You probably all heard about the tragic death of Andrew Koenig, the son of Walter Koenig who played Mr. Chekov on the original Star Trek series. It was a horrible, senseless tragedy and my heart goes out to his family. I can't even imagine how they must be feeling.
Thinking about Star Trek and Walter Koenig made me think about the days when I used to go to Star Trek conventions. I had a flash back to a story that I had forgotten all about. (To all those people who only know me as as cool, sophisticated, and suave person that I am now, it must come as a complete shock that I was once a geek. Take a moment to compose yourself, then read on.)
Anyway, I was attending a convention, maybe in New York, and Walter Koenig was checking into the hotel at the same time I was.
A gaggle of little boys, maybe 6 or 7 of them, around 8 years old or so, were in the hotel lobby at the same time.
They spotted Mr. Koenig, and near hysteria erupted. Cue a bunch of little boys running around the hotel lobby, barely able to contain their excitement: "MR. CHEKOV!!" "IT'S MR. CHEKOV!!" "LOOK, LOOK, IT'S MR. CHEKOV!!!".
Mr. Koenig was just as sweet as could be to them. He signed autographs, answered their questions about how the Enterprise ran, and generally had the patience of Job.
While all this was happening I saw a couple walk in with their little boy who was about the same age as the other boys. The boy was walking a few feet behind them, and they walked right past the gang of boys who were hanging around Mr. Chekov.
Walter Koenig, not knowing that this boy wasn't with the original group, he reached out, toussled his hair and said, "How are doing today, buddy?"
The little boy looked up with him with a look of terror that I'm sure Walter thought was awe at meeting one of his heroes, maybe a little speechless and shy over seeing a big star in the flesh.
Only I knew it was a look of "Oh-my-God-this-is-one-of-those-guys-my-parents-warned-me-about-and-here-he-is-grabbing-me-in-hotel-lobby-while-my-parents-walk-away-obliviously" looks.
I really thought that when the kid caught up with his parents, he would start screaming about some pervert who tried to grab him in the hotel lobby, so I stuck around to be a witness to let the cops know that Mr. Chekov wasn't groping random boys who walked by him.
But the boy caught up with his parents and didn't say a word about the strange guy who manhandled him in the foyer.
But I hope Mr. Chekov knows that, even if it wasn't needed that day, I'll have his back if need be.