Wednesday, July 20, 2005

SCOTTY ALWAYS BEAMED BIG SMILE

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by Elaine Meinel Supkis
I loved Scotty, from far away. When I was a teen, I wanted to be Spock but I wanted to play around with Scotty, he had access to the guts of the Enterprise. And he was tons of fun. Well, a girl could dream!

Scotty has been beamed to another time and another place. We don't have a way of contacting him now. So we must all say, farewell, we loved ya, hope to meet again. He lived here with us terrestrials for 85 years and had a very exciting and amazing time. Some of the news stories cover this pretty well, so let's cut to them. From the BBC:
James Montgomery Doohan (he shared a name with his most famous character) was not, in fact, a Scot but a Canadian. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1920, his early life, like that of his contemporaries, was dominated by World War II.

Doohan's wartime experiences were every bit as hair-raising as his fictional fights with the Klingons. As a captain in the Royal Canadian Artillery Regiment, he lost a finger on the first morning of the D-Day landings in Normandy.

He then saw a tank, which was carrying his substantial winnings from a cross-Channel card school, blown to pieces before his eyes.

Besides this, his aerobatic exploits, which included nearly crashing his aircraft in Holland while taking "a look" at a German U-boat, earned him the title of "the craziest pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force".
Um, I see movie material here! His life was pretty exciting.

From the Associated Press:
He was among the Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one that took off his middle right finger (he managed to hide the missing finger on screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. Fortunately the chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.
His life wasn't only exciting, it was positively charmed! They say there are no atheists in fox holes. Well, the one most people pray to probably is Lady Luck: "Please, don't let that bomb fall on me!"

I am particularily charmed by the fact that after winning a lot of money on the ride to his fate-filled battle in Normandy, Lady Luck did an exchange: she took his winnings but let him beat the odds in the most important crap shoot of them all.
The powerfully built Doohan, a veteran of D-Day in Normandy, spoke frankly in 1998 about his employer and his TV commander.

"I started out in the series at basic minimum_ plus 10 percent for my agent. That was added a little bit in the second year. When we finally got to our third year, Paramount told us we'd get second-year pay! That's how much they loved us."

He accused Shatner of hogging the camera, adding: "I like Captain Kirk, but I sure don't like Bill. He's so insecure that all he can think about is himself."
The Pigs in Space charater of the captain, Link Hogthrob, was a wicked take on Shatner. Miss Piggy, in her tell-all interview gave him a good black eye.

Scotty talked about the "Beam me up," jokes. He never tired of them. He had the patience of a saint.

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