Seven years ago today, my friend DeForest Kelley lost his battle with Stomach Cancer.
Seven years ago today, I lost a dear friend
DeForest entered my life at a Star Trek Convention. From that simple meeting, the first time I made him laugh, I knew I had met an amazing man. He, along with Carolyn, made me feel special. Made me feel they cared. Made me feel as if I mattered.
I know many may not bother to read the following poems that DeForest wrote (since they are Star Trek related) but, since I've told stories concerning him and since I've posted many pictures of him before, I thought I'd remember him today, the anniversary of his passing, by posting something he wrote. (3 somethings actually)
I wish that everyone has the opportunity in their life, to meet someone as nice as De.
Poems by: Jackson DeForest Kelley..
The Big Birds Dream...
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away,
There lived a big bird nesting on a play.
He thought if he could hatch it and get it on the air,
He'd make himself a fortune and build himself a lair.
The day finally came and the story was born.
He let out a cackle: "No more corn!"
He flew from his nest with the play in his claw,
Certain to sell it, for it had no flaw.
The story he hatched within this yarn
Took place on a ship as big as a barn.
Not only that, it was in outer space,
Far removed from the human race.
Its crew searched the universe for worlds unknown
To teach and learn and not try to own.
Not only that, they built a new nation
This time known as The Federation.
All of this, taking place in the skies
On a starship known as The Enterprise,
Now wouldn't you think, with a plot like this,
The big bird had what couldn't miss?
Well, he landed in Burbank on Hollywood Way.
And headed east, to sell his play.
Things weren't as easy as he thought they'd be
Particularly when dealing with NBC.
The Enterprise crew was one of a kind,
Superb in their work, with good things in mind.
Difference in color and difference in race,
Green, white, yellow and token black face.
At first, the black was not to be,
'Til the big bird screamed at NBC:
"It's either she or I," he began to yell,
"Who knows who's gonna ring whose bell?"
With great reluctance they agreed to say:
"Okay, follows, we'll do it his way."
At a later time, on another day,
They'd the first to boast they went that way.
Most who read it said: "This bird is nuts!"
But there was one among them possessed with guts.
"Let's go with this bird, loud and clear
He's saying things people should hear."
"Let's give it a try and hope it will work."
So spoke the head of the big network.
So the pilot was made and they all took a look
"My God!" they shouted, "he's filmed a book!"
Another one yelled, "It's too far out!
I don't understand what it's all about!"
But the one with guts had a grin on his face,
Now he was ready to state his case.
"Far out?" he said, "I liked what I heard,
And I'm still gonna go with this crazy bird."
So they made another pilot with a change here and there,
And finally, they got it on the air.
The big bird felt a sense of elation
After so many days of complete frustration.
But now he knew the big job was done
And he was proud of his fine new son.
One thing was left for the big bird to do:
Find a name for his dream-come-true.
He gave a big party so the brass would appear,
To name this dream he held so dear.
When they party calmed down and the feeling was mellow,
The bird stepped forward to christen this fellow.
"Left your glasses," he said out loud,
"I've got a new baby of which I'm proud."
He took an IDIC from his hand,
The symbol he'd created for the change in man.
He placed it tenderly around the small neck
And, in a mellifluous voice, said: "Star Trek."
The brass with guts jumped up and down
"My God!" he said, "what a sound!
How did he think of such a name?
It's commercial as hell the name of the game!"
Well, the public loved it but the Neilson was low
And they tell the networks what to show.
The word was out for all to hear
Star Trek dead after second year.
The rest is history, as you surely know.
For you, the fans, saved the show.
The millions of letters you sent to the brass
Simply knocked them on their ass!
But after one more year they put it away,
Not knowing it would rise in syndicated play.
Then came conventions and letters and toys,
Reruns and rating and lots of noise.
Finally the studio was heard to say:
"We'll remake Star Trek another way."
"How will we do it?" one of them said,
"Not as a series, the re-runs aren't dead."
"Let's do it as a movie, a special, or a play
For heaven's sake, let's do it some way!
Precious moments are flying by
The actors are aging and soon may die."
"Are they still available or should we re-cast?
Without the originals, how long would it last?
Go get the big bird he knows where they are
And have him remind Spock he's still not a star."
"We've got to keep their egos down
In case replacements can't be found."
So in flew the big bird, ready to squeal.
Naturally anxious to make a deal.
"First," he said, "we should discuss the star
For all of them probably think they are!"
"Don't be funny," an executive said,
"If that's the case, the whole thing's dead."
"What's with Shatner? How does he look?"
"I don't know but he's written a book.
Seems he wanted the world to know
How he suffered, making that show."
"What's with Kelley, what's with his life?"
"He's living in the Valley with the very same wife!
I know one thing that buggin' him,
He's sick of that line: He's dead, Jim!"
The Dream Goes On...
"Now about Doohan, the one with the brogue."
"Well, he bought a motor-coach and hit the road.
He's grown a beard it's sliver and black,
And he says he wants to keep it, if he comes back."
"What about Takei he flew the damned ship."
"Well, he's into politics a whole new trip.
He had a job on the Mayor's staff,
But they couldn't take that crazy laugh!"
"Okay, okay, what about Nichelle?
The one you said would? ring our bell?"
"She's working for NASA goes all over the nation
Trying to interest women in the space administration.
"They're using the Enterpriseto colonize space
And can't seem to do with without the female race.
She says she's had it in Communications
And want to come back in Public Relations."
