A moment of serious geekdom: The other day, I noticed that I and a few other people were included in a Twitter #followfriday shout-out from writer Dayton Ward. He is probably best known for his Star Trek tie-in books and is generally a cool dude. He is someone whom I follow on Twitter and with whom I exchange some Twitter dialogue once in a while, and I frequently recommend him to other tweeters. So there’s nothing unusual in the fact that we would mention one another in #followfriday recs from time to time. But what jumped out at me this time was the fact that one of the other people mentioned in that same tweet along with me was Bob Greenberger.
About 23 years ago (goddamn, saying that makes me feel old), I was a fifteen-year-old publishing a Star Trek fanzine. I was also a big fan of DC’s Trek comic book series. Greenberger was the editor of that title at the time. My co-editor and I decided that it would be a spectacular coup if we could manage to get an interview with Greenberger to publish in our zine. Our process of getting such interviews was to write to Trek luminaries and ask them if we could call them on the phone or send questions for written response--remember, this was the mid-1980s, there was no web or email, so this was all done on paper and by the US Postal Service. Usually we would get no reply at all, but occasionally people would respond. We had already done such interviews with authors David Gerrold and Vonda McIntyre by this method (Gerrold over the phone and McIntyre on paper). So I was delighted to get a reply from Greenberger’s office, which seemed favorable toward granting our interview but requesting that we first send a media kit to his assistant (we didn’t know what that was and had to research it), and then arrangements would be made. So there was correspondence and even a couple of phone calls to Greenberger’s office...and it seemed somewhat a hassle to get through the official hoops and actually get the interview scheduled. Then, to my horror, my co-editor, who was getting impatient to get this article done, called Greenberger’s office and left a rather rude message complaining about his assistant and what a pain she was to work with and couldn't we please just bypass her and get to business? Thanks!
I did indeed get a phone interview with Bob Greenberger, but first I had to issue a very embarrassing phone apology to him and his assistant for our zine's rudeness. Looking back on it, I think he understood that we were dumb kids and perhaps had some sympathy for us. He did give us the interview, after all, when he probably should have just told us to fuck off. So anyway, after I saw the Twitter handle @bobgreenberger in Dayton’s tweet along with my own @mbranesf, I think I gasped a little bit. I know I thought to myself, “Could that be the same Bob Greenberger that I am thinking of?” I checked his profile and, sure enough, it was the same guy. My next thought was, “Damn, I hope he doesn’t decide for some reason to look at my profile and somehow figure out that I am that dumb-ass kid who bungled into an interview with him over two decades ago.” I realized that I was a still (quite irrationally) very embarrassed over the details of my encounter with Greenberger all those years ago, so much so that it actually seemed plausible for a moment that he would still remember any of that! Or care about it! When in fact I’m sure he forgot all about it immediately after it was finished, and even if I were to speak to him again now and recount all these details, I am certain that he would have no idea what I’m talking about.
Once I realized how silly my initial reaction was, I felt better about it. Indeed, I felt rather pleased, in a very geeky way, to be mentioned in the same Twitter-breath with someone of that stature and someone so well remembered from my Star Trek fanboy past.
[The image is of an issue that was written by Walter "Chekov" Koenig. I had a copy of it.]