Glen GoodKnight (1941-2010)

Glen GoodKnight, founder of the Mythopoeic Society, died November 3. As Bonnie Callahan told readers of a Yahoo group:

“….Glen GoodKnight passed away on Wednesday night. He had been in poor health for a number of years, but was actively participating in many online activities, cataloging his collection for eventual sale/donation, and appeared to be in stable condition.”

I was often in the home of Glen Goodknight and his partner Ken Lauw when I was on Glen’s 1997 Mythcon committee. It was the ideal fan’s home, walls covered with bookcases, though unlike other fans Glen’s shelves were filled with editions of Lord of the Rings in every language it had appeared: collecting them was his passion. He was a highly interesting and very knowledgeable fan.

Glen founded the Mythopoeic Society in 1967 in the aftermath of the legendary “Bilbo-Frodo Birthday Picnic” held in September of that year. He invited fans to his house on October 12 to form a continuing group. The 17 attendees became the Society’s first members. Within a few years they had planted 14 discussion groups around the country. In 1972 at the suggestion of Ed Meskys of the Tolkien Society of America the two organizations merged and overnight the Society grew to more than a thousand members.

Mythcon I in 1970 was organized to help knit the Society’s different groups together. Glen married Bonnie GoodKnight (later Callahan) at Mythcon II in 1971.

Glen edited 78 issues of the Society journal Mythlore between 1970 and 1998.

After staying away from Mythcons for several years, Glen returned to celebrate the Society’s 40th anniversary at Berkeley in 2007. Greeted with a standing ovation, he delivered an emotion-filled reminiscence of the Society’s early days. Glen came back to Mythcon the following year, too. I was glad to see him renewing his links with the Society. Now I’m sad to know I won’t be in his company again.

Ken Lauw and Glen GoodKnight at 2007 Mythcon.

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7 thoughts on “Glen GoodKnight (1941-2010)

  1. My dearest brother Glen No, I can not believe this so so sad news
    last week I got such a happy news mail from him and now……….
    I am in deep mourning “me”

  2. I never knew him, but enjoyed and respected his writing, publications, and work.

    At some point in the Seventies I wound up with several dozen copies of the first few issues of either Mythlore or Tolkien Journal — I’m afraid I can’t remember which right now; those I think might possibly still be in storage in Bill and Mary Burns’ attic, though I couldn’t guarantee it.

    When I think early Tolkien fandom, I also instantly think of Greg Shaw’s Entmoot, for what it’s worth. Which I now notice was even mentioned in his not bad NY Times obit.

  3. I am so sorry to hear of Mr. GoodKnight’s death. I never met him, but I came to know him, believe it or not, through eBay. I auctioned Bernie Zuber and Teny Rule (Zuber) Fisher’s LOTR collection on eBay. Imagine my surprise when, rather early on in the process — which took a couple of years — I started to address a package to a winning bidder and the name was Glen GoodKnight. Thereafter, any time I needed to ensure I had the correct identification and/or history on an item about which Glen would have been one of the few to know about, he always helped me out. And I came to know him personally just a bit in the process. He was a kind, caring, and very knowledgeable soul. And I can say beyond any shadow of any doubt, he always held a soft spot in his heart for Bonnie. May God rest your soul, Glen. I pray your version of heaven is Middle-earth.

  4. This is sad news indeed.

    I met Glen in the late 60’s during the early SF Valley meetings of the Mythopoeic Society. He was a gentle, inspirational figure who never talked down to the younger members of the Society, but encouraged us to pursue our love fantasy literature and art. A memorable image was of Glen striding about in his “Elrond” crown and robe at a society picnic.

    As a working writer, artist and director in the SF and fantasy genre I owe a lot to Glen and his support of young artists like myself.

    Some of my first attempts at fantasy illustration were published in the Society’s journal, Mythlore, thanks to it’s editor—Glen. To be published in the company of giants in the field like Tim Kirk and George Barr was huge boost to a young artist like myself.

    And Glen owned one of my all time favorite Tolkien paintings—a panoramic Tim Kirk painting of the charge of the Rohirrim, which looked pretty dang close to the version that appeared in the Peter Jackson feature many decades later.

    I drifted away from fandom in the mid-80’s, but had a brief phone call with Glen in the late 90’s. He was still as gracious and helpful as ever.

    R.I.P. “Elrond”. May you life long a well in the halls of the Far West.

  5. Thanks to the pioneering efforts of Glen GoodKnight, Ed Meskys and others, a shy young man was inspired to pursue his quest and become a psychoanalysis with an abiding interest in the mythical and unconscious. I still have many issues of Mythlore and drawings from those early days.

  6. I will miss Glen but sadly, I do not have any contact information for Ken. If anyone has Ken’s contact info, I would appreciate forwarding my email address to him ([email protected]).

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