Tuesday, September 16, 2008

1974 article: They Just Keep On Trekkin'

The Scrapbook opens this time to:"They Just Keep On Trekkin'" 1974 article
(Click in images to view full size.)

I clipped this fun article from the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel on Feb. 20, 1974. I was always interested in how Star Trek's fandom generated almost as many write-ups as the show itself. During the period from 1972 to about 1975, after the first convention and before there were any rumblings about the show's revival, the press focused mainly on those "spacy, way-out trekkies" as the newsworthy subject.

This was the first time a single TV show had generated such a devoted and active fan following, and the press couldn't resist their gatherings as a rich source of human-interest stories. The weirder, the better for them, and they often magnified the unusual to such an extreme that the general public began to perceive the fans as truly strange people. It's almost no wonder that my parents were worried about me, although I showed no outward signs of being a fan. Only if you opened my closet or dug into my dresser drawers would you find my Trek-oriented books, magazines, comics, View-master reels, bubblegum cards, drawings, cassette tapes, etc., etc. Most 15 year-olds had a Penthouse hidden under their mattress; I had my Star Trek magazines hidden. My parents were the founders of P.A.S.T.; "Parents Against Star Trek." It wasn't that they had anything against the show, they never watched it... they just had something against me.
Thankfully, this article doesn't stray too far into the usual rhetoric of "raygun-waving, pointy-ear-wearing freaks" as most did (the tabloids were especially guilty), and for that reason I enjoyed it more than usual. The humorous artwork set it apart also. One would almost think that the writer Jim Davis was a bit of a fan himself!
Look for more fandom-oriented articles in the future. They'll make you thankful that the Star Wars fans came along and took the heat off of us as being the weirdest ones out there! :)
Stardate 0809.22 Supplemental Entry: Mystery fan John Ellis located!
Not that he was lost; he knew all along where he was. But in posting the article featured in the entry, one I clipped out of the paper 33 years ago, my curiosity about the fan holding the tribble, John Ellis, was stirred. What had become of him? Did he fondly remember this article? What had he gone on to do in his life? So, I used the tool that detectives of old would have loved to have had; Google. Right away I found someone with that name who was active in the film special effects industry. Sounded about right!
So, I chanced looking like a fool and emailed him, inquiring if he was the fellow in the photo. Here's his reply, beside a current photo:
Dear Fred,
Busted! Yep, that's me...and I don't know that I ever saw that particular article (I have a scrapbook that someone put together for me years ago, and that isn't in it). I'll try and drop by your blog and comment...though I'm pretty busy at the moment. If you feel like plugging our Steve Canyon Tv blog I won't complain...
Thanks again, talk to you soon.
John R. Ellis
Representing The Estate of Milton Caniffhttp://stevecanyondvd.blogspot.com//
Steve Canyon on DVD 2008
Celebrating The Steve Canyon TV Series' 50th Anniversary 2008
Contact me directly for Licensing, Trademark and Copyright issues.

Cool, huh? Another fan that made a name for himself, and in the industry he enjoyed. Check out his IMDB entry to see all he's done! http://us.imdb.com/name/nm0254918/ You've seen some of his work, I guarantee! I look forward to reading his comment here in the future.

1 comment:

John Ellis said...

I just looked at the date on this article...this was from a Miami one day mini-con exactly two weekends prior to our own first big Star Trek Fans United (STFU) Mini-Con in West Palm Beach...wow!

I wonder if I have any pictures taken at this convention...I JUST MIGHT! Or if there are any other news clippings from this to be uncovered?

This is cool...thanks Fred