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Confessions From A Trekkie
My Trekkie Daughters
I have a confession to make. In my previous life, I was a Trekkie. For those who don’t know, a Trekkie is a fan of the television show that led to many movies and other television shows – Star Trek. I originally watched Star Trek as an infant, with my father. I didn’t watch again until I was a young mother with two daughters of my own. I fell in love with the reruns. It provided a needed distraction to the mundane everyday existence of raising my two little girls and running a full time day care in my home.
The original Star Trek series began in 1966 – when I was just a year old. I watched it with my father, although I have no memories of that. My first memories of the series came from when I was about ten years old. The show was so campy that I wasn’t really thrilled with it. When the first movie came out in 1979, I had absolutely no desire to see it.
By the mid to late 1980’s I had found Star Trek again. As an adult, I now enjoyed the science in the show. I had seen Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan and absolutely loved the movie! To me it was a great movie and a great distraction from my problems at home. I also discovered Star Trek conventions and fan clubs. I was in heaven!
Mark Lenard, Sarek
My first convention was sometime before the series Star Trek: The Next Generation premier. I was excited as I bought my tickets to see Mark Lenard, who played Sarek, Spock’s father. I was just as excited to see all of the things that were for sale at the convention. It was an amazing experience and hooked me to convention life! After listening to Mr. Lenard, I bought a picture and stood in line for more than an hour in order to get his autograph.
Joining a Club
In 1991, my young family and I joined a Star Trek fan club. Yes, we dressed as our favorite characters and went to conventions. But we also did a lot more than that. We made visits to children in area hospitals dressed in character. We hosted many fundraisers to help out local and national children’s charities. We also took part in community events in efforts to raise money for various other charities. We held monthly meetings to explore new opportunities and to teach members Star Trek lore. I was a “Commandant” and taught a group of children how to interact with the public and how to behave at events. (This was ironic, because the only time I could interact with the public at that time was while I was in “uniform”!)
We also hosted conventions. Every adult had an assignment while at the conventions. I was a part of the “security team.” The security team was in charge of checking tickets, watching the merchandise, and keeping the crowd in control. We also had the honor of escorting the guest of honor from the hotel room to the convention stage and try to keep fans away.
He Asked Me For A Picture!
Meeting My Hero
My first convention, Walter Koenig, Pavel Chekov in the original series, was the guest of honor. I was in high heaven. Chekov was always my favorite character. I loved his youthful arrogance and ability to scream like a girl when space bugs were placed in his ear. I couldn’t believe that I would get to escort him – therefore talk and interact with him! He was scheduled to appear on stage at around two in the afternoon. I had to go up to get him at around 1:45. I arrived at nine o’clock in the morning to begin my duties. At around eleven o’clock I had an hour break so that I could take my daughters – also dressed in their little uniforms – around the convention to show off all of the neat memorabilia. Imagine my shock and surprise when I got a tap on my shoulder and turned to see Walter Koenig! He had seen my daughters in their uniforms and wanted my permission to have HIS picture taken with THEM!! Of course, I said yes! I used his camera – and mine – to take the picture. Out of all of the conventions, this was my favorite because of this incident! My daughters are now mothers of small children and still talk about this to this day.
I don’t remember the order of the other stars I got to meet throughout our tenure in the Star Trek Fan club. Another great meeting was Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura. She is one classy lady, with a wicked sense of humor. The convention that she was the guest of honor for was during the final days of the Wichita River Festival. On the final night, there are always fireworks. The hotel that hosted the convention is right on the river and rooms on the riverside have a great view of them. As a club, we had rented a room. Since I was security, I was allowed to ask Ms. Nichols to join us in our room after she was done speaking. We never really expected her to come, but she did! She sat and “ooohed and awed” at the fireworks along with the rest of us from our balcony.
I Get A Kiss!
I have always loved James Doohan, as well. He was the always cocky, but very assured, engineer of the Enterprise. His sense of humor was just great. Many of Star Trek’s famous lines came from or were about Lt. Commander Montgomery Scott, or Scotty. To this day we hear, “Beam Me Up Scotty!” in our everyday culture. He was also an amazing man to meet. He was fun – and funny – to listen to. He was the one that told us about the many conduits on the set of most of the movies. They were all labeled with GNDN, followed by a number. He explained that the set designers had been told to make the conduits look as lifelike as possible, and most in real life would be labeled. When Doohan had asked what the GNDN stood for, he was told “goes nowhere, does nothing!” I didn’t have to work the convention where he was guest of honor, so I got to sit in the audience and listen to him. At one point, he asked if anyone had any questions. I immediately rose my hand and asked, “May I have a kiss?” and blushed as much as I ever had in my life. I was totally surprised when he said, “Yes” and called me onto the stage!
George Takei, Lt. Sulu, came to town, as well. He has this very commanding, booming voice that just forces you to listen to him. He had many great stories about Star Trek, as well. He also liked to talk about the time during World War II in which he and his family were forced into an internment camp because of their Japanese heritage. Both types of stories were very intriguing and interesting to listen to. It was a great speech!
I also had the pleasure of meeting stars from other Star Trek series. Ethan Phillips, Neelix from Voyager, was a fun-loving man that loved the drawings my daughter made so much that he promised to hang one in his trailer on the set. I was one of a select few chosen to eat a Star Trek based meal with Michael Dorn, Lt. Worf from The Next Generation. We had a chocolate party fundraiser with Marina Sirtis, ship’s counselor Deanna Troi. John DeLancie, Q from The Next Generation, was one of the speakers that I would have gladly missed. He spent his time speaking about the “dweebs, dorks and nerds” that watched such an unbelievable show as Star Trek. He was arrogant and demeaning towards the show that employed him. I didn’t even stay for an autograph from him.
Which Was Your Favorite Series?
Which of the Star Trek series was your favorite?
End of the Era
I had a great time with our Star Trek club. In time people joined who were, shall we say, a little on the disturbed side. One man waited outside during meetings to keep an eye on the Enterprise that he – and only he – could see in the night sky above us. Others came into the club expecting to be leaders from the first day, and when they weren’t, trouble ensued. After being a part of the club for about five years, we decided that we had had enough. I still miss all of the fun we had, and would do it again if the circumstances were ever just right again. But those days are sadly over.