Story Time: William Shatner & My Dad

Now this story is rather near and dear to my heart and I know I have shared it a number of times. I know on a few podcasts and I know I wrote a rather water down telling of it for Wizard World Comic Con, where this event took place.

So here is the history behind this story, that lead to me calling Shatner old and Shartner getting me into trouble with my Dad. Lets rewind to the date June 11, 1968 at Franklin Reservoir right above Los Angeles. My Grandpa was working Forrest Service at the time and helped maintain production and the security for the filming areas. The episode that was being filmed was Star Trek (TOS): The Paradise Syndrome. My Grandpa brought my Dad along over the time of the shot and he got to meet the cast & crew.

Pictures of my Dad and Grandpa with Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, William Shatner and Sabrina Scharf

The plot of this episode follows Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down into an idyllic location next to a lake on the planet Amerind, reminiscent of the American Pacific Coast. Kirk remarks on the “duplication” of the planet’s evolution as compared to Earth, while McCoy notes the beauty of the flora. They come upon an obelisk, the Obelisk, covered with unknown alien symbols. Spock notes that the obelisk is “an alien metal of some kind, an alloy resistant to probe.” Even the age is beyond the tricorder’s ability to date. Spock examines the symbols but can offer no insight into their meaning. He speculates that to build such a monument would require a civilization equal to or beyond the Federation’s ability. McCoy brands the planet “an enigma.”

The trio only has thirty minutes to explore the surface before leaving the planet. They return to the lake and look across at a village which houses an indigenous, Native American-like tribe that is “a mixture of Navajo, Mohican, and Delaware” characteristics, according to Spock. Kirk feels it is similar to discovering a mythic lost society like Atlantis or Shangri-La. McCoy suggests contacting the natives to warn them, but is discouraged by Spock. An asteroid is on a direct course towards the planet. The thirty minute restriction on exploration was to allow them to return to the ship in time to make the journey to a deflection point. As the time on the planet draws to a close, they return to the obelisk. On the way, Kirk remarks on the simplicity of life for the natives. McCoy diagnoses him with Tahiti Syndrome. Before the landing party returns to the USS Enterprise, Kirk climbs up onto the platform at the base of the obelisk and flips open his communicator. A trap door slides open and drops Kirk into a chamber. He falls down some stairs and begins to pull himself up, accidentally leaning onto a control panel. As he regains his footing, energy tendrils strike out from the panel, immobilizing him and finally leaving him slumped across the controls.

I remember some of the stories that my Dad would tell me about this period in time. Said everyone was beyond nice and super lay back. One story he told me was when he met Deforest Kelly for the first time. While my Dad was getting an autograph from Kelly, he asked what his name was. Told him DeForrest and it was quickly followed with, “They named you that too!? Poor bastard.”. For the rest of the production, they would make jokes about their names and would have later run ins with each other.

Now we fast forward to about 2003 in Ventura California. My Dad gave me his autographs from Star Trek, plus number of other ones from John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, etc. So naturally I put them all in a save place. Later in 2008 I would move back to Oregon and I converted my garage into a art studio/nerd den. I had them on the walls for everyone to see. It was around this time I was a single parent and working evenings. So I would hire babysitters. One day, my normal sitter could not make and said her friend would cover for her. It wasn’t till after a few days I noticed that my Shatner, Kelly and Nimoy were missing.

All I had were the pictures of my Dad and the cast. So I went through everything in the house and even called up the sitter to see if she can get a hold of her friend or at least seen them. After an hour or so, I get a call back saying that they haven’t seen them and didn’t know where they were… So now I’m pissed that some how are now missing and someone is lying about it. I didn’t have the heart to tell about my Dad about this and manage to keep it hidden from him for a number for years. So I made it a mission to rebuild my dad’s collection, no matter the cost. Fast forward a few months and some how while I was clean things up in the garage. I found the DeForest Kelly autograph… So with some renewed hope I kept digging and clean thing. I did find the paper that Nimoy signed, but it was only the part that said “Greetings Spock”. Still couldn’t find the actual autograph and Shanter was lost.

So I kept my search going till February 27, 2015 and that is when Nimoy passed away. Sadly now everyone is selling and jacking up the prices on his autographs. Now I have no way to ever meet him, I look towards Shatner to help at least finish this quest. Now fast forward to February 22, 2016 at Wizard World Comic Con in Portland Oregon. While working at this Comic Con, I was able to meet William Shatner. I should note a few days before, my Dad had a heart attack. While I was going to cancel everything and drive down to California where he was. He talked me out of it, said that he feels okay and that he’ll be in surgery for the next few days. So I stayed and finished my work and made plans to drive down and see him after that weekend.

