Therin of Andor wrote:
Incredible. You were a part of Trek history and that of Grace herself. Was she as down to earth as I've heard?
When they introduced her on the Saturday morning, she was exuberant, wore a mini-skirt and white cowgirl boots, and was almost shouting from the podium. Her accent was even exaggerated - and a few fans were very underwhelmed that she was "so American". Whatever that means.
When she came out to do her one-hour session in the mid morning, she was still very upbeat, but more down-to-earth. She was warm, friendly, funny and wise. A real hit. And again the next day.
And you know, she ate with the fans at every meal.
She attended the fan art show (and chatted to other attendees about the exhibits). She wandered through the hucksters' room. She was amazing. And she'd traveled economy class
for no official appearance fee.
And when I ran into her in the US in 1984 and again in 1991 she even remembered me!
Grace at Conquest
by Therin of Andor
, on Flickr
Grace Lee Whitney is carried off by an alien (fan Scott Sullivan) at the first ConQuest convention in Brisbane, 1982. Photo by Australasian Post
's Clair Jolliffe. (Sorry about the vertical lines from the 80s-era photo album.)
Boy did I regret not packing my Andorian gear for that
photo shoot. (I was in TMP uniform, with lots of other humans, but our group shot wasn't used. This pic was an impromptu lift after the group shot.)
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this rare 1st hand insight and for the glimpse back to an event that holds happy memories.
I have a friend who has for years worked closely with the comic cons and Star Trek conventions up here in Toronto. He also does all sorts of book signing events and sports memorabilia. He is an encyclopedia of insight into many we've watched on TOS/TNG/ENT and a host of other old iconic shows. He is able to gel well and quickly with many of the performers, having gained their trust given his role of security/chaperone, but unfortunately he does not recall having ever dealt with GLW.
Your recollections of Grace are indeed grand. Its good to know that her kind spirit and humility resonate clearly with those she comes into contact with, and I find it refreshing that those (like yourself) that have met her find her to be down to earth, without all of the baggage one would expect from somebody who has touched a degree of fame and notoriety (not to mention all of her personal struggles).