Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Bewitched/Star Trek Companion Cusp

Years and years ago, when I was a child and through my early tweens, I went for frequent grocery shopping trips with my Mom and Dad to Wegmans Supermarket in Gates Chili, New York.

Wegmans was and remains an iconic staple in Rochester, Western, New York and now, in some other parts of the country. And these early weekly Wegmans jaunts with my parents always proved noteworthy and fun. We lived in the inner city and, at the time, from my then-perspective, Gates Chili was like visiting Beverly Hills.

Be that as it may, on one particular Wegmans trip, circa 1971, as my Mom and Dad ventured into the produce department, I journeyed over to the magazine and books section. "I'll meet up with you later," I relayed to them.

In only seconds, I found myself catching up on all the Hollywood news, and the newest available cars, as advertised in magazines like Motor Trend, and Car & Driver.

But then, suddenly, I saw it:

The World of Star Trek by David Gerrold.

I couldn't believe it. It was a whole book about one of my favorite TV shows of all time - with pictures and everything. And not just images of scenes from the show itself, but "behind-the-scenes" illustrations, and "updated" photos of the Trek stars.

I HAD to have the book, which was priced at 90 cents.

So, I quickly checked my pockets.

But I was short a dime.

I raced through the store in search of my Mom and Dad.

Couldn't find 'em.

I was desperate to purchase the book. And I couldn't wait the additional hour it would take to have my parents complete their basic shopping needs, and check out the book with them.

I wanted The World of Star Trek NOW.

So even though I only had 80 cents, I stepped in line at one of the cash registers, hoping that if I continued my search, somehow, another dime would show up in my slacks.

But alas, once I arrived at the cashier, it was a hopeless thing. I would not be able to purchase TWOST until my parents finished their grocery gait.

At least, I thought I would have to wait until then.

For ahead of me in line, there was a kindly old woman in a wheel chair who noticed my intense search for that extra dime. When she saw how I devoted I was to buying that book, she reached into her purse and said, "Here ya' go, Honey. Here's the extra money you need. Now, you go buy your book."

I was so elated, and so touched, appreciating so much what might have seemed to others as so little.

I thanked the elderly saint, purchased my book and ran to a bench at the front of the store.

For the next hour I read that book, and was completely fascinated.

What's more, as I was engulfing every page, I was thinking about another favorite TV show other than Star Trek.

I was concentrating on Bewitched.

As I sat there, in trance, reading David Gerrold's literary media mosaic, I said to myself, "One day, I'm going to write about Bewitched how this man has written about Star Trek."

And twenty years later, I went on to do exactly that...because of my parents, Wegmans, David Gerrold and a kindly, generous old woman who could spare a dime.


Elaine said...

The story about the old lady who could spare a dime is so, so wonderful!

Herbie J Pilato said...

It was a wonderful and defining moment in my life. God bless David Gerrold - and God bless that sweet elderly soul...