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 Let's Play "what If"...
whiteladyeowyn
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 03:39 PM


Shieldmaiden of Rohan
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"What if" there was to be another Event, at Shaker Village, some time in the future.

"What if" you could make a request for things you would like to do, guests you would like to see ( or see return ), events in which you would like to participate?

"What if" you could dictate the time frame in which it would be held ( Spring, Fall, Summer, etc ).

What say you, Party Friends? What would be your answers?

"What if..."

* Note - This by no means is approved by our esteemed Mr. Baggins x 2 or Gandalf. Just more or less something I am curious about. *
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Forestchild
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 04:36 PM


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Hello, Eowyn. Nice to see you.

Ah, what if.....

I have to admit I like the fall at Shaker Village. Somehow very reflective of Middle Earth.

I liked having panels, though I did not get to attend many, and would hope to be able to attend more this time around. All the "guests" who led these discussions should certainly be invited back. And please do not forget the Bards. They were incredible.

I liked the Costume Pagaent, as it was a lovely opportunity to see the creativity of our fellow attendees.

The walk in the woods should definitely be repeated. A suggestion would be to have at least one that is very easy, as I am sure they were those in attendance who would have enjoyed a guided walk in the woods, but were concerned about covering too great a distance.

There had been mention somewhere of food sampling. That would be most agreeable.

I am sure that with all the creative minds and talents of our organizers working together, we will not be disappointed. I know this is a "What If", but I will be optimistic.

-Forestchild-
:tree: :hobbit lass:
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maura labingi
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 04:47 PM


uke & flute-playin' fool
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I agree with Forestchild, it was a lovely event and worth repeating. I like Springtime best, myself. And I would like more opportunity for the attendees to play music together informally, in a kind of "jam session" or "drum circle", or like the filk singing that happens at larger conventions.
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gandalf the grey
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 05:08 PM


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"What if" there was to be another Event, at Shaker Village, some time in the future?

IF word was to ever get out that there was going to be another gathering of the denizens of Middle-Earth at Shaker Village, I would make every effort to be there, for it would be far better than the last.

"What if" you could make a request for things you would like to do, guests you would like to see (or see return), events in which you would like to participate?

I would say that is a grand idea, and one I would not be at all surprised to see the organizers of the next event do, IF one happens, of course.

"What if" you could dictate the time frame in which it would be held (Spring, Fall, Summer, etc).

Do to the nature of the weather in KY and the vast amount of rain we usually have in the spring, I would expect another event most likely in the fall, but not necessarily on September 22nd.

What say you, Party Friends? What would be your answers?

"What if..."

The ‘what’ is easy: Another event at Shaker Village, but ‘ifs’ are like the pieces of stone chiseled away by the hand of the sculpture; only when all (or enough) are removed does the final result become apparent, but this depends on vision and dedication, and some stones are more resistant than others .

:G rune:
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Everon_Gamgee
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 06:04 PM


Everon_Gamgee


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Oh dear Lady Eowyn, what wonders may be conjured with two such simple words...What if? :rolleyes:

Well, I also think that the Shaker Village in fall worked very well. Such lovely colours, slightly cooler temperatures (excellent for those wearing velvet, leather, chain maille etc) and somehow now that we have seen it in fall, I think that fall is when it will seem most like coming "home". :village:

As for panels, yes please, at least a scholar or two, please. Michael Drout was marvellous, but the name of Mike Foster also springs to mind as does Amy Sturgis. Then of course there is also Arden Smith, who does a wonderful seminar on Tengwar. :pen & paper:

I think all would agree that the Brobdingnagian Bards became the sound of Middle Earth for us all during those halcyon days and while Marc and Andrew have gone their separate creative ways, perhaps they could be persuaded to come back again separately and perhaps favour us with a tune or two together for old times sake.

