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Are there any Trekies out there? (1986)

1986-06-04 Indiana Jewish Post and Religion.jpg

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I seriously doubt if many of the crowd to whom I'm writing are big Trekie (Star Trek) fans, but you might remember some of the people that have crossed my path recently anyway.

I've mentioned in the past that a friend of mine, Michael Forest, is an actor who has starred in several movies and soap operas in the past. At the moment he is filming the new Dino De Laurentis remake of King Kong called, Kong Lives. I suppose that they want to keep doing it until they get it right. Anyway, Michael invited me to attend a convention called Dexie Trek which was being held by his fans in Atlanta. There were thousands who attended and I could not believe how many of these conventions that they have around the country constantly.

Folks, I have got to tell you that it was the most bizarre weekend that I've seen in a long time. Interesting, but strange. The Fantasy Costume Contest was not to be believed. People kept coming up to me and telling me what a great tan I had. Actually, I don't think that it's so terrific. It's just that everybody was so pasty. That's what happens when you watch as much television as that crowd did. Most of them could have used a few weeks at a weight loss spa. That came as a result of staying home too long and watching television while eating popcorn. But, they also seemed to be very gentle people and almost like a family...in their cult like feelings about those they had come to see.

One of the more interesting guests that I had a chance to speak with was George Takei who played Lieutenant Sulu on Star Trek. He was born in Los Angeles of Japanese descent. I tried as hard as I could but frankly, I just couldn't find a Jewish connection. Mr. Takei may not look Jewish but he is a very interesting man. He is a runner who when in training for a marathon runs 70 to 80 miles a week. He also has aspired to a political career in California and came within three percentage points of winning a seat on the Los Angeles transit board. Preservation is another of his high priority interests. That is, when he's not acting or writing. His second in a series of three books has recently come out. They cover a span of three generations which are based on his family.

He has written about a very important part of his life and our country's history when he described the relocation of the Japanese during the Second World War. It was a shameful time in our nation's history, and one which affected him deeply. According to Mr. Takei, it mattered not that his family were natural born American citizens and loyal to the United States. They, along with the other Japanese in the United States during that time, were uprooted from their homes and businesses and suffered along with the rest.

He described one of his earliest memories of his mother taking her babies by the hand and being transported by MPs who were carrying bayonettes to relocation camps in the swamps of Arkansas. They had no charges against them. Yet, by virtue of his mother's citizenship, she was party to unknown crimes.

With sadness he related to me, "I remember waking up in the middle of the night and seeing my mother at the end of the room, huddled in a corner, crying. She and my father were arguing because she decided to renounce her United States citizenship. He didn't want her to." As a result of this action, his mother was sent to a hart) core camp. And, because of that his father insisted that he be sent along with her so that the family might stay together.

With pride, Mr. Takei told me, "For this decision to renounce her citizenship she was to be deported. But, to where, Sacramento? That's where she was born." His mother's brother incidentally volunteered for service in the military and was wounded in Italy. And now, he has written a book on this interesting family.

I spoke with Peter Davidson who stars in the BBC long playing hit, All Things Great & Small. And, as Dr. Who, in the science fiction spoof of the same name. He told me that he was from England but his family originated in British Ghana. His father was raised by a Jewish aunt and later that side of the family moved to America, Israel and Venezuela.

My favorite at the convention was John Nathan-Turner who holds the record for being the longest-running producer of Doctor Who. Also, at 32 he was the youngest producer in the BBC and today, at 38, still holds the record. It was interesting speaking with him and he spent quite a bit of time filling me in as to how much of the top talent at the BBC in London are Jewish. Have you ever noticed when the credits are run from films in Hollywood or New York how much the same holds true? Even he had a tad of Jewish influence. His father's mother was Jewish but unfortunately she gave up her religion to marry his grandfather.


Spelling corrections: Dixie Trek, Peter Davison

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  • APA 6th ed.: Peck, Arlene G. (1986-06-04). Are there any Trekies out there?. The Jewish Post & Religion p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Peck, Arlene G.. "Are there any Trekies out there?." The Jewish Post & Religion [add city] 1986-06-04, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Peck, Arlene G.. "Are there any Trekies out there?." The Jewish Post & Religion, edition, sec., 1986-06-04
  • Turabian: Peck, Arlene G.. "Are there any Trekies out there?." The Jewish Post & Religion, 1986-06-04, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Are there any Trekies out there? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Are_there_any_Trekies_out_there%3F | work=The Jewish Post & Religion | pages=9 | date=1986-06-04 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 November 2017 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Are there any Trekies out there? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Are_there_any_Trekies_out_there%3F | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=19 November 2017}}</ref>