By Michael Lewis
For those hoping to read about the beautiful game in this column, sorry, you will be disappointed. Besides, it’s good to have passions in life, such as soccer and science fiction, among others.
With today being Star Trek Day – the 55th anniversary of the first show ever on NBC – I thought it would be appropriate to reveal the time I interviewed the Great Bird of the Galaxy, aka Gene Roddenberry.
In 1981, I had the opportunity to interview Roddenberry when he had a talk about Star Trek, past, present and future, at Brockport State. They showed the first pilot of the original series, which was rejected by NBC at the time for being too cerebral.
I was living in Brockport, N.Y. at the time and working for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
When I have spoken to college journalism courses, I have talked about writers meeting their heroes.
Years prior, I got to ask Mickey Mantle two or three quick questions, one-on-one, during a Yankees Old-Timers Day when I was an intern at Newsday. I passed my test then.
This time, it was an extended interview with the creator of a TV series and movie that I enjoyed.
It was a thrill to interview Roddenberry, and yes, I was a professional during it.
Roddenberry talked about the fact a second movie (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) was going to be released next summer.
He added: “We have a very excited future ahead of us.”
As optimistic as he was, little did he know how exciting it would be for Star Trek.
I wrote a piece about it for paper, but because there were some archaic rules about writing for other sections or departments at the time (I was, of course, a sportswriter), the story did not have a byline.
So, here we are, 55 years later; 10 TV series (five in production or viewing, as I write), more than 13 movies, countless books, and literally universe unto itself.
Talk about living long and prospering!