Forestchild's suggestion of guided forest walks is brilliant, especially with a view to a gentle ramble perhaps, for some of us older Hobbits who hobble a bit. :tree:

Of course, I truly believe that whatever choices our dear Wizard and Hobbit triumpharate might make, should we ever be gathered together again, would be the wisest and the best. They have shown a complete mastery of planning and demonstrated an collective eye for detail that is beyond reproach. :gandalfgrey: :bilbo: :frodo:

While we are "what if-ing" though, the only thing that I would dearly love and feel is essential, is to see the numbers kept small and intimate as before, for I think that is what made for such a great sense of fellowship. The 144 seemed an ideal target number and now so many of those faces feel like long lost family.

Well, dear Lady, you have sent my old Hobbit head spinning, with endless thoughts of "what if" and of course, "if only".

However, I cannot help but wonder what would be on YOUR "what if" list?
: ALEP : :clue:

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Melilot Fields from Deephallow
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 06:28 PM


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QUOTE (whiteladyeowyn @ Mar 16 2009, 10:39 AM)
"What if" there was to be another Event, at Shaker Village, some time in the future...

IF there was another event at Shaker Village, I would be there!

IF there was another event at Shaker Village, I would be happy regardless of what was scheduled, or who would speak. I would hope all the featured guests from ALEP would attend. If additional Tolkien literary persons of note were wanted, I'd suggest Tom Shippey or Ralph C. Wood. And an attempt to re-schedule George Beahm would be nice, too.

Activities? Panels were nice, but trying to see them all meant I saw little of the Village, at least until I skipped a panel so I would at least have time to visit the gift shop. Perhaps fewer panels, but having them all scheduled as general sessions, so everyone, attendees and speakers alike, could see and hear every panel if they desired to do so...?

Walks in the woods -- I would like that, in any form. I missed those due to wanting to catch as many panels as I could...

IF there was another event at Shaker Village, I would suggest fall for comfort's sake. And besides, it would seem a different season should the Village be not as parched as it was in 2008.

But even if everything was exactly the same as it was for ALEP in 2008, I would be a very happy hobbit.
:hobbit lass:
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AnnaEstel
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 09:49 PM


Shire Scholar


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What if....

I would be there!
I enjoyed all the panels I got to, and like others my only complaint is an inability to get to all of them. Maybe an extra day, to spread them out a bit? I would like to see a panel or two on the languages or alphabets, as those are a large part of my fandom.

I also missed the walks in the woods in favor of panels and a glimpse of the village.

I also agree the numbers should be kept smallish.

I, being from Texas, would prefer warmer weather, but I must admid the cooler Fall does make the heaver costumes easier to wear.

I would also love to see a 'jam session' arrangement for the muscians. I'd have loved to pull out my guitar, but in a less formal setting than the Bondfire was (though that rocked!)
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Rosie_Cotton
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 10:44 PM


Just Maggie...the Future Crazy Old Cat Hobbit!
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Ah Jop! ;) Rallying the troops and keeping the Spark alive. I like that in a ShieldMaiden! :eowyn:


I must admit, I do prefer Autumn in the Shire. It's my favorite season without all the bugs and sweat dripping down my back. (now that's a lovely picture).

I'd like to have more time to explore the Shire.

It was hard for me to choose between the riverboat and the woods walk...perhaps these could happen at different times or even different days.

and I agree! A jam session would be wonderful!

Well dearest White Lady, you have started me thinking. I will dwell on this some more.

:dragon:
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lanthiriel
Posted: Mar 16 2009, 11:29 PM


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Lady Eowyn,

All of your what ifs bring many more to mind...too many to recount here. However, my husband (aka The Unknown Ranger) and I would be thrilled to come to another gathering at Shaker Village. :rolleyes: And, since we live so close in the Cincinnati area, we would like to offer our services with whatever may need doing!! :icon medieval:
I would agree on the idea of keeping the party smallish; I feel we really got to know each other better that way. Also, the guests we had were fabulous!! Any Middle-Earthish musicians would be great, 'though I must confess to being partial to the Bards as well. I thought that the Fall was wonderful for this mostly outdoor event due to all the walking from building to building and the activities outside. I would submit that a Middle Earth gift shop (table, room, etc) would be great for all those creative people who make things related to LOTR to sell. I for one am a sucker for such items and would love to see everyone's work!
I sincerely hope all these "what if's" become "now presenting's" !! Good luck and let me know how we can help!! :grouphug:

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whiteladyeowyn
Posted: Mar 17 2009, 01:56 AM


Shieldmaiden of Rohan
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Here are my What Ifs...