"Well, where the hell's Koenig our young Russian lad?"
"Oh, he's writing for films and he's really not bad.
As a matter of fact, if he can be found,
He could be the one to get this off the ground!"
"That just about covers the entire crew.
Majel's no problem, she's married to you!"
"Don't you believe it, not on your life!
I don't make deals with my very own wife.
"And even though she's married to me,
She still commands the same high fee.
And if this show goes, she'll be back, you can bet
I've never written a script without her yet.
"And there's one more actor you've left out
That I really think we should talk about.
I know it's something you hate to discuss
Because it's going to create quite a fuss.
"I'm referring to Nimoy and what he has to say.
He's in New York, doing a play.
He's portraying a doctor and says it's a joy
And he might came back if he could play McCoy."
"McCoy's role?" the executive said,
"My God, man, he's out of his head!
Well, I'm telling you, that really takes guts
The brass will think we've all gone nuts!"
"What about Kelley, if Spock plays McCoy?
He'll just flip if we get another boy."
The big bird spoke with that smile on his face,
The one he wears when he's solved a case.
"Easy, gentlemen, don't worry about that.
I can fix him in nothing flat.
So just relax and calm your fears.
I'll paint De green and give him the ears!"
So that bring us up to where we are today,
With thousands of people gathered to say
"Star Trek Lives!" It will not die
When will someone make it fly?
The Dream Goes On, and on and On...
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away
I think some of you heard me say
“Star Trek lives, it will not die --
And you are the someone who made it fly.”
Well, the studio was in a kind of fix.
They wanted to go #6.
But after we did #5
Paramount’s faith took a dive.
Then they thought of all the press they could get,
And suddenly it become a very good bet.
So they put out the word for the world to hear: Star Trek 6 for the 25th year.
Lots of changes are taking place
Turn around, a brand new face.
It goes to show, you never know --
They even let Mancuso go.
Harve Bennett left in a huff,
Just simply said he’d had enough.
Give him credit, he stood his ground.
I miss knowing he’s around.
He’d been with us since Star Trek 2.
That alone was tough to do.
He was always there to hear you out,
No matter what it was all about.
Another reason for liking him --
He scrubbed the line, “He’s dead, Jim.”
It’s good to know, just “in case,”
We’ve got Ralph Winter in his place.
A better man could not be found.
We thank our stars he’s still around.
Now I’ve got some more good news --
We’ve got Nick Meyer -- how can we lose? It’s good to have someone we know
To see is through this final show.
Star Trek 6 was made for you --
Paramount’s way of saying “adieu.”
Please accept it with deep appreciation
From those of us in the Federation.
We don’t care about a critic’s review.
We only hope it pleases you.
They’ve critiqued our bellies, wrinkles and hair.
We just keep going -- we don’t care.
I don’t suppose they’ve ever been told
That all of us are growing old.
It seems to me the thing worth knowing
Is to simply try to keep on growing.
Now it’s time to check on the crew,
To see what’s old and what is new.
Jimmy’s bought a new RV.
It’s the fanciest one you’ll ever see --
It must have been built for a movie star.
Itlooks just like a traveling bar.
He’s going to move to Washington State
And build a home for himself and his mate.
It’s on five acres, ‘way out of town.
We’ll miss knowing he’s around.
He’s sick of traffic and LA noise.
He wants to relax with Wendy and the boys.
Pocket decided, after taking a look,
That they’d re-publish Walter’s book --
But not before he agreed to relent
And let them use that damned accent.
When George lost his job on the Mayor’s staff
I thought he’d lose that crazy laugh.
But when he’s back on the set, it’s louder than before.
He’s blown twenty takes -- maybe more.
As most of you probably already know,
Nichelle now has a one-woman show.
She’s touring the nation in a variety of roles,
Touching people’s hearts and lifting their souls.
She’s got talent, looks and guts.
She’s out there knocking them on their butts.
We love Nichelle -- she’s very dear.
Even with that thing stuck in her ear.
Bill, of course, is doing 911.
He’s the star, so he’s in heaven.
He always seems to be on the go --
Even has his own horse show.
He works all week and rides on Sunday
And is back on the set the first thing Monday.
It can’t be money he’s going after.
It must applause, joy and laughter.
I hope he’ll always be around
With both feet firmly on the ground.
After all, it’s because of him
I have that line: “He’s dead, Jim.”
Remember that Alien with the pointed ears
Who gave me trouble for 25 years?
Who wanted to die in Star Trek 2
And have the impression he was through?
But boy -- did he do a turnaround
When he heard that money sound.
He not only decided he would not defect,
But wanted to act -- and direct.
He’s just crazy wanting more.
He directed 3 and also 4.
Now he’s back as Producer/Actor,
A very, very important factor.
For I never thought that I’d see the day
When Spock would control my movie pay.
Even so -- I’ll never get rich --
Because of that green-blooded son-of-a-bitch!
But I can’t kick about my life.
I’m happy in the Valley -- with the very same wife.
Finally and foremost there’s my dear friend Gene,
The man responsible for this whole wonderful scene.
It’s it strange how one person you know
Can change the wayyour life will go?
He will always be a part of my life
Even tho’ my nurse became his wife.
All of this has been said in fun
And not intended to hurt anyone.
You are the reason we’re all here
To celebrate this -- our 25th year.
I always thought Star Trek would just “be” --
Something constant, such as the sea.
But, like all good things, this too must pass…
So -- I’ll see you often, in the bottom of my glass!