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Old 02-18-2008, 12:22 PM   #1
Frequent Poster
Join Date: Oct 12, 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 29
Default Hollywood Collectors Show Trip Report

Hello !

It was a wonderful and exhausting 3 days. I got up at 2:30am Friday to catch a 3:10am shared van at my house door in Worcester to take me 50 miles east to Logan airport in Boston for a 6am flight. I changed planes in Dallas/Ft. Worth and arrived at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank at 12:30pm. Got the courtesy van to the Marriott, checked in, freshened up, and got to the Hollywood Collectors show at 1:30pm and got right in line for Ernie Borgnine.

I waited an hour, then I waited while Mr. Borgnine took a 30 minute break, then waited another hour and got to see him. It's fun to talk to all the people in line, where they come from and stories, etc. I shook hands with him and said, "Mr. Borgnine, I wrote you a letter in November which you answered right away with a letter and autographed photo." Right away he said, "What's your name?" I said, "I'm Desiree from Massachusetts." He remembered right off and also thanked me for the birthday card I sent him in January where I also mentioned I was making the trip, and rooting for him to win the Golden Globe, and that I saw him on Bill O'Reilly's, The Factor as "Icon of the Week". I also had mentioned I'm looking forward to buying Season 3 of McHale's Navy which will be released on March 18th. We exchanged greetings, and he said, "I know you said you were coming all this way from Massachusetts." I told him how much I appreciate seeing him in person and how great it is to meet him and how much I appreciate his work. He was very appreciative, too, such a sweetheart of a guy, thanked me so much for coming out. We exchanged some other words. I chose a picture and got an autograph made out to me. He had two assistants with him, a lady by the name of Joyce, I believe, and another gentleman, and both of them knew I was coming, and I met them. I also met Karen Cadle, the agent who booked Ernie for this event, and who I exchanged email with in prior months. It was all very special. Then, Joyce took a photo of me sitting next to him with our arms around each others shoulder/back. These are the ones I am developing for prints, slides, and also CD for jpgs to email. I'll get them in a week to 10 days. I knew I was going to come back and see Ernie again the next day. Can't fly 3000 miles and see him just once !

Then, it was 4:15pm, and I went to several others and was done by 5:30pm. Prior to that, I did stop and buy an original 1963 comic book of McHale's Navy. I never knew comic book episodes existed ! It cost $30, but it'll be fun to read, and it's an original in excellent shape.

The others I met, spoke with, got autographed photos from, and got pictures taken with were, Steve Kanaly (Dallas), Larry Storch (F-Troop), Joan Leslie (Jimmy Cagney's wife in Yankee Doodle Dandy among many other great films), George Kennedy (know him from so many roles), Bernie Kopell (Love Boat and Get Smart), Ed Asner (Mary Tyler Moore Show among so many roles), Pamela Sue Martin (Dynasty and Nancy Drew).

I met some others to chat like Ed Faulkner, John Saxon, Jon Provost, Ty Hardin, Carol Lynley, Kathleen Hughes, Richard Hatch, Richard Herd, etc. I'm a big fan of Richard Long from The Big Valley, Nanny and the Professor, and earlier roles in 77 Sunset Strip, and Bourbon Street Beat. When I saw Carol Lynley I told her I also knew her from a guest appearance on The Big Valley. She said, "Oh, my God !" She couldn't believe I knew these things, and that I remember she had a crush on Heath Barkley in that episode and who wouldn't ! She laughed. I also spoke to Kathleen Hughes. She was in "Cult of the Cobra" with Richard Long. She mentioned he was the sweetest to work with, as dedicated a professional as you would know. She said he was a joy to work with and a lovely man through and through. We both wished he was around today to sit next to her and also sign autographs. I knew Ed Faulkner from so many John Wayne movies and sited so many of those. He just couldn't believe I knew the names and years, etc. We all know John Saxon from so many roles, Jon Provost from Lassie. They had a Lassie there as well ! We know Richard Hatch from Battlestar Galactica.