I would love for any future Event, if there is one, to be in the fall. As said above, fall will always feel like home there, since we discovered it in the autumn season to begin with.

I would love to have 'dead time'.. times without anything organized or planned. A couple of hours to rest, hibernate, walk, relax, party, Fellowship - anything that our heart desires in those moments. I remember a certain wizard having to sneak off to have a nap :lotr_gandalf: .

Of course I would love Marc Gunn to come back, and Andrew and Michelle if they would. It would be great for them to play together.

And of course it would be smaller in nature. The Village can only hold so many people as it is, so that in and of itself would keep the numbers down.

I loved all of our guests, and have heard from the mouths of more than one that they would come back in an instant.

Ah, my own topic has turned me to thinking as well. :rolleyes:
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Bramblerose
Posted: Mar 17 2009, 02:25 AM


Shire Wizard
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What If's
My answer would be I would love to come back to the Shire in Kentucky. I prefer a season that is cool not cold and not hot.
I did not get to go to one panel but would love to go to some but loved the riverboat ride and would love to go to the Green Dragon Inn. I would suggest a step stool if we have another hay ride for the Hobbits that need a little help as we are not overweight just undertall.:) I would like a tour of The Shire and a stroll instead of a long walk. But as that was my first gathering it gave me a hunger for more. I also really want to meet more of the people that I talked to on-line here and on face book. So, I say when,what time and I will be there and will help if possible. ALEP 2 or whatever. :village:
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Rhyselle
Posted: Jun 16 2009, 01:50 PM


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Late, but better late than never!

:letter:
"What if" there was to be another Event, at Shaker Village, some time in the future.
:village:
I would be there in a heartbeat. I'm already saving money each payday for a "what if" gathering in the future to ensure that I can afford to come, wherever or whenever it would be

"What if" you could make a request for things you would like to do, guests you would like to see ( or see return ), events in which you would like to participate?
:bag end:
I would definitely enjoy a repeat of the guests we had last time, but some of the other names already mentioned would be good as well. I, too, would love it if there were a "ramble" scheduled at a time different from the riverboat (assuming that would be an option!), and some pinpointed "down time" would be good not just for those of us gracefully aging Hobbits, but also for the staff who worked so hard to put everything together last time. I most certainly didn't get to take advantage of touring the Shaker buildings last time because there was so many other things to do. There's really no necessity to have every single minute of every day scheduled to "do" something, IMO.
:cart:
The best thing about the smaller gathering is that we got to meet and befriend just about everyone, and being able to sit and talk, and get to enjoy each other's company.
:MPfireworks:
I truly enjoyed the Hall of Fire events, including the garb display--although let's NOT repeat Meriel's unfortunate fall!--and the presentations of scenes from the book with their wonderful improvisations (the moth in Bilbo's hair!)


"What if" you could dictate the time frame in which it would be held ( Spring, Fall, Summer, etc ).
:lonely mountain:
Autumn, most definitely. I chair a conference that takes place in late April and my life is not my own between January and the second week of May each year. Besides, the weather is cooler, tends to be less rainy than the spring in KY.

What say you, Party Friends? What would be your answers?

"What if..."
:pen & paper:
IF this should come to be, even though I live 3 hours away from Shaker Village, I most certainly would offer my assistance in preparing for such an event. There must be something that a secretary with conference organization experience can do to make the organizers' lives a bit easier! *grin*

Keeping toes crossed! (I need my fingers to type with!)

