Ten Forward : Thank You
Date Published: December 23, 2007
Gratitude. It is a virtue most often expressed when there is the appreciation of history. This article is an expression of gratitude to the ten fans who have significantly and positively helped the Star Trek community. Without much reason except their love of the Star Trek narratives, these fans have encouraged other fans to engage the shows or each other. The Star Trek community is better because of their experiences.
#1: Bjo and John Trimble
and John Trimble organized a letter writing campaign that helped NBC's
renewal of the Star Trek television show. In doing so, the husband and
wife team helped Star Trek fans realize that they were of a community.
That they organized the campaign without the benefit of email or the
Internet is amazing. Bjo and John have been married nearly 50 years.
Raising a family has been their greatest accomplishment. As a girl,
Betty Jo would often read science fiction. The narratives were
inspirational to her, which is what Bjo and John have become for other
fans. John has been involved with science fiction from the 1940s. Bjo
and John helped answer the Star Trek show fan mail. Bjo's Star Trek
Concordance was the standard original Star Trek reference. Bjo
Dan Madsen's unique help to the Star Trek community has already been featured in a previous "Ten Forward" article http://www.trekcore.com/specials/tenforward/article5 When fans could not rely on the Internet or DVDs to provide them contact with the stars or writers of Star Trek, Dan was there helping with his Star Trek: Communicator . Dan helped to provide not only information for the fans. He helped there be a community of fans who could truly could communicate with those from Star Trek and each other. Today, Dan has a script optioned by Disney and he may have exciting Star Trek news for the fans next year. Thank you Dan Madsen.
#3 Shirley Maiewski
The theme is here again. Networking before computer networks, there was the Star Trek Welcommittee. The idea was Jacqueline Lichtenberg, with Helen Young organizing. Yet, from 1977 to 1998, Shirley Maiewski, known by friends as Grandma Trek, really shaped the Star Trek Welcommittee. Her team of volunteers answered thousands of letters from fans asking for information on everything from how to send fan mail to learning Star Trek fan fiction. During those years, Maiewski shared her time and knowledge with fans. Unfortunately, she passed away in 2004. Here is a tribute to Shirley http://www.simegen.com/sgfandom/rimonslibrary/cz/cz20/Shirley.html Most especially, the Welcommittee helped fans learn about Star Trek from other fans. Patty Wright, the administrator and web designer of www.walterkoenig.com thinks of Shirley. "Shirley was also the co-creator, co-author of "AU4"...alternate universe 4. It was superb and featured the adventures of an underground 'spy' network that was keeping the universe going. The most amazing thing about her is how she embraced fellow fans....they all became her family, which is why she became known as "Grandma Trek." She was genuinely interested in what everyone else had to say and what they were doing, and gave advice and help freely and without pretense. She was always as excited about what other fans were doing as what she and the 'names' were doing. What I remember most about her is how her home, and it's "Star Trek room" was open to everyone. This room had the largest collection of Star Trek memorabilia that anyone had ever seen at that point in time...she had a Trek museum in the 70's, before anyone else had considered doing anything similar. We'd gather for evenings about once a week to talk Trek, write, sing filk songs. Shirley edited, and gave sage advice, in helping my friend and I write and publish our first fanzine "Broken Image". I truly miss her!" Thank you Shirley Maiewski and the Star Trek Welcommittee.
#4 Joan Winston
Featured with the documentary Trekkies 2 and William Shatner's book about Star Trek fans, Joan Winston helped organize the conventions and perhaps most importantly, wrote about them in her book The Making of the Trek Conventions. Merely tolerated at some literary conventions, Winston and fellow fans helped define the Star Trek convention experience. From guest panels to signing sessions, art contests to costume contests, much of the events they planned are featured in the modern, and unfortunately often impersonal, conventions. Her book The Making of the Trek Conventions is the unique historical document of the era, and modern fans might appreciate learning about how these beginning conventions compare to their modern versions. Thank you Joan Winston.
