I have four pictures in my writing lair. So what, you ask? Well, they are pictures of people and they are signed just for me. I also have two large posters of solar systems (ours not Alpha Centauri), thousands of books, a Tolkien 50th anniversary calendar plus three desks, two chairs, two computers, and right now one ass (mine sitting in one of the two chairs). You could say I’m a man of excess, collecting things I don’t need. You may be right. Each serves its purpose though, but I’ll speak only of the pictures today.
Picture one: Walter Koenig. Best known as Mr. Chekov or Mr. Bester. If you don’t know who Mr. Chekov or Mr. Bester is, I don’t know what to say except - you probably don’t know Mr. Rogers, Mr. Kangaroo, Mr. Bean or Mister Mister either. But that’s not the point. Inspiration - That’s the point. When I met Walter he was a much younger man than he is today. I believe it was even before "The Voyage Home" was filmed. He was amiable, witty and he signed a Chekov photo (black and white back then) for me that says, "To Paul, For Friendship, Walter Koenig". Friendship - I like that. What a great little man he is. And his portrayal of those two well known characters - well done. Thanks Walter - friend.
Picture two: Marina Sirtis. Best known as Deanna Troi. If you don’t know Deanna Troi, ummm, then I guess you missed that whole "Star Trek The Next Generation" thing. It’s old now I know, but you can google it if you are curious and would like more information. When I met Marina she was very radiant and fun-loving, even during the signing of her picture. It was during the fourth season of Next Generation, so the show was still going strong and getting stronger. She was genuinely happy to be there and I could tell playing a part in the Next Generation cast meant a great deal to her. No comments from Marina - my Deanna photo (black and white as well) is just signed "Marina Sirtis" Thanks for the fun Marina.
Picture three: Denise Crosby: You are sensing a trend here - no? Best known as Tasha Yar from the Next Generation. Now what can I say about this lady? I met her only two years ago now and she was so very sweet and not the Hollywood glamour girl at all. Being older, wiser and bolder (plus married with children and secure in my life), I actually chatted with her for a few minutes. She was friendly, happy and it suddenly dawned on me - just another person doing her job like anybody else. I picked a color Tasha Yar photo and she signed it, "To Paul, Love, Denise Crosby" I wonder if she ever sat on her grandfather’s knee singing "White Christmas"? I forgot to ask. Maybe next time. Love - Didn’t know I could make such an impression in only five minutes. What a classy lady. Good luck to you Denise and thanks for your time.
Picture four: Robia LaMorte: Best known as Jenny Calendar or Pearl. Jenny from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Pearl when she was dancing and touring (yes I meant Touring, not Wh....) with Prince (the artist). I met Robia only last year and again with my mature eyes I observed a lady in the business. She was pleasant, not snooty and was even just walking around the show when not signing autographs. I took my digital camera (never had one before then) and she was more than happy to smile and pose. I guess it’s what they do for a living anyway. She signed a photo (black and white) of just herself, "To Paul, "drawn heart" Robia LaMorte" What a tough business these people are in. Best of luck Robia - it was fun to meet you.
Now as the saying goes - A picture is worth a thousand words. But I have these four in a row on top of a bookshelf facing my writing computer and, through my memories of each brief encounter, these signed pictures have provided me far more than a thousand words each.
I can’t actually put a word count on the inspiration they have given to me and continue to provide today. In fact, I don’t even want to.