Scrapbook is back! Sorry I haven’t posted much of this lately, but I’ve been busy with family, holidays, and launchingmy home business.
Here’s today’s flashback: First, from January 1978, an article about real space explorers–This was a big improvement in NASA operations, this was the first class of astronaut candidates who weren’t exclusively white males–(Nichelle Nichols’ work as a NASA promoter really worked!) You see a photo of candidate Anna Fisher and her husband William. Among the candidates, 6 women, three African-Americans, and one Asian, including future first woman in space Sally Ride, and sadly, three of the future doomed shuttle Challenger, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, and Judith Resnik. To see the enthusiasm and joy these candidates felt at the time is now bittersweet, but we will never forget their drive and determination, not to mention being pioneers of NASA integration.
The other exciting post here is a hot, actual photo of Leonard Nimoy taken by fan Joanne Brooks of Indiana, whom I had met a the Star Trek Convention in ’76. (scroll down for bigger copy). As I recall, Joanne was a pretty, tall, blond 30-something mother wearing a perfect home-custom designed blue Trek uniform-she looked great! Spock was her favorite (hence the blue). I wish I had a picture of her, but OF COURSE my pocket camera wasn’t working well! I envied her not just for her great costume, but because she met Nimoy at a play that same year! She had sent me this sweet letter with the picture right after the convention. I wrote back with great delight, sheepishly asking if she could possibly make me a costume too, but eventually I made my own uniform.Hey Joanne, if you’re still out there, drop us a line! And thanks for the wonderful memory!
Here’s a close up photo-shopped version of the candid. Nimoy is still very much in his ascot phase here (which suited him fine) – always happy to pose for a fan!
Hello Scrappers, today’s flashback features the 4-day schedule of events that was the Star Trek Bi-Centennial-10 Convention in NYC. Looking back on this now I realized that, although we saw a lot at the convention, we missed a lot too! How could I have missed visiting the replica of the Enterprise Bridge and Transporter Room!!!??? I remember we got there on Friday in time for the Spock Look Alike Contest, and at one point my sister Kathy shared an elevator with Walter Koenig, who looked pretty tired. Sorry I missed the Anniversary Dinner (that one had to be pre-registered for) but I remember seeing a girl dressed as “The First Female Captain of The Enterprise” — a novel idea at the time– I recall she wore a long gold gown. I did get to go to an “Autograph and Rap” session with Grace Lee Whitney. (You see, this was back in the day when you didn’t
A photo of Grace Lee Whitney from Starlog issue#3, at the convention I went to, this is exactly how she looked when I met her that Saturday morning, of course, my camera wasn’t working so I was glad to see this!
have to pay for an autograph, and you were actually allowed time to chat with the stars for a couple of minutes!) I asked Grace about the wig she wore on the show — I remember saying “How much of that was real?” I’m sure she’d heard that question a million times before, but she was sweet and game to answer it yet again. (to be accurate, she said that the basket and fall down the back was fake,but the bangs and sides were all hers! Very sweet lady. (Hi Grace! Thanks for the autograph!) — it read “To Therese w/love, Grace Lee Whitney” — and another first, that was the first time I was aware that you could write the word ‘with’ as “w/” — I’ve used it ever since.
Menu from the Anniversary Ball, note the ‘otherworldly’ delicacies being served…
Good Morning Scrappers! This week I take a trip down memory lane to the first (and best) Star Trek convention I ever attended wa-a-a-ay back in 1976. It was the Star Trek Bi-Centennial-10 Convention in New York City that celebrated the 10th Anniversary of our beloved original Star Trek series. Why was this the best one I ever attended? Well, the main reason was that it was probably one of the last conventions before the Star Wars era, when TOS was at its zenith of popularity, before Star Trek became something called a franchise, when the expressions ‘Keep On Trekkin’ and ‘Star Trek Lives’ were on the tongues of everyone enamored of the series. There was something quaint, yet universal about a bunch of people gathering to celebrate this little show. I think a lot of us felt that we were misfits; geeky types who were socially awkward, the stuff of ridicule and mockery. Yet here at the convention, as a shy 15 year old, I felt accepted for the first time in my teen life by a community of people from all over the U.S., enjoying and conversing about pointed ears and mini-skirts.
I attended with my Mom, Anna and my older sister Kathy. They, and the fact that this was my first ever trip to NYC, were a big part of why this was a special event for me. Looking back as a Mom myself now, I really appreciate any stress this might have caused for my Mom, who had been widowed only 2 years before, to take on (for us) a big undertaking. (Thanks Mom!) Kathy, along with several of my other older siblings had introduced me to Trek in the first place, which, at the height of my mania was something I think she regretted for a while. But for now NYC, The Convention, and the possibility of seeing Trek stars in the flesh for the first time was a thrill beyond belief. I’ll always look back at this with fond memories, even though my pocket camera took awful pictures that didn’t develop too well!
For Today’s Flashback, here’s the first few pages of the official program from the convention, and even a scan of the custom plastic tote bags it came in! (custom plastic tote bags were a novelty in ’76) Note how The Enterprise is zipping past the Statue of Liberty! Enjoy, and if any of my readers attended this convention and have any memories to share of it, please post them here! Thanks, and ‘Keep on Trekkin’ , Therese
The Program! (with the date I scrawled on it)
The intro page, written by the famous Star Trek Welcommittee, with my Saturday badge stuck to it.
At the 1976 Star Trek Bicentennial Convention, the most special guest was William Shatner (unfortunately, Leonard Nimoy could not attend because he was performing in a play at the time) And I’m happy to report that I was able to see The Shat at this event, he strode out in a navy blue leisure suit and charmed the life out of the whole auditorium of adoring fans! Unfortunately, I had a really crappy pocket camera at the time and, like in most Trekkie nightmares, none of my pictures of Bill turned out! At the moment, I cannot recall much of what he said, although I remember how the everyone cheered with delight when he referred to the storied tale of how “Leonard Lost His Bicycle” (Nimoy used to ride a bike from Trek set to Trek set to save time, and Shatner and the crew were always hiding it from him, at one point suspending just above from a catwalk, right over Nimoy’s head!)
Anyway, I don’t have Shatner pictures today, but I do have a ‘sneak peek’ flier that was passed around at the time, previewing the new biography of Bill that was still being written at this point. Titled Shatner: Where No Man… . This was Shatner’s first foray into the printed press, and the first of his several autobiographies to plunge into the awesomeness of his legend. The flier promotes the hell out the book, as well as the accompanying LP album William Shatner LIVE, which preserved several of his college appearances. The flier even includes a “questionnaire and interest checklist’ just for Trek fans to aid and assist the authors of the book (Shatner, Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath. The survey really digs with questions about how Trek and especially Shatner affected pop culture and real attitudes, for example:
Do you feel that the way Shatner played Kirk, as a strong man able and willing to express profound emotions, could have had an effect on people’s acceptance of emotional opennness, especially in men?
Wow, that’s pretty deep! But considering at the time that American culture had been through Vietnam and was evolving from an era when men were strong and silent,( like say Don Draper of Mad Men), these were pretty radical questions! I admit, I never read Shatner, Where No Man… but now I may check eBay for a used copy, just to see how they used this info from fans to write the book .