When I met the celebrities, they all want to know where I come from and what I do, and I tell them about the computer design and development engineering work, specializing in custom ASIC and FPGA design development. They can't believe I came all the way from Massachusetts. They are all so appreciative that I knew them, and knew their work, and could site specifics and details. Joan Leslie, George Kennedy, and Larry Storch thought I was about 25 years old. I didn't tell them to add 20 years ! With others like Ed Asner, etc, when I talked about Mary Tyler Moore Show, I mentioned I watched it as a little kid, so they could deduce from that around what age I was, but with the others it didn't come up, so they just looked at me and thought I was in my 20's. I know I'll appreciate this more and more as the years go on. It was very complimentary.

In addition to meeting them the first time on Friday, I also went back early Saturday morning to see them again and express appreciation for them coming and to just talk more.

I talked to Steve Kanaly at length about Ojai and where he is and Larry Hagman on the mountain top. He said Larry and Linda did the show in 2004 as we know. I told him I saw Larry at the Performing Arts Center in Cerritos in late September last year. Steve was interested in the format, and I explained what Larry did. We talked about the great chemistry between him and Susan Howard on Dallas, and that I wrote her and got a letter back and autographed photo. Steve showed me his paintings.

Larry Storch was amazed I knew the F-Troop character names and who played what. We talked about how great the TV shows were, how entertaining, how great the classic TV show DVD sales are, such a business. I told him how much we appreciate shows like this which we watched when we were little, or if we weren't around yet or too young, watched as repeats in the 70's on TV. His wife was with him and she was fabulous.

I talked to Joan Leslie about all the Golden Age of Hollywood stars I watch so much, like Gable, Tracy, Cagney, Robert Taylor, Cary Grant, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Glenn Ford. I sited films and studios and dates and Oscar winners, she just couldn't believe it. I told her, it's the seasoned veteran actors and actresses like her who I want to spend time with and appreciate greatly. I told her how much her work meant, and how great Yankee Doodle Dandy was. She said Jimmy Cagney was just heaven on earth. He was such a dancer, and a wonderful man. She said they started filming that movie on December 7, 1941. She was another who was also interested in what I did and where I came from. They really care about the fans and so appreciate this interaction.

George Kennedy choked up when I sited so many of his films and roles. He said, "when I meet someone like you, I really like to talk to you a few minutes." He just couldn't believe we cared so much and knew of him and his work. I told him that I'm not out here to see Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt. I wouldn't waste the time. I also said even if they were there, I wouldn't wait in line. I told Mr. Kennedy it's credible actors like him who we enjoy and how have entertained us for decades. It's his quality of work that interests us, not the actors of today. I told him I watch news and sports on TV, that's it. Otherwise, something on history channel or discovery or something like that along with TCM which is great. I told him about all the videos I have of so many golden age movies, quite a collection, and classic TV DVDs. I said it's people like him who are the real actors who we enjoy who have brought us so much entertainment, and that he is very much noticed, recognized, and appreciated. His work stands the test of time. He just choked up. They think we don't know them. They think they've been forgotten. They are so surprised by the outpouring. Mr. Kennedy really appreciated it. He said, "It's people. That's what we've got now. It's people." They really appreciate this fan contact. It's a big boost to the veterans in their 80's.

Bernie Kopell was just astonished that I flew out from Massachusetts. I said the same thing, that I wouldn't do it for the actors of today. Love Boat was a fun show that my parents, brother, and I watched on Saturday night at 9pm on ABC. He couldn't believe I remembered. I also talked about the characters, and he sees them often. I also know him from Get Smart. I remember watching re-runs in the 70's. All these videos are out. It's a huge business. He sees his co-stars from the Love Boat all the time. I asked him what it was like doing the series. He said, "it was just heaven". This happens with all of them I talk to. You just see them pause for a moment and stare into space and take themselves back to the time and remember it so fondly.

Ed Asner was amazed at how a group of us could site the different movies and shows that were represented in the photos on his table. I also remembered "The Gathering" and "Rich Man, Poor Man" with Peter Strauss where Ed won an Emmy. I also told Mr. Asner that I just love Ted Knight. He nodded bigtime and said, "Funniest man I ever knew". We wished he was there to sign as well. I also told him the same I said to George Kennedy about all the classic roles and how great his role was on Mary's show, and it was just so funny. They just don't make them like this today, and he agreed. I told him how I always watched Mary's show on Saturday night with my family. He said, "And I'll bet you weren't missing anything else out there in the world, were ya ?" I said, I sure wasn't. I gave him a really firm handshake like I do all of them. Again, they always like to know where you are from and what you do. They really feel the sentiment. He was another who so appreciated all the fan contact. He said, "I'm overwhelmed".

