Monday, May 4, 2009

I Met DeForest Kelley 41 Years Ago Today....

Flashback, May 4, 1968

Wow! I just realized it's May 4th.
I met DeForest and Carolyn Kelley for the first time on May 4, 1968, 41 years ago today. Never would I have dared to dream, on that special day, that this meeting was a God appointment and that the Kelleys would figure into my life in the way they have and always will.
It seems like a fairy tale dreamed up by a school girl. But DeForest Kelley and his wife Carolyn helped make it all come true for me, as they did for so many others.
I have a three ring binder here at home containing copies of De's important papers. I have the list he wrote for me of the addresses and phone numbers of his closest friends and relatives, the people he wanted me to call as soon as he passed away so that I could give them the sad, unexpected news and they wouldn't have to find out on the radio while driving home or on the TV after they got home. I have a copy of his personal address and phone book. He wanted me to have all this for the biography I never wrote. (I loaned it all to Terry Lee Rioux so she could do the honors, because I'm an anecdotal writer, not an historian.) I have lots more... andI will find an appropriate repository for all of these artifacts -- a museum that "gets" and truly honors his importance -- and pass it along to them when I'm sure I have found the right one. Terry is helping me decide because she's the historian. I just pulled it out of my archives because I remembered that on the cover of this (very sentimental to me) three-ring binder is a poem I found and placed there, because it pretty much says it all. It reads, in part...
by Martha Snell Richardson

The things you loved I have not laid away

To moulder in the darkness, year by year;
The songs you sang, the books you read each day
Are all about me, intimate and dear.
I do not keep your chair a thing apart,
lonely and empty, desolate to view --
But if one come a'weary, sick at heart --
I seat him there and comfort him for you.
I do not go apart in grief and weep,
For I have known your tenderness and care.
Such memories are joys that we may keep,
And so I pray for those whose lives are bare...
Perchance so much that now seems incomplete
Was left for me in my poor way to do,
And I shall love to tell you when we meet
That I have done your errands, dear, for you.
OK, I'm in tears. This poem reveals the soul of what my two books about DeForest were written to accomplish: I wanted to finish the loving errands that sickness compelled De to leave undone, to let his fans, his friends and his co-workers know that he loved them more than they would ever be able to accept or realize.
He was simply and truly sum'pin' else, my friends.


Anonymous said...

I hope you have Clora's ring too. Hopefully you have it and it wasn't sold at auction or sumpin. If you do I hope you keep that.

Kristine M Smith said...

Sadly, I don't. De had to take it off because his finger was too skinny to keep it on anymore, so he placed it somewhere (I don't know where) and I never saw it again. My hope is that he put it into his safe deposit box or somewhere else so that a Kelley nephew could get it. They deserve it. It's a family heirloom

Anonymous said...

I did not think he had any family left, as Casey has already died, unless he had children...

Kristine M Smith said...

He has two nephews, Casey's two sons Michael and Eugene.

Lisa Hamner said...

I forgot to wish you a happy De-versary yesterday. So I'm wishing it now!