So here I am waiting to see Shatner and nervous beyond all belief. I had both my kids with me at this event as well and they wanted to meet Captain Kirk. As we walk to Shatner, we introduce ourselves and I start telling him about how he met my Father and Grandpa awhile back in the 60s. He lit up and said that he remembers that episode and meeting my family. He then looked down and ask who we have here? I had Jackson and Lilly introduce themselves and told him that he now had met four generations of my family. Realizing that I just called him old I tried to backtrack a bit. After a few jokes about age and being rather embarrass, I told him about the stolen/lost autographs and what I was trying to do in rebuilding the collection. He then asked about my Dad and how he was doing, I told him that he just recently had a heart attack and is in recovery. He then asked if he was able to talk with him… Shocked I said I will call and see.

My Dad picked up the phone and I told him that someone wanted to talk with him. Giving the phone to Shatner. “Is this Jason’s Father? This is William Shanter.”. All I can hear over the was a laugh and “shut up”. They talked for a number of minutes.. Now I would like to mention here that I didn’t tell Shatner about my Dad not knowing I lost the autographs. Because why would I think that shatner would ever bring it up or let alone tell my Dad. Nope… My dumbass stood there in horror as Shatner told him why I was there and what I was trying to do. Then I hear, “Oh, you didn’t know about that?”. Shatner looks at me and says ,”Oops.” They say their goodbyes and gives me the phone. “Your Father wants to talk with you.”…. Great, now I’m in trouble.

On the phone with my Dad said while this was cool and awesome on what I was trying to do. We will talk later about the autographs and pictures. Great… After I hung up, Shatner said sorry, not sorry with a smile. He signed my picture and we all said goodbye… Now sadly on February 27, 2016 my Dad passed away. We never got to have that talk. It’s also odd that he died on the same day as Nimoy, one year apart. How everything came full circle with Star Trek. So currently I am still missing Nimoy’s autograph and still hunting for one. While I was moving I found Shatner’s original autograph stuck to the bottom of an art box. Which makes this whole thing is odd. Because they were all hanging on the wall and then thrown everywhere. Something happened to them and I may never know what happened. But it did cause a great story and quest line that is still kinda open. I still need to find my Spock.

Remembering Leonard Nimoy

mnkDl2J

So with the passing Leonard Nimoy recently… I’ve been figuring out what to say about the man. In fact I’ve been at a loss for a few days now on what to say. While I never knew Nimoy personally. The man was a big part of my family….
A lot of this started with my Grandfather and my Father. My Grandfather who was working Forrest Service & the local Fire Department at the time. Was over seeing the…

View On WordPress

Remembering Leonard Nimoy

mnkDl2J

So with the passing Leonard Nimoy recently… I’ve been figuring out what to say about the man. In fact I’ve been at a loss for a few days now on what to say. While I never knew Nimoy personally. The man was a big part of my family….
A lot of this started with my Grandfather and my Father. My Grandfather who was working Forrest Service & the local Fire Department at the time. Was over seeing the…

View On WordPress

Remembering Leonard Nimoy

mnkDl2J

So with the passing Leonard Nimoy recently… I’ve been figuring out what to say about the man. In fact I’ve been at a loss for a few days now on what to say. While I never knew Nimoy personally. The man was a big part of my family….
A lot of this started with my Grandfather and my Father. My Grandfather who was working Forrest Service & the local Fire Department at the time. Was over seeing the staging areas at Franklin Reservoir above Los Angeles for one of the Star Trek episode on season 3 called The Paradise Syndrome in 1968. The plot out line starts as follows: “On stardate 4842.6, the Federation starship USS Enterprise arrives at an earth-like planet in anticipation of deflecting an asteroid headed for it. With some time to spare, Captain James T. Kirk, First Officer Spock and Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy transport to the surface for a brief survey. They find a obelisk with strange markings as well as a humanoid species whose customs seem to follow those of various North American Native tribes. Returning to the obelisk, Kirk starts to communicate with the Enterprise but his actions open a trap door within the obelisk which Kirk falls into. Spock and McCoy are unable to open the door, and forced to return to the Enterprise to oversee the asteroid deflection.”

