Today I’ll be sharing the rest of the contents of The Box, including one very special souvenir. As I scratched through the pieces within, I came across several writings I had forgotten about — breathless explanations of events Trek related -the convention of ’76, of course, which I’ll transcribe here later, as my original writing was pretty horrific in both style and execution. There are bus ticket stubs and jotted lists my mother made of what we spent there at the NYC con., and some letters from people I met at various Trek events, and letters from an aunt or two when then found an article related to Trek in their newspapers. It’s fun to see how cheap so many things were then, although they were a big expense to us at the time. I recall it cost us $35 a night to stay a the Statler-Hilton. There were 3 of us, my Mom, sister and me, and it was my first trip ever to NYC. I just wish we took more pictures, as my only equipment at the time was my state-of-the-art pocket old flashcube Instamatic which took the incredibly poor pictures you’ll see here. ( I apologize for the quality; this was the best I could do) I remember that we were on the 33rd floor, and that we had a grand view of the Chrysler Building from our room; oddly at the time I found it somewhat ugly and creepy, but within a couple of years I appreciated it for the glory of deco art it is, and it remains my favorite skyscraper to this day.
Here’s the few pictures of the con that did develop from my crappy camera. First, a Mr. Spock look-alike contest, the winner of which was a guy dressed up as a transporter malfunction! The sign pinned to the guy here says “Is the Transporter fixed yet?” as he also carries his ‘head’. Clever stuff!
Then the celebrities! Almost the entire cast was there, from Shatner to Koenig, only Nimoy and Majel Barrett couldn’t make it. We saw all the stars that came, but my camera was so crappy that only a few pictures developed. Here’s James Doohan and George Takei.
Doohan was newly a father and talked at length about the Lamaze method that he and his wife used to deliver the baby; interesting, but probably not what the fans wanted to hear. He also sang and jigged a little to “Roamin’ in the Gloamin”, a song my mother (embarrassingly) insisted that I ask him to sing! But he was a a good sport about it, and I remember him walking up and down the aisles of the auditorium to ‘touch hands’ with the enamored thrall.
Takei was happy and bright, in a powder blue leisure suit, although at the moment I can’t recall anything he said. I think he was asked about an audition he made for a silly sitcom called “Mr. T. and Tina”, glad he didn’t get that one, for it’s hardly the stuff of TV legend.
Leisure suits were the uniform of the day- that hideous melt-able double knit polyester garb that almost every male wore. I recall Shatner wore a dark blue one, De Kelly wore a black with a wild orange and white floral print shirt under it, and Doohan wisely opted out of a jacket, just wearing beige trousers and a white shirt instead. But every male celeb had huge lapels and wide bell bottoms.(God the 70’s were atrocious) The convention had a lot of fun events, from art shows (I was heart broken I couldn’t enter my home made bust of Mr. Spock), the endless dealer room with oodles of Trek merchandise, to the wildly popular episode and blooper showings, and, of course, autograph sessions, which were FREE — something you never get anymore.
But speaking of autographs, the box contains the ultimate prize of my youthful fandom, and I only had to wait a couple of years after the con to get it; Nimoy’s autograph. I got to meet Mr. Nimoy on February 18, 1978 after a splendid lecture he gave in nearby Elmira NY. But since we FORGOT THE CAMERA that fateful night, I hung on to the pen he signed my copy of I Am Not Spock with; a purple Flair fine point! (made in the USA!) Good ol’ Flair, and no one has used it since Mr. Nimoy.
Then the piece de résistance. There inside the front cover my well- thumbed paper-backed edition of I Am Not Spock are 7 little words that made me so happy:
“To Therese, thank you! Leonard Nimoy, ’78.
And why was Mr. Nimoy so grateful to a giddy 16 year old girl that night? Well, get your mind out of the gutter and I’ll explain this, along with a couple of photos, in a future post!