Mood: crushed out
Topic: "A Man's Army"
Two small stories converge for Frodo this coming Saturday.
From the time when he was the smallest of Hobbits Frodo has always found the Salvation Army Kettle and dropped pennies into it at Christmastime. Long after the downtown department stores with their magnificent displays followed the Great Auk into oblivion, and countless years after sitting on Santa's lap, the lonely bellringer stands in Frodo's memory. Sometimes in silence, sometimes with a boisterous "Merry Christmas," the symbol of Christmas giving is as important to Frodo today, as it was when his father had to hold him up in order to drop his coins into the kettle.
Frodo joined with some other citizens of Middle Earth a few years ago who shared but two things in common. They were all male and they found themselves contained within a world without the spirit and the dialogue of the "locker room." Getting older, they were busy in their versions of Mount Doom and with their families and respective institutions of choice. They had little opportunity to do "guy things," or to gather in simple camaraderie with no strings attached. They raft rivers, tour museums, visit a monastery, all in a brief respite from the insular world of the 21st century.
This Saturday Frodo and a fellow Hobbit, Antonio Banderas, will stand in front of the Wal-Mart on Ashford-Dunwoody in the Shire between 2 and 4 PM and they will ring the bells for the Salvation Army. They will be preceded, and succeeded, in pairs throughout the day by the other members of their clan. Frodo will wear the red apron, ring the bell, and dance a little dance if it helps to raise money for the Salvation Army and all of its' fine work.
Perhaps a small Hobbit will reach his hand to the kettle struggling to push his coins into the slot. If he wishes, Frodo will let him ring the bell. Frodo can hardly wait.
The Shire is not accessible to all who read these words, so if you are out and about this Saturday, and happen upon the bellringer, please stop by and drop a coin or two into the kettle. Tell the bellringer that it is "For Frodo."
It'll drive 'em crazy.