Now, you can see pretty much up to this point that, as an ordinary guy, I’ve been fortunate enough to have run across a nice handful of celebrities. But this encounter really got me thinking. I went from commercial space to outer space all in one day!
While working the swing shift at the Max Factor Building one night just after the maintenance crew had locked the back entrance that led to a parking lot that people going to the Chinese Theater (which was right across the street from the Max Factor building)used, George Takei strolled up to the main lobby desk and asked if he could cut through the building to the parking lot. His voice was low, and having been a Star Trek fan for years, I recognized him immdeadiately. I appologized for not being able to let him through to the parking lot. He wanted to avoid the crowds. I told him I understood.
We spoke for a few minutes, and as we were speaking, I had remembered that I had my camera with me in the small backpack I carried with me that held my lunch and some other things to do during the slow times at the post. I asked George if I could take his picture, and he said sure. When I went to snap the picture, it froze. I was shattered and embarrassed. Just earlier on the same day I had snapped what turned out to be the last picture on the roll of film on the Chuck Wagon Dog. No more than 30 feet to one side of me was a gift shop that had a gate across it. I asked George if he couldn’t get Scotty to beam a roll of film to me, as we both laughed. He could tell I was trying to make the best of an embarrassing moment and told me, “That’s ok…even though you didn’t get my picture, I’m sure you will remember meeting me more now. And to tell you the truth, I cherish those moments more than keeping them on film. I have them in my mind.”
He was absolutely correct. However, I still felt embarrassed because I ran out of film, so I made a promise to myself that I would always keep an extra roll of film and extra batteries in my backpack. That way I would never miss another opportunity to get a picture. I had no idea what luck I would run into and how many pictures I would end up with.