Tuesday, July 8, 2014
To read about my "advertising adventures" in my newly-decked-out SUV, check out wordwhisperer.NET. Too, too funny!
Monday, July 7, 2014
Thank you for your thank you email.
I found out about THE ENDURING LEGACY OF DeFOREST KELLEY at your blog http://almostfamousbydesfault.blogspot.com when I was looking for an e-mail address so I could send you feedback for DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES.
I got lucky. A British seller sold the book for its ordinary price a few weeks ago. Naturally, I ordered it immediately, and now I am a happy owner of your first book about De.
I became first aware of him as Bones in STAR TREK back in the early 70’s. I was a little girl then, 5 or 6 years old. My parents were watching the show regularly and over time I liked the character of Bones best because he was funny and even when he seemed to be angry he was a very kind and caring person. That appealed to me.
My parents were also big fans of the western genre. Shortly after STAR TREK I began to recognize him in in Warlock, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Law and Jack Wade, and Bonanza. He had a chameleon-like quality which I found – and still find – amazing. I have some of his old western movies on DVD, and from time to time I still like to watch them.
I read DeFOREST KELLEY: A HARVEST OF MEMORIES and really enjoyed your book. For you the dream every fan wished for – to get a chance to get to know the man behind the role - had come true. But I think you got even more, because you got the rare chance to get befriended with the real life person who was DeForest Kelley – and his wife Carolyn of course.
It was heart-warming to read about your first meeting in Wenatchee, the coming years and the growing friendship. Being a fan and fangirl myself, I’ve also visited a few conventions (mostly for Stargate and Supernatural), and you’ve described the special atmosphere (which is so typical of these events) very well. It was easy for me to relate to your experiences.
On the other hand, mostly when ‘Krazy Kris’ got involved, I thought: Oh no, she didn’t really say or write these things to him, did she? But you did, and it was funny to read about your own embarrassment after the first ones, or - later on- about your confidence when you wrote to him like duck taking to water. I hope I used this idiom correctly. Otherwise, I wanted to say you became very sure and confident about how far you could go without overstepping some line due to your growing friendship.
I always wondered about what De’s reaction was to your letter after the convention in Los Angeles in October 87’ when he’d outed you as ‘Krazy Kris’. Let me say the letter was just hilarious. I could easily imagine that conversation between you and him. You scolding and threatening him for outing you in public and him being all innocent. I laughed tears while reading it.
I also like that your book is about the little things. You didn’t have big expectations when you came into contact with him at first. For me it looks like you always made sure they could decide how far they wanted to take this friendship. I think it was this respect for their comfort zone which rewarded you with their friendship over the years.
While reading the book I got the feeling you became somewhat a part of their family. They treated you a lot like the daughter they’d never had. I thought it was obvious but then I read you’d never realized it before someone mentioned it to you after De’s death. I found that kinda cute.
But the most personal part is without doubt, part three. But not for the obvious reasons – De’s illness and death. Sure, to read about his last months was heartbreaking. But what surprised me more was how personal it got for me. Your book brought a lot of memories back.
The marriage of De and Carolyn and their described closeness to each other resembled the relationship my grandparents had with each other. During my childhood I spent a lot of time with them, and they became in some way like my second parents. I never lost the deep connection with them so when they both died in 2004 I was nearly overwhelmed by grief.
In 1997, my grandfather had a stroke. My grandmother cared for him at home. His left side was paralyzed and he was bound to a wheelchair. In the spring of 2004 he had another stroke, this one fatal. In October the same year, my grandmother became ill. She was diagnosed with renal carcinoma which had already spread into her lungs. She was given two to three month to live.
She’d always wanted to take care of my grandfather by herself at home. Her first goal was to make sure he would never have to live in a residential care home for the elderly. But when he died, I think she saw her dream fulfilled. She simply had no reason to suppress or ignore the symptoms of her own illness any longer. She had held out for as long as it had been necessary and now she could let go – and she did. She died in October 2004, just three weeks after the diagnosis. They were married for more than 60 years and I believe she just didn’t want to live any longer without him.
I still find it amazing how she was able to suppress her illness for so long. But her deepest wish was of being there for my grandfather. It’s a comforting thought that sometimes the spirit seems to be able to win over the body, isn’t it?
The other reason why the last part was so personal to me was because it showed De’s character. Don’t get me wrong. You can easily see his decent personality throughout the whole book. But it was so impressive to read with how much dignity and gentleness he lived through the last months of his life. Again, he reminded me of someone from my own family.
My granduncle had been very like De. He was a wonderful and very important person to me. He was my mentor and encouraged me to go my way and helped me through some hard times. In many ways De’s support for you reminded me of him. This granduncle was a warmhearted, kind, decent and humorous person. We laughed a lot and he had a great sense for sarcasm and irony, as I do. He was the brother of my beloved grandmother and they were very much alike. They were just wonderful and I still miss them a lot. So your book brought many vivid memories back to me.
I just wanted to show you how deeply moved I’ve been by your book. You shared so many personal details of your life, I wanted to return the favor.
But all I want to let you know is I still remember De dearly. STAR TREK wouldn’t have been the same without him. I really appreciate all the work you are doing to keep his legacy alive.
Thank you again for all of your work to hold the reminiscence of De alive. You do a fantastic job of it.
I wish you all the best,
PS: Maybe I’ll send you another feedback when I’ve read your e-book ‘THE ENDURING LEGACY OF DeFOREST KELLEY: ACTOR, HEALER, FRIEND’. I promise it will be shorter than this was. *laugh* But first I need to finish Terry Lee Rioux’s book ‘FROM SAWDUST TO STARDUST’.