I'm looking forward to diving into SURPRISED BY JOY by C.S. Lewis. I found out about this book from Billie Rae Walker, and it arrived in the mail today.
I purchased a slightly used copy at Amazon.com and have already read a few pages but realized that unless I quit reading it right away it would consume the entire evening until bed-time and you wouldn't get a blog entry. I'm not sure that would ruin your night, but hey... in the interest of accountability, here I am again, back like a bad penny!
The task will be coming up with something worth reading about...
I met a man at the Sacramento STAR TREK convention in Sacramento last September named Donald C Szymanski. (I hope I spelled his last name right but God only knows how long it took him to learn to spell it as a kid! I'm so glad my name is Kris Smith!). He lives in Laurence Harbor, New Jersey but I don't think he's ever there!
I get a letter from him every couple of months, usually along with magnificent photos he takes during numerous trips he enjoys every year. In May he's taking a bus trip that will carry him to Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, the south rim of the Grand Canyon, Sedona Arizona, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. And OK, I'm jealous! I'd better get a bunch of photos of that trip, Donald! Talk about a marvelous trip! I'm green with envy! And very happy for him.
I haven't been catching many of the remastered STAR TREKs. It has been so long since Original Trek has appeared in general distribution that I keep forgetting to tune in when it's on here in the Pacific Northwest (6pm on Channel 11 every Saturday)! But the few remastered episodes I have seen are really something else, and as a result of them, teenagers are just now "discovering" De and McCoy (in droves) for the first time, and I'm getting some emails from them or from their parents who went on the Internet to try to track De down. They are disappointed to discover that De has passed on, but that doesn't cool their ardor in the least. They still have lots of questions: Was he as wonderful as he seemed? (YES!) I think my book about De and Terry's biography of De should do a lot better, now that public television has "resurrected him" again.
It feels kind of odd to to be a Kelley "expert" to so many people. De was my friend, and I started out as a fan, but this new "mini-celebrity" thing has me feeling a bit side-swiped! It's beyond weird to me to be asked to appear at conventions, just for starters! It's great fun, I have discovered -- as soon as I get beyond the weeks or months of nervous anticipation and actually step onto the stage and see all of De's smiling fans waiting to hear what I know so I can confirm every wonderful thing they ever heard or thought about him.
I wasn't sure it would be "great fun" the first time I did it, or the second time... I'm not what is generally considered a "stage persona" and I wondered if I would disappoint anyone.
But before long I settle down and am possibly more myself than I am at any other time, because De's fans are so great, so appreciative and friendly... It's possible they meet the "me" that De and Carolyn saw when I'm on stage -- at first a little "star struck" (nervous) but slowly, slowly coming around to being myself as the nerves wear off and I realize I'm among truly good people and have nothing to fear!
One thing that does worry me is that some people may see me as a celebrity. I am so NOT a celebrity! I'd be mortified if anyone felt around me the way they would feel around a gen-u-ine, bona fide celebrity. I'd hate to have to try to live up to the expectations people have of celebrities. De measured up, but he was just one of very few that do. In fact, he more than measured up: his press wasn't GOOD ENOUGH! But that's 'cause he was humble, and a Christian, and didn't go around flaunting his status as an international treasure; he was too busy feeling blessed to realize what a blessing he was!
That's how I feel. Blessed. And if I can bless De's fans in his stead, that's beyond wonderful!