I was crying as I was watching the news, and I explained to him that sometimes people cry because they're really happy, and that was new information to him (he must have been eight years old). All through my childhood I remember reading stories of people dying trying to cross the wall, and every now and then someone would succeed.
I'll buy whatever you sell! Even I'M still young compared to old Gerontius (as is everyone who posts on this board!) I agree that Bandobaras' nickname IS quite catchy. But I was always amused at Tolkien that for Old Took's given name that he chose the Greek word for "old man" (Gerontius). Tolkien was the one who got me started in my own love of words.
I was sitting on the floor of my Aunt's house when the news came on TV. I can tell you what the carpet felt/looked like, the room, the daylight, the smell... my Aunt's scream. It's all blazed into my memory. I know at the time it rocked my world. School, parent, the news... it still hits me when I think about it.
Then, to my horror as I type it now, 7 years later my eldest daughter was born on November 22.