#RIPArleneMartel

After the shock of losing Robin Williams yesterday, I was so sad to hear the news of Marlene Artel’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting her last spring at the Chicago Star Trek Convention. She was an absolute delight. In honor of her memory, I decided to share my previous post this evening:

Arlene Martel

Arlene Martel

Arlene Martel was the first celebrity I saw at the Star Trek convention in Chicago in May 2013. I passed her in the hotel lobby with a fairly large man accompanying her. She was so elegant, with her striking good looks, dark hair and large sunglasses. At first, I thought she was Joan Collins. She nodded to me and said, “Good morning.” I was agog – a celeb spoke to me! But who was she? Would Joan Collins actually make an appearance? I knew she had been a guest star, but nothing had been said in the emails from Creation about her. When I got in the vendors area, I spotted her and immediately noted the pictures on her table – she was Spock’s wife! It was Arlene Martel! If you don’t know anything about Arlene, please check out her website here. I made my way through the line and finally got up to her. I was trying to decide which photo to buy, and one photo was of her as Spock’s wife in Amok Time. She leaned over and said, “What the hell am I holding there?”

I laughed, looked closer and said, “I think it’s a ring.”

“Oh, yes!” she said as she settled back in her chair. “They had the most fabulous jewelry on that show!”

I leaned forward and whispered, “They didn’t let you keep it, did they?”

“Oh, no, we had no idea what we were making when we were making Star Trek. Like those ears in that photo,” she pointed to the picture of her with Spock, “Those ears hurt so bad and when shooting was over, I ripped them off and tossed them on the makeup table. Couldn’t wait to get rid of them. And someone told me they sold at auction for $35,000. And I threw them away!”

Arlene Martel: In Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

Arlene Martel: In Star Trek and The Twilight Zone

When I finally settled on the photo of her with Spock, we talked about the episode and had a hilarious conversation about Vulcans going seven years without sex. Arlene laughed and said, “Seven years – can you imagine? I couldn’t go seven days!”

Arlene was an absolute delight to meet. She actually spoke with me – not just at me. Asked my opinion about television and movies. I was so impressed with her. She and her husband have written a book about mental illness. She was such a delight, I can’t imagine her having any struggles. But after meeting her, I want to read more about her.

Rest in peace, Arlene. I am honored to have met you.

5 Things I Learned at Planet Comicon

There are nerds everywhere. There are other people just as nerdy as me. Nerdists, unite! It was so much fun to see other people just like me, who work normal jobs, have a family, and who truly enjoy immersing themselves in the imaginary world of sci fi and comics and fantasy. Even in the hotel bar Friday night, where the Big 12 Tournament fans were gathered, we found other sci fi fans who we talked to about the merits of this franchise or that franchise, the deep meanings imbedded in Star Trek, and a bunch of other stuff. Mary and Bob, it was nice to meet you!

Cosplay at Comicon

Cosplay at Comicon

I’m not too old to do fun things. People at Comicon don’t care how old you are. There’s no such thing as being too old to do something. If you want to dress up as a character from Star Wars and build and race R2D2 units, go for it!

Age is irrelevant. There were folks there younger than me, and folks there older than me. I was able to chat with an elderly woman who could scarcely contain herself as she waited in line to meet Lee Majors just as well as the teenage kid who built his own Starship Enterprise out of plywood and PVC pipe.

There’s a club for that. I was amazed at the club presence at Planet Comicon. There’s a group of folks that build R2D2 units (I’m soooo going to build a pink one . . . ), steampunk groups, Star Wars “dark” clubs and Star Wars “light” clubs. No matter what you are into, there are others out there just as into it as you are. Find something you like, get involved and meet other people who share your interests.

Art doesn’t have to be hoighty-toighty. Art is so much more than incredible works from the likes of Picasso and Monet and Manet. The comic book artists at Planet Comicon were sketching and drawing and coloring things that I would be proud to hang on my wall. There were metal sculptures, tiny fairy figures, costumes, bags, wall hangings. My very favorite booth, though, was a guy from Colorado who paints these amazing Star Trek and moonscape oils. We ended up buying a couple of prints from him, and our favorite is now hanging in our dining room.

Art by RICK MITTELSTEDT

Art by RICK MITTELSTEDT