Thursday, December 18, 2008
Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, died today. She was 76, and had been suffering from leukemia. She's the only person to have appeared in all Star Trek series. She was second in command, "Number One," in the original pilot, moving to the role of Nurse Christine Chapel in the original series. She reprised the role of Chapel in the animated series, and voiced the computer in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise, as well as in many of the movies. She also had the recurring role of Lwaxana Troi, in TNG and DS9. I met her once. She was appearing at a Star Trek convention in Savannah, and I had the pleasure of seeing her there. But I got the chance to meet her after the convention. When everything was done, everyone was getting ready to leave. My brother-in-law -- my Big Sister's husband -- was tired of it all, and sat down in a chair outside the elevators. I joined him, while my Big Sister wandered around trying to find some Star Trek stars she could bother. My brother-in-law and I sat there, talking. We've know each other a long time. He and I knew each other years before he and my Big Sister ever met. Suddenly, the elevator doors opened, and out came Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, trying to lug around several pieces of luggage. Turns out she was ready to go, and the person who was supposed to meet her and get her luggage was late. So, she grabbed them, dragged them onto the elevator, and pressed the "Lobby" button. As she struggled to get her bags out of the elevator, we jumped up and offered to help. She was a little wary, but mostly frustrated that her assistant wasn't there to have her luggage transported for her. Her wariness was relaxed somewhat when she found out that one of the men offering to help was a chief of police (my brother-in-law, the Chief). She got everything where she needed to be, and went on her way to her next destination. I liked the fact that she was a determined lady. She needed to go somewhere, others weren't cooperating, and she made it happen anyway. And, no, carrying one's on luggage isn't a big deal. But, heck, I don't know that I'd like carrying that many bags around a hotel myself. If you're a Star Trek fan, you understand the loss we're feeling. If not, just know that a funny, determined woman has left us. I'm sad.