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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
In honor of the passing of long-time Reading Room regular drogo
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squire
Half-elven


Jan 26, 9:51pm

Post #1 of 45 (3289 views)
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In honor of the passing of long-time Reading Room regular drogo Can't Post

In honor of the passing of long-time Reading Room regular drogo (formerly drogo_drogo on the old boards), I'd like to put up a sampling of his posts between 2007 and 2011 when he faded from the RR.

drogo was a professor of English who migrated to Library Science - in the time I knew him on TORn he directed some of the library operations of Oklahoma State University. Like any good librarian, he was a bibliophile and collected Tolkien editions among his other authors. Here in the RR he was a fond fan of Tolkien both as an academic subject and as a fan topic. He often remarked that the conversation on Tolkien on this board was of higher quality, and more fun, than most academic conferences that he attended. At the same time, he brought a very high standard of critical thinking and knowledge to our discussions. He was able to relate our sometimes amateurish ideas about the more general field of literature to his capable grasp of modern literary theory, criticism, and scholarship. For instance, he was one of the TORn contributors to the 2006 J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, and he wrote erudite and crisp articles on:
  • Angband
  • Barrie, J. M. (1860-1937)
  • Boyens, Philippa
  • Class in Tolkien's Works
  • Hierarchy
  • Justice and Injustice
  • Marxist Readings of Tolkien
  • Oral Tradition
  • Possessiveness
  • Textual History: Errors and Emendations
  • Towers
  • Valinor
But for all his academic background drogo was anything but intimidating. His sense of humor and fun in talking about Tolkien was infectious and won him a wide array of online friends and real-life companions at the various Tolkien-based meetings, moots, and cons around the country. He joked once that he liked meeting TORnsibs in real life, so he could verify that they were not just 'pod people' (a Invasion of the Body-Snatchers reference). I de-podded myself to him one year while driving across country with my daughter. With a little notice he drove to Oklahoma City and met us for dinner at a stockyards steakhouse, being sure we ordered and enjoyed the prairie oysters. It was then I confirmed he was a wise and charming man of good weight and middle years, with sandy hair, wire-rimmed glasses, and an sly but ever-present grin.

I later connected with him on Facebook, after he departed TORn, where I got to meet his cats, his family (especially his elderly but cheerful and active Dad), and some of his other interests. It was there, not here, that I first learned of his sudden passing due to the flu yesterday.

Here are just a few of his many Reading Room posts during the first few years of the new boards. Those who did not get a chance to know him may get some sense of his style and passion for Tolkien here:
What is your favorite non-legendarium book by Tolkien? (Mar 18, 2007)

Long reply (to Curious in defense of Ezpeleta's approach to illustrating Tolkien), May 8, 2007.

Fog on the Barrow-downs I. Departure into the Fog - LotR chapter discussion, Dec 10, 2007.

BOTMC (on the value of 'Book of the Month Club' editions of Tolkien), Jan 7, 2008.

The Palantír III: Sauron Speaks (Thinks? Channels? Huh?) - LotR chapter discussion, Jun 18, 2008.

Around 2008 drogo mostly dropped out of the TORn Reading Room. He continued to visit, making just a few posts a year, for the next three years.
Great report (reply to Voronwe's report on the 2009 Mythcon), Jul 22, 2009.

drogo's last post in the Reading Room was in November 2011, commenting to the last on the book-collecting side of Tolkien fandom.

Fare well, drogo, we'll miss you but we won't forget you. And yes, you are now allowed to like the Brothers Hildebrandt wherever you go, with my blessing.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Kimi
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 26, 10:24pm

Post #2 of 45 (3141 views)
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Thank you for this, Squire. [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank your for your fine tribute, and for linking to that sampling of posts. It's lovely to enjoy some of Drogo's contributions again.


The Passing of Mistress Rose
My historical novels

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

- A Room With a View


Modtheow
Lorien


Jan 26, 10:26pm

Post #3 of 45 (3154 views)
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Thank you, squire. [In reply to] Can't Post

I will enjoy going over some of these old posts, maybe when the shock has worn off.


Attalus
Lorien


Jan 27, 12:14am

Post #4 of 45 (3135 views)
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Thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

I shall read all those when I get time. I appreciate the effort this must have taken. Do you know why he dropped out of TORN?

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Műmak. But we got him!