#5 James Cawley and the Star Trek New Voyages team
Star Trek fans had been known primarily for their written fan fiction. Paper and pen were readily available to every fan. Yet, the era of ubiquitous video cameras meant that Star Wars fans had the advantage of fan films. James Cawley and his New Voyages team changed that with their Internet episodes featuring Star Trek adventures. The most recent fan film, World Enough and Time, is excellent. While the effects are amazing, the real triumph is the narrative. Cawley respects Star Trek, providing fans with adventures that exceed expectations. His has had a 35 year long affinity for Star Trek and recalls attending a 1976 convention as a child where he met Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, and Walter Koenig . He has their signatures from the event among his impressive collection of Star Trek items, which include some of William Shatner’s costumes and Phase II costumes. He has had the idea of Star Trek fan films for decades. "I wanted to be Captain Kirk and film more episodes. When I was in high school I filmed an episode on 8mm with sound that I still have. I’m also still looking for someone who can transfer it for me to DVD!" Cawley expresses joy in his ability to entertain fans in many ways: he is one of the most popular Elvis impersonators in the United States. As a young man, Cawley worked on Star Trek The Next Generation as a consultant costumer. "I called Paramount and asked to speak to William Thesis, and they put the call right through. You couldn’t do that today, yet I talked to him and told him how impressed I was with his work designing costumes for Star Trek. He was surprised that a fan would show such detailed interest and invited me to come out and work with him. It was just unbelievable, but there I was working on the sets of TNG." He hopes that CBS Paramount will someday "grant some kind of licensing to fan films. The quality and the dedication to the product is definitely out there and I’d like to see fan films recognized by the studio as part of the mainstream Trek universe." When asked what surprises him about the reaction to his fan films, Cawley says "Everything. There are people that come from all over the world to help do this. I am stunned that people actually listen to me when it comes to Star Trek, or anything else. I mean, who am I?" Who are you James? Along with volunteers, who you are James, is a person who is helping Star Trek fan films be art. Thank you James Cawley and your team.
#6 Jacqueline Lichtenberg
She is the founder of The
Star Trek Welcommittee, yet most fans know her fan fiction or perhaps
her novels. Her 1960s Star Trek Kraith fan fiction helped
popularized the notion of fans continuing the adventures of Kirk's team.
Her nonfiction and fiction writing helped inspire fans to write their
own fiction. Her SimeGen website provides more about her Star Trek fan
#7 Larry Nemecek
Editor of the Star Trek: Communicator from 1998 until 2005, Larry Nemecek is a fan whose writing talents have provided fans with great behind the scenes information. He has conducted hundreds of interviews with Star Trek actors or writers. He was also a columnist for Startrek.com. He writes two articles for Star Trek for Titan Publishing. He has a story credit along with his wife for the episode "Prophecy." The shuttlecraft "Nenebek" is named after him. Yet, for some, despite these impressive credentials, Larry is forever the author of The Star Trek The Next Generation Companion, this excellent guide started as fan publication, yet was so good it was utilized by the Star Trek writers. Published in various editions, the guide follows the tradition of the Trimble text. Larry's editorials help provide a perspective of Star Trek. Thank you Larry Nemecek.
Playtrek is a group of cooperative fans who from 1997 have shared news and traded Star Trek toys. This email discussion group is friendly, despite a variety of perspectives. It is not unusual for some fans to attend conventions then give away or trade the swag to fellow Playtrekkers out of kindness. Whether a friendly debate or news about Star Trek toys, Playtrekker is community of compassionate fans on the Internet. Thank you Playtrekkers.
#9 Rick Dostie
Rick Dostie is a Star Trek cheerleader. His Treks in Sci-Fi podcasts are positive listening experiences because of his enthusiasm for Star Trek and its themes. That doesn't mean that Rick, or Rico as he is known, doesn't provide criticism. Listening to his podcast is like sitting down with a friend who knows about Star Trek, especially how to actively critique the episodes. His discussions are inspired, telling fans about trivia or social commentary of Star Trek episodes from all the series and movies. Starting September 2005, Rico has recorded 150 plus podcasts with about 1500 regular listeners per episode. Like most fans, Rico is defined by more than Star Trek. He is a husband and father. He enjoys a variety of films or improving his home. Rico told Trekcore.com that "The great people that I have come into contact with" is the best experience with his Star Trek show. The podcast also has a very active forum for the fans. He hopes to keep improving the podcast, such as his all video podcast for show #150. "I'm also trying to get more interviews with various people that have been involved with Star Trek over the years." When describing his favorite Star Trek characters, Rico mentions a connection between the fictional and the real "I tend to be logical like Spock but with Kirk's leadership and command skills with the humanism from McCoy." That quote is a good description of his podcast, because it offers fans good criticism, news, comments, and humor. Thank you Rick Dostie.
#10 Anthony Pascale
Integrity. That is a word that describes www.trekmovie.com Since its launch in the summer of 2006 Anthony Pascale's Trekmovie.com has become the go to site for the latest in the world of Star Trek. The site is unique for its Star Trek contacts, exclusive stories and interviews covering all aspects of Trek. This is especially true for the coverage of the Star Trek Remastered project and the upcoming 2008 feature film. The site is so respected that people like Roberto Orci or Brannon Braga can be found making comments and answering fan questions there. The site has even featured a guest blog from Leonard Nimoy and at a recent convention when Nimoy read fan comments about his portraying Spock in the next feature, he read from the comments on Trekmovie.com. Pascale tells TrekCore.com that he created TrekMovie because he felt that Star Trek was making a comeback and the Trek community needed a place dedicated to reporting on Star Trek instead of just waiting for news to come from other non-Trek focused sites. Trekmovie.com is the thinking fan's website. Thank you Anthony Pascale.