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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Walter Koenig, aka: Pavel Chekov, aka: Alfred Bester

Who, out there, can believe so many years have gone by, since Star Trek was on television that Walter Koenig (the beloved Chekov of Star Trek fame) is now 73 yrs old!

Hello?! 

How can the cute little Russian from Star Trek be 73???  When did this happen?  Where did time go??!!!  ARGH!!!

I first met Walter at a convention in Florida in the 80's; over the years I've accumulated a number of Walter's signatures..

  Here's one from Star Trek

..  he began when he was only 31  yrs. old.. such a baby, and such a baby face!

 

(above: is a great little script Walter wrote. It's a chat between "Walter Koenig and Pavel Chekov" I actually saw him read this aloud. He went in and out of the character of Chekov so fast it was incredible! I could swear his face changed from Walter to Chekov too!)

Then there was Babylon 5

( he played Alfred Bester from 1994-1998)

 

... He even signed a photo I took myself.

(unknown year)(he wrote: We've got to stop meeting like this!)

Anyway.. I found out that Walter has signed to do the Chiller Autograph Show that I go to here in New Jersey in April.

So if he shows up at the Chiller Show, the last thing I need is another autograph.... but.. but...  I've been thinking (*big mistake*) and wondering.. I mean, I don't have his signature on a book. 

But.. do I need one?

Of course not.

Will I get one?

Mmmmmmm, maaaaybeeeee...  :o)

I have three of Walters books. His autobiography: Warped Factors: A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe (actually, I just sent for it) , Buck Alice (a yellowing paperback) and this one:

 

I adore this book. With THIS cover.  I smile just looking at it. 

At first glance you might be able to tell that there is something not quite right with this book.

.. at second glance, you have to admit it.  It's not lookin' good.  It is beginning to look like I used the "warp" tool on it in my paint program.  But I didn't ! The only *warping* is done by Walter .. in the book!

And then there's the third glance.  Yuck!  Many pages are stuck together and if you turn the pages many are ready to break away from the spine of the book. It's stiff and brittle.  It's been quite some time since I found this book like this and I have no idea how the book managed to get horribly wet but you are viewing the result of it. 

Yet I can't part with it... it brings smiles to my face, I can't possibly toss it out.  This is the book where I learned just how funny Walter's mind is.  It made me like him all that much more.  I mean, after all,... he's Chekov! I adored his character!  But that was just a character.  Then I met him... several times over a number of years.  He was nice. I like him as a person.  He used to come out and walk around the dealers rooms and anyone could approach him and he always responded with a smile and conversation.

So I thought, and thought, and then searched and searched for the exact copy of the above book.  There was another addition released but I liked this cover.  I've found one or two of them.. on ebay and I don't have paypal, so that's out.  When I find them else where they are generally the other cover or "no photo" and no ISBN number that I can tell it's the same book.. or, it's not listed as being in good condition. *sigh*

Let me tell you that this book is a journal Walter wrote while filming Star Trek the Motion Picture.. Now that you know that, let me give you a small excerpt page 28 (once I unstuck the pages!)

3:54 pm        Back on the set.  We're all gathered on the bridge now, around the conn for the group shots.  While we wait for the Rinky-Dinks, Baby Juniors and K-Tens (lights) to be positioned, Bill illustrates dramatically the myriad problems he foresees in climbing in and out of his command seat.  Everyone quietly stands and watches as Bill takes center stage and pleads his case; animated gestures, irresistible eye contact, moving oratory.  In all, very theatrical, very convincing.  Those who must contend with the changes he seeks nod hypnotically !  We all not hypnotically. We're all his audience.

There are reasons why some actors are leading men, get the girl and captain starships... even ten years later.. while others eternally push buttons.  For the first time that eerie feeling of familiarity for times bygone begins to creep up my neck.  Despite myself, the words escape my lips: My God, nothing has changed!" DeForest is standing nearby. Out looks hold for a moment. I can't be sure he is sharing my experience.  I would like to believe he is.  It's lonely being the only one who understands such profound concepts.