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 27, 12:21am

Post #5 of 45 (3135 views)
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I think it was just real life [In reply to] Can't Post

Drogo was very involved in the Mythopoeic Society, so I think that pulled him away. Like many of us, he was an active participant in the early read-throughs of LOTR and The Hobbit, but after 3 or 4 times, it's hard to maintain the same level of excitement.

One of my absolute favorite weekends was the 2004 Tolkien conference at Marquette University, where I first met drogo in real life. I have a bunch of pictures from that weekend, and I'll try to post a link to them this weekend in Off Topic.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 27, 12:22am

Post #6 of 45 (3128 views)
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Oh, Modtheow, [In reply to] Can't Post

it is good to see you again, even though I hate the reason you stopped by.


Attalus
Lorien


Jan 27, 12:32am

Post #7 of 45 (3113 views)
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Thanks, entmaiden [In reply to] Can't Post

I guess I must have been constructed strangely (no argument from my girlfriend, kids, or ex-wives) because I have read TLotR yearly (sometimes more than once!) since I was 16, and that has been a while. I was interested to see that Drogo used the cover of the Ace (pirated) edition of TTT as his avatar in one of those threads. Took me back to 1966 in a rush. I read that edition literally to pieces, and the Ballentine pb 2nd edition that followed it. I am now using the 50th anniversary edition that Drogo praised. I wish I had known him. Unsure

We are the fighting Uruk-Hai! We slew the great warrior! Well, yeah, first he killed a bunch of us and another whole lot of Mauhúr's lads, and we had to shoot enough arrows into him to drop a Műmak. But we got him!


Luthien Rising
Lorien


Jan 27, 12:35am

Post #8 of 45 (3152 views)
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So many years [In reply to] Can't Post

... later, I am backing up my dear friend drogo when he said "It was not the Ainulindale in traditional terms (choirs of Ainu warbling Hosannas, etc.), but it was the Ainulindale reinterpreted and reconceived. There was a lot of Thoth in it, but it was still one of the most fascinating Tolkienesque performances I have seen (Luthien Rising was next to me--back me up on! :P)." Yes, it was. Mostly, from that weekend, I think about the great time we all had going out for Ethiopian dinner, then hanging at my place later just because.

I came to TORn late, having "discovered" Tolkien just before the ROTK movie came out. I was a somewhat lost English PhD and ex-academic, and suddenly the written word mattered again, and so did finding people who cared about it. Drogo was one of the first of those I found, as I settled into a few years in the Reading Room. I wandered away from TORn as my focuses in life re-broadened, Tolkien (and these boards' reinforcement) having pushed me in new directions in my life. But I never lost touch with drogo.

He and I had followed similar early paths in life. It was a delight to find here someone my same age who spent the same years as I did immersed in lit-theory academe and who loved Tolkien and found meaning there. Drogo made it easier for me to embrace a wider world and all the many paths on it.

He was one of the best men I have ever known — a truly good man. He was online what he genuinely was in person, as well: the man you knew here was the man everyone of us who had the pleasure of meeting him saw. Much as he enjoyed the cleverness of philosophies, he valued goodness above all. He found joy in good students and worthy colleagues. He loved his cats and his father. I haven't got my head around the world suddenly being without him.

I didn't know he'd been away from the Reading Room as long as he had been — shows how long I've been away. One mutual friend from TORn has, I think, retired for the evening to read the end of ROTK; she's also been long away from here. We're TORn ghosts, I guess, together mourning a valued friend.

When squire told me he was thinking of posting here for drogo, I asked that he let me know. So much of my life began here, memories that endure, friendships that endure. It might feel sometimes like it's just a place to talk with strangers about a book. But it doesn't have to be just that. If you see this and you don't recognize me or drogo (you probably recognize squire ;) ), take this and stay. You might be here just for a passing moment, but you might also be here to find friends for life. Seize that day — it's yours to decide what to make of it.

Lúthien Rising
All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. / We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.


WhiteAslan
The Shire


Jan 27, 12:37am

Post #9 of 45 (3121 views)
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Beautiful. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Nerdanel
Rivendell


Jan 27, 12:43am

Post #10 of 45 (3116 views)
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Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you so much for the link to Drogo's posts. I'm not ready to read them yet, but now I know where to look.