:reading list:
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ShireScholar
Posted: Jun 17 2009, 04:22 PM


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Ah, "what if-ing!" :Palantir: A pleasant diversion.

I know that I would love to return. Part of the great joy I have in my Tolkien-related work is that I get to share it with like-minded people who actually ask questions and are as excited as I am about all "things Rings". :one ring:

I would love to return and speak and share poetry and scholarship and, of course, -- always and forever -- fellowship. :green_door: :grouphug:

I would love to return and amble the highways and byways of the Shire in a lush and glorious autumn. :walking hobbit: :tree:

I would love to return and learn of new and wondrous things that Shire folk have done in the wider world. :book:

I would love to return... :wub:

Joy,
Shire Scholar
:hobbit computer:
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Sindarinelvish
Posted: Jul 5 2009, 05:49 PM


Shire Settler


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I'm already packing! I think Shaker Village is perfect!

I loved the forums: Michael Drout was great and Michael Cook was awesome. Maybe some more Tolkien scholars---isn't the Tolkien annual compliation of essays done at West Virginia?

Maybe an archery contest since there seemed to be a lot of interest. Definitely the Bards and the Hall of Fire. More strolling in the woods time.

Sindy
(Karen)


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pattibaggins
Posted: Jul 6 2009, 04:56 PM


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Autumn in the Shire (AKA the Shaker Village) would suit me just fine, too. We've had some fine suggestions already, and I would second the lot, especially trying to get Tom Shippey as well as bringing back our wonderful Constance/ShireScholar, Michael Drout, Michael Cook, et al. The guests we had were all interesting, talented, and delightful, and it would be good to get a chance to see and hear and especially talk with them again. And Mr. Shippey or maybe Verlyn Fleiger would be interesting, too. If possible, scheduling the walks and riverboat ride at different times would be nice, too, as Rhyselle has said, but of course that may not be possible. One can hope, though....
The birthday party was a wonderful theme to build the first event around, but it need not be the same next time. That was a LOT of work for the people who put it all together so marvellously. Maybe if we make it a Harvest gathering instead, it can be a little less structured, and we can have more of us chipping in with the work of decorating the party site and planning events like music and dancing and games, to take some of the load of their shoulders. Weather permitting, a bonfire like the one that had to be cancelled would be nice this time, but of course if it's another dry season, the lantern circle will work again, and the safe "fireworks" Gandalf provided last time will certainly do, too. If we can manage to squeeze it in, some quiet time with no events planned would be welcome, so we can just stroll the grounds, or visit our friends, or do nothing at all.

But whatever happens, best of all would be meeting our small circle of friends again. The smaller numbers at ALEP allowed for a warm, friendly Shire village atmosphere big events just can't match. If, no, WHEN we do it again, I will be there in a heartbeat, however I can get there.

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nautika
Posted: Jul 6 2009, 11:04 PM


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"What if" there was to be another Event, at Shaker Village, some time in the future.

Sign me up!

"What if" you could make a request for things you would like to do, guests you would like to see ( or see return ), events in which you would like to participate?

The first one was awesome, and would be hard to improve upon. But I'll say what others have said. I couldnt get it all in and still have free time. So I dont think there is need for *more* panels, workshops, etc. - not unless they could be located in Expo style, where you could get to them more quickly, and I dont see how to do that. I think if you were adding things, the time do it would be at the Hall of Fire (more skits, more music, etc). I agree things like the Party decorations could be done without this second time to give the organizers more down time. And I think you'll see more volunteers this time, too!

"What if" you could dictate the time frame in which it would be held ( Spring, Fall, Summer, etc ).

Fall, preferably. Summer is too hot and humid, and Spring may only last 2 days. But Spring would be my second choice.

* Note - This by no means is approved by our esteemed Mr. Baggins x 2 or Gandalf. Just more or less something I am curious about. *

It wouldnt be The Shire without Mr. Baggins x 2 and Gandalf.
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melianndoriath
Posted: Jul 7 2009, 01:39 PM


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What if ?

