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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.
Ok... I've gotten a few requests for the details behind this, so here it is:

Like most good stories, the truth of what happened probably isn't quite as interesting as the aftermath, but here goes...

about 7 years ago, I was at a small (dare I say... dinky?) convention in Glenvar, VA. Unless you live within 20 miles of there, you've probably never heard of it... No big deal. The convention was Rising Star and it's held at Glenvar High School each year. Rising Star was one of two cons that emerged in SouthWest VA after RoVaCon imploded. The other one is SheVaCon, which is much larger and a lot more fun, but I digress.

So anyway... I'm at Rising Star, back in 1998 and it's the first con I had been to in probably 10 years. I'm in the dealer's room, which also happens to be the "meet the famous people" room. Actually most cons I've been to seem to do it this way. I guess for the predicatable foot traffic. Sorry... I'm babbling. So I'm wandering through and I see Erin Gray (Wilma from Buck Rogers, and whatshername on Silver Spoons). Erin Gray is a really sweet lady who donates pretty much every cent she makes at these appearances to various charities, and is beloved by all at Rising Star. She's also pretty damn hot for being as old as she is... (seriously, I'm pretty sure she has grandkids by now...)

ok ok sorry... so anyway she's there, the lady who played Nova on Planet of the Apes is there, etc... and as I move along through the room... I see... yes! Buck Rogers! w00t! Ok, well sorta... I see Gil Gerard, who was the guy that played Buck Rogers. So, I can feel my inner fanboy taking over at this point, I go up to him and introduce myself and proceed to tell him about how Buck Rogers was my favorite show when I was a kid, and how I never missed it and blah blah blah.... I'm sure he'd heard it a thousand times already, but regardless... here he was, and here I was and nobody else was around so it's not like I was keeping him from talking to someone more interesting... if anything I was keeping him awake... (sorry... I know) So... I'm talking to him and he just kinda looks at me and says... "yeah... right... so you wanna buy a picture or what? you know... one that's not already on your arm?"

{ok... those of you who have met me get this... the rest of you have probably just figured out that I have a lot of visible tattoos. This was back before I finished the sleeve on my right arm, so there was still a little bit of original pigment visible back then.}

Well... I have to admit not many things have actually stunned me in my life... but I found myself mometarily speechless. I just stared at him for about 10 seconds. As I did this, the fact that he was once Buck Rogers faded away right before my eyes and what I saw before me became little more than a corpulent, run-down has-been who has been reduced to hawking crappy black&white photos (taken 25 years ago) at $20 EACH. Unlike Erin Gray, he didn't even attempt to hide behind charity... this money was going directly to Denny's that evening.

I continued staring at him... in utter disbelief. This was a childhood icon. A hero. MY hero. My dad had called me Buck for probably 8 years of my childhood... based on THAT show... based on THAT disgusting man. Ok... I use the word disgusting like he was a child molester, which to my knowledge he wasn't.

{Although... come to think of it, as of this blog entry, there is now Google juice for buck rogers, gil gerard and child molester. Good thing I didn't mention pedophile also. Oops!}

Anyway... I keep staring at him... and as my shock begins to wear off, I just shake my head and walk away. Sadly, I did not insult him that year. But I have every year since. Apparently Mr. Gil Gerard, who is probably NOT a child molester or a pedophile, has nothing better to do than go to Sci-Fi Cons every year (since god knows he isn't making any movies or tv shows).

and since I apparently don't have much better to do either... I keep running into him. So now, I've made it one of my annual objectives. When I go to a con, if he's there (and he was always at Dragon*Con... every time I was there) I make a point of coming up to his table and insulting him. I don't bother with an explanation, or a long dialog. Just a quick remark, a smile and maybe a taunt. Kind of like that guy in the Hitchhikers Guide series that goes around insulting every living creature in the universe... except I limit myself to just one person. (Ok.. I know... I don't actually limit myself to just one person... but you know what I mean.)

I realize he probably has NO CLUE who I am. I'm sure he doesn't remember meeting me initially. I know this means way more to me than to him, but I'm ok with that. I enjoy it, and it makes for an interesting story. Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 5:56 AM General Interest | Back to top



Comments on this post: ok fine...

# re: ok fine...
Requesting Gravatar...
so you turned him from a hero into kind of an arch-nemesis so that he could still figure prominently in your life.

hmm.....


good solution!! and great story :)

now i can sleep at night.... (well i still toss and turn worrying about Rory but who doesn't?)
Left by George on Sep 13, 2005 7:31 AM

# re: ok fine...
Requesting Gravatar...
Rory... lol
Left by chris williams on Sep 13, 2005 7:36 AM

# re: ok fine...
Requesting Gravatar...
sounds like he "remembers" you now, on at least a yearly basis.
Left by Timothy Lee Russell on Sep 13, 2005 7:52 PM

# re: ok fine...
Requesting Gravatar...
btw dude, if you haven't already - google your boy and pedophile - 1st result.
Great Job!!! Awesome!!!
Left by Tony on Sep 15, 2005 1:27 PM

# re: ok fine...
Requesting Gravatar...
HAHAHA!!

I checked the other day, but it wasn't there yet... I'm glad to see it is now!
Left by Chris Williams on Sep 15, 2005 3:05 PM

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