5:30 pm         I've finished with another costume fitting and am on my way home.  I've only been at the studio for six hours, but I feel exhausted.  I feel like I've been on the film for months.  It would seem that in recreating my role I am also recreating the circumstances surrounding it.  In our series days I was always drained after a long day at Paramount, and now, back at Paramount, back on the bridge, back as Chekov, I'm back being tired.  Somebody should do a treatise on the psycho-neurotic nature of fatigue.  Oh, well, nothing scheduled for Friday.  I have all day tomorrow to rest up from my memories.

I have some time before the show so I will continue to search for a copy that is in good condition and I can afford.  But if I don't get it.. I'll survive lol.. it's not like I don't have Walter's autograph!

Before I forget, I want to leave some links to Walters Books:

Chekov's Enterprise  

Warped Factors: A Neurotic's Guide to the Universe     Autobiograpy.

Buck Alice And the Actor-robot  

Raver (comic book. one of three)     yes, Walter wrote a comic book! A trilogy no less.         

I guess you'd say Walter has been on my mind since I saw he was coming to NJ in April.. then Carl, with his Sci Fi Experience, started mentioning the Star Trek franchise, and I found that I couldn't get Walter off of my mind... I sure hope he doesn't cancel for any reason, I'd love to see him again.  I did see him 3 or 4 yrs ago when he did this same show.  I remember I was helping Kevin McCarthy and while having a short break I went over to Walter.  I hadn't seen him in years, so my approach was expected.. "I don't know if you remember me, but I was a friend of DeForest and Carolyn's".  I was shocked by his answer, "Sure I remember you!".. and we proceeded to talk about De and past times.

All this Trek talk made me remember all those years ago when I met first met Walter in Florida. 

And then again at other conventions.  (numerous conventions!)

I remember being shocked when Walter was rushed to a hospital and had quadruple heart bypass surgery.  And I remember the first time I saw him after that surgery... he was quite thin.. but that special smile was still there.

I also remembered the time DeForest brought me on the set when they were making Star Trek 6.  That was the ONLY time I met Pavel Chekov.. in uniform!

We were both much younger back then.  

We didn't have gray hair back then.. or many wrinkles! 

Walter is one of the good guys, and he always appreciates his fans.

If you are interested, here are a few links to find out more about Walter..

News about Walter!  (very interesting!)

IMDb

Wikipedia Biography

Appearances:  Florida      New Jersey       Canada         Spain

10 Comments:

Blogger animewookie said...

Wow! 73, but I bet he still has that baby face.He seems very witty. I love a good sense of humor.

8:21 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

animewookie: If he does indeed do the show I will let you know! lol

8:41 AM  
Blogger Bookfool said...

He doesn't appear to have aged at all, judging from the photo at the top of his news page. Such a cutie.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Wow, that was a trip down memory lane, Pat. LOVELY post. I simply cannot believe that Walter is 73 though. He must have older than I thought when he was in the orignal Star Trek. Good luck with seeing him in April. I'm sure he'll turn up.

3:05 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

bookfool: well he did loose his hair and that always makes one look older, which is why he generally always wears a hair piece.

Cath: yeah no kidding! Walter and George (Sulu) were the first ones I met from Trek and they did cons prolifically! lol.. but they were both fun, and very nice to all their fans

3:09 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Well he just sounds like such a cool guy!! It's great that you're going to get to see him again :) Y'all are becoming like old friends ;)

2:21 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Chris: not quite but old aquaintences for sure... I hope he doesn't cancel. keep you eyes open for that book in case you come across a good copy somewhere!

4:56 AM  
Blogger Kailana said...

I wouldn't mind reading his autobiography. I will be interested in your review of it! He was always one of my favourites from the show. It is pretty crazy that he is 73, though!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

Of course you need his autograph on a book!

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Ken S said...

Guess who recently appeared in a great NEW episode of Star Trek?

Walter Koenig agreed to appear in the web production Star Trek: Phase II if they would get D.C. Fontana to write the script. And write it she did. It's an extraordinary story starring Chekov in the way that Koenig wanted to present the character. It is an outstanding performance by Koenig, maybe his best.

This special new episode of Star Trek (with a whole new cast) can be found at www.startreknewvoyages.com and the episode is titled "World Enough and Time." If you're a fan of Walter Koenig, you will not be disappointed.

1:25 PM  

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