A Farewell to Debz

Mrs. Freed's 5th Grade Class, 1968

My sister in-law Debbie lost a fight with cancer a couple of days ago. She is the Girl Scout in the second row; I am a couple of rows behind her and slightly to the left. This was the only group photo from my grade school years that was in color. Maybe that’s why it still looks modern to me…yet the picture will be 45 years old in a few months.

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Here is a picture of Debbie from a few years ago, posing with the Guardian of Forever. I’d like to have a picture taken on this set! My mom worked on every iteration of Star Trek, from the first season of the original series through to the last TV series about nine years ago. I’ve written about what it was like being ten and going to the Star Trek set for the cast and crew Christmas party in December 1968. Nobody dreamed the show would become a titanic money-making franchise back then.

City on the Edge of Forever is one of the best episodes from Star Trek’s original series. It also offers a splendid glimpse behind the curtain of the “creative” process of network TV in the 60’s. In a nutshell, Harlan Ellison’s script was rewritten in ways that made the finished product more respectful to authority than Ellison’s. City on the Edge of Forever still is a classic episode, one in which everybody in the cast is good – in part because for once they are working with some really good material.

If you’re curious, follow this link and watch the whole episode right now. Maybe somebody can explain to me how it is that the show is available on CBS, since it was on NBC originally. It still is a little novel to see the original Star Trek series in color; we didn’t get our first color set until 1972. What’s up with this apparent preoccupation with color vs. black & white pictures? Maybe I should get into some black and white photography during the second half of 2013!

Reverend Gary Davis wrote a number of great songs. Here is my favorite performance of one of these songs, from one of the Grateful Dead’s finest live shows.

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