I watched STAR TREK sporadically during its original run but like many others I became a Trekkie during the massive "Star Trek Lives" era of the early to mid-seventies. I bought the fanzines, stayed up way too late to watch the reruns, praised the cartoon even though deep down I knew even then that everything but the writing sucked. I even attended my first STAR TREK conventions in 1975. In 1976, however, came the ultimate (to that time) Trek Geek event, THE WORLD OF STAR TREK, a live touring lecture with the Great Bird of the Galaxy himself, Gene Roddenberry. Like John (Q) DeLancie later on, Roddenberry (unable to recreate the magic with subsequent series attempts) had decided to cash in on his STAR TREK fan base by touring, showing off a few rarities (in this case the then-unseen original pilot in its original form) and recounting some perhaps apocryphal stories connected to the series, its actors and its creation. The whole thing was captured on an LP, which got a lot of press but as I recall was very hard to find. Roddenberry was a savvy producer but not the most mesmerising speaker in the world. Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum did NOT sell out that evening but there was a good-sized crowd in attendance. A return visit a year later was cancelled due to increased activity on what would become STAR TREK-THE MOTION PICTURE. I exchanged my ticket for a copy of a L'IL ABNER reprint book.
Around the time of his death, there were two thick biographies--one official and one unofficial. The official one portrayed him at times near sainthood whereas the unofficial one delighted in detailing naked cocaine parties in the Jacuzzi. As with most folks, I figure the truth was somewhere in between. He created a truly GREAT TV concept that led to even greater ones and inspired even more. In the end, that's something to be respected!