“J.R.R. Tolkien was just a delightful old gentleman, interested in a lot of things, with a lively curiosity and a deep knowledge of philology; a love of words and language and a masterly storyteller. He had a well-ripened personality, like a wrinkly old apple full of flavor. And he had the Hobbit virtues of steadiness, modesty, and a quiet demeanor. He seemed, in a way, quite ordinary, but also, just like a Hobbit, determined and capable of extraordinary things.”
–From a phone interview I did on 1/24/2012 with author and recovering physicist Amory Lovins, who was a young don at Merton College, Oxford when Professor Tolkien had retired but occasionally dined in the Senior Common Room.