I told Pamela Sue Martin that I wrote John Forsythe a letter in November and he replied with an autographed photo in December and I was on cloud 9. She said she visited him some months ago. I said I would write him at the same address with a print of the picture taken with me and her, and send it to him with a letter, and I'll bet he'll get a kick out of it, that I met her at this show. She said that would be fabulous, that Mr. Forsythe's wife makes sure he gets all his mail and handles it, and that she's sure his wife will bring it up next time Pam visits.

As I said, I went back the next morning early and made the rounds with all of them again and expressed my appreciation to them for coming and how nice it was to see them in person, how greatly we appreciate it, how it was an honor to see them, etc. They all remembered me as "Desiree from Massachusetts". Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Asner and Mr. Kopell said, "Oh yes, I remember you, we had a nice conversation. Hello Desiree from Massachusetts." Same with Steve Kanaly and Joan Leslie. She said it was so kind of me to come back over. They just can't get over the fact that we know them and care about being there to see them in person. I saw all the others again, too.

I saw Ernie Borgnine again on that second morning and bought another autographed photo and photo taken with my camera. His assistant Joyce took an extra one of us with a different pose which was really nice of her. I really thanked him again, and Joyce, and the other gentleman assistant, and agent Karen Cadle.

I never been to anything like this. It was fabulous. I saw Ray Courts and his wife in the airport waiting for a flight like me early in the morning. He said they have Chicago in a month. It's not as big. They get more when they do it in Burbank in the celebrities back yard. They will have Debbie Reynolds in Chicago. He said the next Burbank show will include Celeste Holm, Lyndsey Wagner, and they are working on Shelley Long.

I got up at 4am on Sunday, left the hotel at 5am for a flight to Dallas that left before 7am. There was so much bad weather in Texas the day before with thunderstorms and tornado warnings that the flight had been cancelled. They were on our plane. So, it was full and with a heavy load. We waited on the tarmac about 15 minutes while they unloaded "a few thousand pounds of gas" as the pilot told us, so we could fly. Great flight back past Edwards Air Force Base, over the Mojave Desert, over the Colorado River, could see Grand Canyon and Monument Valley in the distance. I've been there to both, gorgeous. On the way out, we flew over them. Also, the saw the meteor crator hole in Arizona. Saw route 66 which I've driven on, and flew over Flagstaff and over the Painted Desert. Nice and clear going into Dallas. No problem on the second leg to Boston and home to Worcester. I was exhausted ! It was a great three day weekend. I was on the ground in Burbank from Friday noon to Sunday morning, and I made every minute count !

I'll email pics in a week to 10 days when they are ready.


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Old 02-19-2008, 01:43 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 30, 2001
Location: Massachusetts state home for the bewildered
Posts: 1,098

I attended the show this past Saturday and was amazed by how well Mr. Borgnine looks. For someone 91, he could certainly pass for someone in his 60's. An extremely cordial and pleasant gentleman. I was there when the show opened and left not too long before it closed. All day long he was smiling and laughing and having a great time meeting the fans. He and Peter Falk had the longest lines.

In addition to telling him how much I enjoyed his performances, and what a class act I thought he was; I also told him how much my kids are now enjoying him as the voice of Mermaid Man on Spongebob. He laughed and commented that "How's that for a career, from Marty to Mermaid Man."

A terrific guy.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:23 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 12, 2007
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 29

I spoke to his agent, and she said she had to get him to take a break. On Friday, I was in line when he did that, and it was only a half hour. He was there on time both days and stayed and never lost his energy. His agent told me that neither he nor George Kennedy thought they'd have people know them and come up to them. She said to me that she told them, "you just wait". I emailed her yesterday and sent her my trip report as well. She said she was going to call all of them today and thank them.
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