Thursday, April 26, 2007

Once In a While.....

Once in a while I get an email from a De fan/reader that puts me on Cloud 9. I got one two days ago and have been corresponding with the sender ever since. Her name is Barbara (Bobbie) Bobstein. She and her husband Joel are "Southerners by transplant" (former New Yorkers).

Meet a sweet, sweet lady (with her permission, of course)

Dear Kristine,

It has taken me nearly 8 years to come to the point where I could bring myself to read about the life of DeForest Kelley, who was so dear to me. I chose to read Terry Rioux's biography first, followed by yours. As, I'm sure, with most of your readers, I was moved to tears very often by your touching narrative. Thank you so much for your devotion to a great man and his message. Because his very nature made him stand out from the crowd, I like to say that NO ONE who really knew him could ever say, "I can't see DeForest for de trees!"

I constantly try to do the "De-thing" and hope that, when it is my turn, I can bow out of this life with even a fraction of the grace and heart that De showed all through his life.

Though I have come to learn his story rather late after his passing, because of you I shall not forget it. Hopefully, I will get to hear you speak in person, one day. In all of my 62 years, I have never written this kind of letter to anyone (sadly, not even to De) but it is most befitting that I start with YOU - as I will now carry you always in my thoughts. AND, should you ever find yourself near Charlotte, NC, please know that there is a warm hug, a welcome home and Southern Hospitality awaiting you here (and THIS - coming from recently transplanted New Yorkers!!!)

Meanwhile, you are wished continued success and I respect you as a very special person with very special memories!
Barbara Bobstein

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I wrote her back right away, of course. How could I not? Her email made my day, my week, my month! When I did that, I got this response from her (entitled "shock and awe" :) )

Dear Kristine,

You have, seated here before you (though merely in words), one very astonished lady! I am told I have a good imagination but I could have never fabricated a scenario (you may have a bit of deja vu, here) where my small email could have encouraged such an immediate and enthusiastic response! I only saw my letter as a droplet in a rising river of congratulatory messages to you. I likened your e-address to a gateway by which you could receive input from your readers as well as warm support. I NEVER thought the gateway was on a two-way street!!!

To sit down at my computer and see your answer only just HOURS after I had written, really shook me up! I couldn't fathom how, with all your work, writing and commitments pulling you in 87 different ways, that you had time to stop and make time for ME! For you to express that my comments were meaningful and to ask me to "stay in touch" was certainly beyond anything I expected ... and then I realized - THAT WAS YOU! That was the Kris Smith that GOT to me throughout your book - and now to me, personally. STAY IN TOUCH, you say - well, that is something I have always done in life with folks I care about ... and I will definitely do that, since you have asked. In an opposing mini-echo of your OWN experiences, I do NOT have anyone around to chastise me about "driving you crazy with incessant letters and leave the poor girl alone"!!!

My husband, Joel, I'm sure in some ways, doesn't know what to make of this. I know he was puzzled when I just "dropped off the radar" 11 days ago to read both the Rioux book and yours. He did not see me crying in the bathroom after each one. He has, though, helped me weave my way through the procedures at so I could paste and edit my "review" - an honor to be asked and a pleasure to do that for you!

Two last things - Firstly, learning of your dear Deaken and other pets and how you have noticed that other De Fans are also animal lovers, certainly holds true in our case. We have always had birds of one sort or another. (Incidentally, "eons ago" as a Girl Scout co-leader on Long Island, we took our troup to tour the North Shore Animal League facility - awesome!) We now have 2 talking birds; a 25 year old Yellow Naped Amazon named Duffy and a 4 year old caique (pr. ky-eek) called Jasper. Jasper is a small parrot who, opposite from laid-back Duffy, is lively and considers himself the "house goodwill ambassador"! He is always ready to step up on a guest's finger and flash a brilliant smile ... anthropomorphically speaking! Duffy, by the way, is the root of our email-address. Since birds are known to have evolved from the dinosaurs, then, surely, Duffy's ancient ancestor must have been ... yup ... a "duffasaurus"!

And lastly, I must tell you that, in writing my first email, I signed myself very formally by my name Barbara - but, really, everyone has always called me Bobbie. In fact, when I first met Joel, just before entering college, I said to myself, "NO WAY am I going to get serious about THIS guy - if we married, my name would be Bobbie Bobstein! Uy Vey! DUH ... famous last words! And now, nearly 42 years later, the comic strip "Adventures of Bobbie Bobstein" still continues!

So thanks, Kris (for reading all this!), for your kind and encouraging words and the info to look up. Hope you like the Amazon review in its edited form. Indeed, Joel & I will both be keeping an eye out for the possibility of you being within "a stone's throw" from our doorstep. Till next time ...
Bobbie Bobstein

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Have I not proclaimed time and time again that De has the best fans in the world? It is the rarest of DE fans that rub people the wrong way. Good people resonate to good people!

I am blessed to be able to "inherit" the people who loved De and who continue to reflect his love outward to everyone else they meet.

De would be proud!

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