If, or rather WHEN ALEP happens again, I will be there!! I wholeheartedly endorse the suggestions brought forth so far. These are the ones I feel most strongly about:
Shaker Village IS the place and fall IS the time for such a gathering to be held.

Small numbers made true fellowship possible. Friendships old and new were strengthened and forged.

The panels were most informative, but attending all that I wished was most difficult. Perhaps spreadding them out would help.

"Dead time" is a gift-really a time for fellowship, resting, reflecting and basking in the wonder of the Shire.

I loved the musicians that were at ALEP, but more would be fine with me. There is a band, Mithril, that would fit in very well.

Some of my friends had problems traveling around the Village due to helath issues-knee problems, breathing or heart issues. They may not have been the only ones. Perhaps there's a way to address this situation.

I know it sounds "cheesy", but I would have liket to have a souvenir shop to purchase a t-shirt, mug, or even have a picture made (costumes provided) with something/someone "special". I have some wonderfully funny pictures of rangers standing beside my cardboard Aragorn.

I am hoping and praying that I don't have to wait very long for the "what if "to become "it will".


Meli
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DaisyBaggins
Posted: Jul 19 2009, 08:40 PM


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My answer to what kind of events or activities in a "What If?" scenario...

I'd like to see more 'audience participation,' so to speak.

I'd like to see small teams or groups be responsible for different activities, such that the team members get involved, and get other ppl involved in their activities.

Some examples:
-at Bilbo's party there was an archery competition. For those of us who've never had the opportunity to try this, a group could be responsible for holding their own clinic, to teach other attendees who've signed up to learn archery. Afterwards, there could even be a competition of teams consisting both of newbies and teachers competing against each other.

-show-&-tell craft time. So many folks have created not only costumes but all manner of middle earth crafts that they could share. Again, a group of ppl would be responsible for 'hosting' the show&tell event, planning it in advance and asking folks to sign up under various craft categories, that the group hosts would have decided on previously.

-skits/performances. Small groups/teams would write/create/perform as a group, and signing up with the overseer group (for lack of a better name) who would be responsible for scheduling each individual group/performance.

-cooking/middle earth recipes. Small group responsible for hosting a session on middle earth cooking, what recipes have worked best for them, handing out samples/recipes to participants, etc.

Of course, I could go on & on, as you can imagine--from hosting country rambles to teaching country dances. The main point being that individuals would sign up to be part of a team to work on hosting some clinic, performance, activity, what-have-you. This would be useful for two different purposes: 1) less burden on organizers for being responsible for so much, and 2) attendees would have more occasion to work and play together, getting to know each other in the process. (All this beginning well in advance of the event itself, with ppl signing on to teams to work together online, in their own yahoo groups, or whatever.)

Just my two cents...

P.S. I loved the Shaker Village & loved it being in the autumn.
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pattibaggins
Posted: Jul 20 2009, 04:36 PM


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A great bunch of ideas, Daisy! With all the fun things and the chance for us to be more involved, I'm thinking we might want to make it a week in the Shire, and not just a weekend! Course, that would cost rather more.... :P But this IS "what if" we're playing at here, so why not? If I could figure out a way to pay for it, I would jump at the chance to do it all! Well, shucks, to be honest, I'd MOVE to the Shire if I could! :bag end:

:hobbit lass: Patti

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DaisyBaggins
Posted: Jul 28 2009, 03:13 PM


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LOL, Patti. For me personally, it's the "fellowship" part that lures me to LOTR gatherings. I've found LOTR folks are amazingly friendly and anything that can foster that fellowship is appealling to me. :)
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pattibaggins
Posted: Aug 3 2009, 04:49 PM


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How true! The world needs more of the sort of cheerful, open friendliness that seems to be the norm among LOTR fans. I've rarely met such a nice bunch of folks as the people at ALEP.


:wub: :grouphug:
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