Tolkien birthday celebration

Tolkien birthday mural

Over the weekend, we went to a birthday celebration for JRR Tolkien, the famed author of many works, including The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings. The party was hosted by McMenamin’s Kennedy School in northeast Portland.

T photos a mural at the Kennedy School

McMenamins is a franchise which buys local historical buildings and restores them and turns them into pubs, breweries, theatres, restaurants, hotels, and sometimes all of the above! Such is the case with Kennedy School, which was an actual school, so it’s a huge building. One great thing about McMenamin’s (besides their delicious ales) is that all of their properties have creative, non-conventional artwork on most available surfaces.


The Tolkien celebration included Peter Jackson’s version of the trilogy, in their awesome theatre where guests order from a full menu and sit on couches and watch the movie, waiting for staff to bring them their steaks, salads, burgers, and brews.

garden chimney

There was a reading of the Hobbit performed by Willamette Radio Workshop, and juggling and balloon art performed by “Joedo” the Hobbit, who showed us his hairy feet to prove it was no costume.


We took an intermission during The Two Towers to have a costume contest, so all the guests who had arrived dressed as elves, wizards, hobbits and trees could model their Middle-earth garb.

Joedo juggles
Joedo spins

I took the opportunity to hand out flyers to garner some participation on my friend’s website designed to collect input from readers of Tolkien. Please tell David Berberick what you think of Tolkien’s writing, at Surveying Middle-earth.

Watching The Two Towers in the plush McMenamin's theatre

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