(This post was edited by Nerdanel on Jan 27, 12:48am)


Nerdanel
Rivendell


Jan 27, 12:47am

Post #11 of 45 (3117 views)
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Pictures of Drogo [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi Entmaiden,
Sorry that such a sad event brings me back to TORn. Have you seen the more recent pix of drogo on facebook? He had lost a lot of weight, gotten contacts, and really looked great. I don't know how to bring them over here but maybe you do?


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jan 27, 12:51am

Post #12 of 45 (3124 views)
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Thank you so much for this, squire. [In reply to] Can't Post

I met drogo right here in the Reading Room in 2003. A few years later I made a separate connection in another board, where we and some other TORnsibs carried our friendships into other realms. I met him several times, at Tolkien events, a couple of Mythopoetic Society meetings (where he gave really excellent lectures), and -- most memorably -- at the home of Reera the Red in TX, where he took one of her famous orange kittens. That cat may well have been with him when he passed. I was so moved to hear that Reera has already offered to take his two cats, which he loved dearly.

He was a warm, wonderful, brilliant man who will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.








Nerdanel
Rivendell


Jan 27, 12:51am

Post #13 of 45 (3097 views)
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Thank you for this, Lú.// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Paige
The Shire

Jan 27, 12:54am

Post #14 of 45 (3101 views)
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Yes... [In reply to] Can't Post

What Lu says here is absolutely right. I have met some of the best friends of my life because of these boards. I love this place and everyone in it. Much love to everyone.


a.s.
Valinor


Jan 27, 12:56am

Post #15 of 45 (3107 views)
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I swear I have pics of Marquette, too [In reply to] Can't Post

Somewhere. I hope you can post yours. If I find mine, I'll post on yours.

a.s.

"an seileachan"


"A safe fairyland is untrue to all worlds." JRR Tolkien, Letters.



Paige
The Shire

Jan 27, 12:58am

Post #16 of 45 (3102 views)
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Many thanks, Squire. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have missed your posts. Perhaps I will come back by.


entmaiden
Forum Admin / Moderator


Jan 27, 1:08am

Post #17 of 45 (3099 views)
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Good idea, nerdanel [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll see what I can do.

One of my clearest memories of the Marquette conference is me, inadvertently blocking your view of the television. It was the World Series, and your Red Sox were playing. We were all still in the process of learning each others' real names, so you kept calling out "Entmaiden - move!" Of course I didn't respond, but finally figured it out! Smile. So funny - I learned then to never get in between a Red Sox fan and the tv.


Modtheow
Lorien


Jan 27, 2:09am

Post #18 of 45 (3086 views)
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Thanks, entmaiden [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm so glad this place and people like you are still here.


Modtheow
Lorien


Jan 27, 2:11am

Post #19 of 45 (3085 views)
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Thanks, Lu [In reply to] Can't Post

"So much of my life began here." I feel the same way. And drogo was a big part of that.


Modtheow
Lorien


Jan 27, 2:15am

Post #20 of 45 (3084 views)
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I remember that [In reply to] Can't Post

...being at the 2004 Marquette conference and nerdanel watching baseball on TV at dinner! That was the first time I met drogo in real life, along with a number of you here today.


Penthe
Gondor


Jan 27, 2:52am

Post #21 of 45 (3083 views)
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Thank you Squire [In reply to] Can't Post

Drogo made me feel so welcome when I was a nervous, uptight, defensive new poster.

And having been Facebook friends with him for quite a few years now, it's been a privilege and a joy hearing about his work, his cats, his friends and his family.

He is going to leave a hole in my life, even though I never met him in person.

Now?


Penthe
Gondor


Jan 27, 2:57am

Post #22 of 45 (3079 views)
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Cats [In reply to] Can't Post

Glad Ginger and Nutmeg have a good place to go to.

Now?


WhiteAslan
The Shire


Jan 27, 3:14am

Post #23 of 45 (3070 views)
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Thank you, Lu. [In reply to] Can't Post

 


cats16
Valinor


Jan 27, 4:11am

Post #24 of 45 (3061 views)
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Many thanks for sharing [In reply to] Can't Post

drogo predated me by many moons, so I will relish taking a look at what you've shared.

Join us every weekend in the Hobbit movie forum for this week's CHOW (Chapter of the Week) discussion!




Curious
Half-elven


Jan 27, 7:48am

Post #25 of 45 (3051 views)
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Thank you, Squire. [In reply to] Can't Post

N.E. Brigand reached out to me about Drogo's passing, and he directed me to your tribute. Sad news indeed. Sad and shocking.
Your post had me reminiscing.

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