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Published:October 24th, 2006 04:16 EST
Giving Birth To A Dancing Star

Giving Birth To A Dancing Star

By Sean Stubblefield

It has been occasionally wondered, Where were you when *blank* happened? Blank " being some major national event " usually a tragedy, like when John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King, Jr. were killed, or when the 9/11 attacks occurred.

Where were you when Gene Roddenberry died? Do you recall? I remember where I was, what I was doing.


On October 24, 1991, I was walking that evening through the Sam Houston State campus, on the way back to my dorm room " during my first semester-- after a half-day`s work at Wendys across the street. Passing two guys going in the opposite direction, I overheard them talking. What I heard made me stop suddenly, stunned. I turned around and called to them, asking if I had heard right, reluctantly knowing that I had.

Excuse me. Did you say Gene Roddenberry died today? "

They replied in the affirmative. I anxiously quickened my pace, wanting to verify this unhappy information. When I saw their report confirmed in the news, there were even brief tears. I was aware that Gene had been in bad health for a few years already. But he was only 60 years old. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet Gene, but I have admired the man and his mind since I was 15, and was/ am grateful to him, for him. So it saddened me that he was no more.

And 15 years ago this day. I was, and still am, a big Star Trek fan. Gene Roddenbery, as we know, invented Star Trek " which had a major salving presence in my life. I am also a fan of another of his sci-fi story concepts, Andromeda, which was later made into a TV series by his widower, Majel Barrett.

Beneath Gene`s composed, self-effacing exterior, there churned a very passionate, chaotic soul, who noted that Mankind will reach maturity on the day it learns to value diversity " of life and ideas. To be different is not necessarily to be ugly; to have a different idea is not necessarily to be wrong. "

Eugene Wesley Roddenberry (August 19, 1921- October 24, 1991)


In the authorized book entitled, The Last Conversation (With Gene Roddenberry), Yvonne Fern, a close friend of his, writes: The first day I met him, I asked him what one sentence he would like for an epitaph. Without hesitation, he replied, "He loved humanity` ".