japan for the party.  His keynote address will appear in the next issue, due to space limitations.

(from left) Phelan Helms, ATS Executive Director Amalie Helms, Connor Helms, BOFfin M. Zoe Starkweather, and BOFfin and keynote speaker David L. Dettman.

Judith A. Schmidt, Laura C. Schmidt, and
Robert L. Schmidt.  Judith and Robert are
Laura’s parents.

The Delegation from Tookbank: Tristan,
Sylvia, Rachel and Sumner G. Hunnewell
(Hildifons Took).

Claywise Evans, M. Zoe Starkweather and
Tristan Hunnewell.