Tonight’s Menu: We chat with Kristine M. Smith, author of DeForest Kelley: Upclose and Personal, and friend of DeForest Kelley.
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Tonight’s Diners: Scott, Miles, and M.
If not for a question I couldn’t answer back in 2000, this book probably would never have been written.
When DeForest Kelley’s biographer Terry Lee Rioux asked me, “How did you go from being a fan—on the outermost reaches of fandom—to being at Mr. Kelley’s bedside when he died?” I was struck speechless. Finally, I responded, “I have no idea. That’s something only De could answer. I can’t speak for him.”
Terry persisted: “You know the answer. You just have to connect the dots…”
The question pestered me. My 30-plus year association with DeForest Kelley had all just seemed so miraculous to me. That’s because I still hadn’t come to grips with the reality that De and Carolyn Kelley weren’t just being kind to one of their most ardent fans. I had become a friend.
Terry’s question led me to re-visit the scores of journals and four behemoth three-ring binders that I had filled with the conversations I had painstakingly recorded after each visit and call. You wouldn’t think—as crazy about the Kelley’s as I was—that I would have forgotten a single moment. But I had.
This is how I discovered, for the very first time, the path that our friendship took.
My hope is that my memories will bring you as close to meeting “the real McCoy” up close and personal as I was blessed to experience.
Kristine M. Smith