Autograph Hound's Blah Blah Blog

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bjo and John Trimble Star Trek Royalty SDCC 2016

I like to think I’m a jaded collector and stoic (Spock-like) when I meet celebs.  You also know my stoicism fails and I do fanboy at times. I’ve always been very honest about geeking out or speaking gibberish when I meet celebs. Here comes some honesty.

When Star Trek first aired, it was popular but not a ‘hit'.  It was only going to get 2 seasons and then fade to a memory that a few would remember. Our heroes, Bjo and John Trimble, were the people that organized the letter writing campaign that moved Star Trek from a fading memory to a third season.

You are thinking, no big deal. Star Trek got a third season. So what?  Syndication and reruns are all about numbers. A show with 2 seasons collects dust on the shelf.  A show with 3 or more seasons gets seen in reruns on UHF for the next 50 years.  Because of the efforts from Bjo and John, Star Trek did not fade.

The impact of the third season is massive. Let me spell it out for the Star Wars fans out there:

Without the 24 episodes in season 3, there would never been an animated series

No Star Trek:  The Motion Picture

No Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, Deep Space Nine, or Enterprise

No Star Trek Experience in Vegas

No movie for JJ Abrams to direct Chris Pine and Zachery Quinto 

No novels and comic books that numbers in the hundreds

My point, all Star Trek fans owe a tip of the hat to these two. Without them you would not have Trek in your lives.  I truly mean that.

If that wasn’t enough…

I was always a Star Trek fan. My best friend growing up was a Star Trek fan.  It is a bond that has kept us friends for over 45 years. As pre-internet kids, we didn’t have a wiki (or Memory Alpha for the Trekkies) to read on a topic. We didn’t have official websites to visit to learn about the plot or the guest stars.  We had what you saw in the credits.  This was also pre-DVR and pre-VCR. There was no rewind or pause. If you blinked and missed it, it was gone.

Seems other fans were just as frustrated as me. Waiting a few months for the next showing of Amok Time to determine if Theodore Sturgeon or Jerome Bixby wrote the episode was tough.  This is the minutia that Trek fans needed to know.  And Bjo put together the Star Trek Concordance; which I bought with my allowance money and spent hundreds of hours reviewing and reading. It’s safe to say, the Concordance sat next to me as I watched Trek reruns in my room on a black and white TV that could only produce a fuzzy picture and static-y dialogue.

Where I lose the cool…

As a good autograph hound and SDCC attendee, I reviewed the schedule of panels, even if I’m not planning on attending any of them. As I researched, I noticed the Trimbles listed.  My heart skipped a beat. I debated on bringing my tattered and torn copy of the Concordance to San Deigo with me.  I feared it would not survive the journey. Plus it’s heavy. Did I want to carry that around all day, especially if I failed to get an autograph? At the last minute, I decided to take the risk. I would bring my book. Then on Friday, they day of their panel, I would try to get their signatures as they left their panel.

On Thursday, being slightly defeated and already worn out, I actually decided to buy a lunch and sit for a while. I should have used that time scoping out other booths or tracking down another autograph. Instead I wanted to lick my mental wounds.  I had lost out on some raffles and was not a happy camper. Sleeping on the sidewalk was rough and dampened my spirits.

I found an open chair in the Sails Pavilion. After asking if the seat was available, I sat and just looked around the table.  My focus paused on two older people; both were wearing Star Trek pins. My Spidey senses started tingling.  This couple was with 2 other women. I played it cool and nibbled on my sandwich.  I snuck glances at the badges and these old eyes did see ‘Bjo’. I smiled.  Wow, my Spidey senses were right.  It was Bjo and John Trimble. Here with me. At the same table when I was resting my tired butt. I could ‘say’ I was having lunch with them.  The 2 other ladies turned out to be their daughters.

I gave them their privacy and just ate. Then I sneezed. A chorus of ‘bless yous’ rang out.  Dutifully I said ‘thank you’ and I sneaked in, ’What a pleasure to be sitting with Star Trek Royalty’.  John smiled, Bjo laughed, and the daughters goodhearted guffawed. They knew a fan boy was in their presence.

Next Bjo and John started questioning me. They just wanted to know just HOW fanboy I was. Once I mentioned using 3x5 cards to make a list of episodes, I was part of the pack. The next 30 minutes the conversion covered marriage, Forry Ackerman, Roddenberry, and the new movies.  I was in hog heaven.  The daughters were both sweet. They have seen it before and let their parents bask in my awe.

One daughter asked if I had the Concordance with me because now was a good time to get it signed.  I had to admit I was planning on bring it tomorrow for the panel. Then she asked if I wanted a selfie.  I hesitated.  She laughed again. She said, ’You want a selfie but too nervous to ask, aren’t you?’  I laughed and sheepishly admitted that was true.  Then she demanded my phone and told her parents to stand up and take a photo with me.

You might have realized I don’t do selfies very often. I post less of them than I get. I’m not comfortable getting my picture taken. I really don’t know how to smile on demand. It comes out as a grimace.  I had no trouble smiling for these selfies.

I thanked them for the conversation and the daughters both told me it was more thrilling for their parents than me.

After they were out of hearing range, the other people at the table started peppering me with questions about who they were.

The next day, I attended the Trimble’s panel albeit late.  Bjo and John both nodded to me as I walked in. They remembered me!  After the panel, I got my concordance signed. Bjo told the other people in the crowd that this is what it should look it: well used.  If the book wasn’t used, it wasn’t loved. Bjo asked me to take a selfie with her but before the photo was snapped, she looked around for the book.  She proudly held it up for the photo. And guess what, that was 2 selfies in a row that I actually had a natural smile.



  1. We do remember you and enjoyed our company. You were a very cool fan-boy and didn't let on your discovery that we Trimbles are elder fan-people (which is a nice way of saying we are all fan geeks). And though they tried to look and act uber-cool, you could probably see that our daughters are also fan-girls. Thanks for the really fun blog.

    1. I'm so happy you found my blog and thrilled you read what I wrote. Meeting you and the family was the highlight of my SDCC.