Also this lake was featured in hundreds of westerns and police shows, but is most famous as the fishing hole in the opening credits for The Andy Griffith Show. It was here my Grandfather took my Dad (who was a teenager then) to meet the cast and crew, as well watch some of the episode as it was being filmed. My Dad got meet & get autographs from William Shatner, DeForest Kelley and Mister Leonard Nimoy…. Also had a number taken with them and the stage. Now me as a child, my Dad got me into scifi and comics. He then showed me Star Trek….. From there is become a almost a ritual for us to watch Star Trek and we had our favorite movies as well. Most notably Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991) , all tho Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) was up there as well. My two favorite characters was Spock and Bones(Dr. McCoy) growing up and they still are. Between me and my Father we always quote lines from the show and or movies from Spock or Bones.
It wasn’t till later my Father gave me his pictures and autographs that he got from The Paradise Syndrome episode. I wanted to keep them save and not have them hanging up on the wall or where ever. So I put them in with the rest of the autographs I had. Sadly William Shatner, DeForest Kelley and Mister Leonard Nimoy went missing for a time. I ripped apart my house trying to find them. Because they were no longer in the file cabinet with the other autographs. I did find DeForest Kelley and made a picture to go with the autograph . Then framed it and hung it up on the wall. I did find the second “autograph” from Leonard Nimoy, that says “Greetings Spock”…. Sadly I have yet to find Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner real autographs.. I believe they were taken from me by one of the babysitters I had in the past.

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So being rather sad about this and feeling horrible about losing my Father’s autographs. I thought I try and get William Shatner & Leonard Nimoy again and show them the picture that my Dad took back in 1968 and share this story with them. Sadly I don’t think will happen now with the passing with Leonard Nimoy. I mean it could still happen with William Shatner and I hope it does! But I really wanted to tell them what this show meant to my family. Well it was more of a Father/Son bonding time story really. How it’s been going on for 4 generations now, starting with my Grandfather, my Father, myself and now my Son. My Son loves Spock… To my Son Spock is Star Trek. I haven’t had the heart to tell him that he passed way.. I don’t think I will, at least till he becomes much older.
I think it’s better to keep remembering Leonard Nimoy/Spock and everything he has done. Doctor McMCoy once said in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,”He’s not really dead. As long as we remember him.” This is true…

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Long Week.. At Times I Hate Being A Grown-Up

Oh how I long for the days of nap times and juice boxes.. Well the title might be misleading, I’m not really going to pull out the soap box and go off on a tangent. Just a lot of things happen this week that made miss the good old days of preschool. Everything from bills, car problems, trying to get everything moved/settled in from the girlfriend moving in with me. Then there is the ups and downs of the child  custody with the ex,  there were some paper work that was file I personally didn’t find “cool”. But oddly enough I wasn’t mad and we sat down and remade the custody/parenting times so she will be able to rebuild her relationship with the kids. For those who aren’t up to date the “drama” and goings on here is a link to an older post I made about what has happened. But with that being said, not all things were bad! Lilly is doing well in school beside going for a full day of school (8:30am-3:25pm) I’m sure you’ve seen the 1st day of school pictures. Jax on the other hand had to get 3 shots and some blood drawn for a lead test (poor little guy), so we just had some guy time watched Batman, playing some games, and had ice cream haha.

On Saturday Spent the day with the Hobbits and took them to Wicked Comics here in Albany Oregon. One of the main things I was looking for was euro size card sleeves to finish off my Alhambra board game. Sadly they didn’t have what I needed, but they were really nice and told about some other place that might have them. SO I found myself heading to Matt’s Cavalcade Comics in Corvallis and there he only had 2 50 packs of the euro size. I figured that will be enough for the game.. NOPE! I was only 10 off, well 26 if you count the expansion for the game. So this last Sunday I had to drive up to Salem to Borderlands Games and that’s where I found everything I needed and then some. Oh a small side story that happened in Matt’s Cavalcade Comics. So once I walked into the shop everyone looked up and saw I had kids, I think everyone made the “Oh great. Children.” face. But then Jax found the Doctor Who sleeves and went off on everything haha! From there I hear some people laughing and saying “how cute.”, there was this guy standing behind us looking at comic with his girlfriend. Then asked if Jax can name off the characters from the show and the Doctors.. To my amazement Jax did just that and then some, the guy’s girlfriend then leans over and says,”Honey. He knows more then you do and he is only 4.” Awww nerd fail.So with that I had to get him something and this is what he got. The best Doctor Who poster ever haha.

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Also on Saturday I made a print of DeForrest Kelly (Bones from Star Trek), the reason behind the print was do to the autograph I got from my Dad. When my Dad was a kids he met Kelly, Shatner, Nimoy and some “Shatner girls” I had them filed away so nothing with happen to them, sadly when it became to frame them up and I couldn’t find them. Called up everyone who has been in my house to see if anyone seen them or know of anyone random has some new autographs. No Luck.. So I started cleaning out the garage and Found DeForrest Kelly! This was the most important one to me, aside from being my favorite Doctor and the fact the actor is also not alive anymore. This was something my Dad gave me. So I printed off a photo and added the autograph to the picture..

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I’m still hunting for the Shatner, Nimoy and hope I can find them! I know Shatner & Nimoy are going to be at the Portland Comic Con coming up next year and thought it would be cool bring the picture of my Dad when he was a kid getting autographs from them. Then getting new autographs from them.