Sunday, November 1, 2015

Log 1031: The Hollywood Show

Oops, I did it again...

I saw Kent McCord! And it was just as wonderful as the first time! 

Last week I told all of you that I would be Code 6 at an undisclosed location. Well, I can disclose that the location was the Hollywood Show in Los Angeles. I can now bring you the full report on my "investigation".


The Hollywood Show

Several months ago I learned through a posting in an Adam-12 Facebook group that Kent McCord would be appearing at the Hollywood Show in Los Angeles on Oct. 31st and Nov. 1st. When I saw the post my initial reaction was, "I must go to this and see Kent McCord again."

But then I started to second guess myself. "Should I really go?" I thought. What if I go and Kent doesn't remember me from when I met him in Kansas City in March? Worse yet, what if he does remember me and he's seen the blog and he hated it and now wants nothing to do with me? I asked my husband and friends for advice and they all told me, "You're being silly, of course he remembers you. And how could he not like the blog?" I mulled it over and finally decided to go with my first instinct, I booked the trip to Los Angeles. Besides, even if Kent didn't want to see me, there would be other celebrities I wanted to meet there like Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer from Hunter; PJ Soles from Carrie, Rock 'n' Roll High School, and Halloween; and JoAnn Pflug a.k.a. Dana Hall from Adam-12.

After many long, agonizing months, it was finally time for my trip to Los Angeles. As I sat on the plane traveling west, I didn't feel nervous like I did when I traveled to Kansas City. I was excited, I was ready to do this, I was "in the zone". I knew it was going to be a good trip, especially after I saw the gate number for the second leg of my trip.

Once I arrived in L.A., I checked into my room that was in the same hotel where the show was being held. That night I went down to the Grand Ballroom for the Preview Night. At the preview I was not interested in buying any of the vendors' wares nor did I want to meet Jan Michael Vincent, the only celebrity in attendance that night. No, my mission was to find out where Kent would be the next day. (That's not stalking, is it ?) I found his spot near the middle of a long table. Morgan Fairchild would be positioned at the end of the table and Kent would be next to her.
There he is, next to Morgan Fairchild.
After a mostly sleepless night I awoke the next day feeling a little nervous. Even after I ate breakfast my legs were still shaky and my heart was pounding. "C'mon, Keely, let's do this," I thought as I walked into the crowded ballroom at about 10 a.m. Still feeling a little anxious, I decided not to immediately rush over to Kent's table. I then saw Fred Dryer towering over all the other attendees and decided I had to meet my favorite cops from outside the Mark VII universe. I walked up to the table and told Fred and Stepfanie that they were the reason I never amounted to anything. Perhaps, if I had paid more attention to my studies in college instead of Hunter reruns, my life would have had a different path. But, then again, I like the path I'm on. So, it all worked out.
I bought this card years ago on Ebay, I'm so glad I could finally get it signed.
Awesome!
Now that I was giddily happy with my signed Hunter photo I decided it was time to swing by and say, "Hi" to Kent before our professional photo together at 11:15. I was still a little worried about how Kent would react to seeing me again, but I quickly learned that all of my worries were unfounded. As I approached his table Kent stopped talking to the man in front of him, looked right at me, said, "Keely!", and extended his hand. "OH MY GAWD!!! He remembered me!" is what I thought as he firmly shook my hand. Externally, though, I played it cool and told Kent I was just stopping by and I would see him when we got our picture taken.

I cruised around the ballroom and marveled at the obvious plastic surgery work, inappropriate use of black hair dye, and teeny dogs in purses and strollers until it was time to for my photo shoot with Kent. After watching him getting his picture taken with three other fans, it was my turn. I had flashbacks of Kansas City as I slid my one arm around his waist and he rested his hand on my other arm. The photographer counted to three and "flash!".
I like the Kansas City picture better. But, I'm in a picture with Kent McCord, so I can't complain!
Now that I had my picture and knew Kent remembered me, I called it a day and went to the mall. Ha, ha, just kidding, I still had celebrities to meet and I had so much to discuss with Kent. Before returning to his table I stopped across the aisle and met PJ Soles. She was great, just as youthful and vibrant as she was in Rock 'n' Roll High School!
She still has bangs! 
I'm a huge Ramones fan, so, of course I selected this photo to get signed.
It was now time for me to return to Kent's table. While Kent was talking to another fan even more fans came to his area and got in line behind me. Knowing that my visit with Kent would not be quick, I let them get in front of me. When he saw me being a good girl and patiently waiting to talk to him, Kent suggested that I come around the table and sit next to him. I almost jumped over the table, but instead I just pushed Morgan Fairchild out of my way. (Not really, but I would have if she blocked me.)
Me, in the coveted "behind the table" spot.
After he signed some autographs I had Kent's undivided attention and it was time to chat. I started by asking him something that had perplexed me and other sharp-eyed Adam-12 viewers for a long time, "Why did Jim Reed's wedding ring disappear in season 5?". Kent thought about it for a few seconds then admitted that he didn't remember. He told me that he himself never wore a wedding ring and probably just got tired of it wearing it on the show. He then revealed that he never thought Reed should be married, he thought it should have been "the other way around" with Malloy being the married one. But, Bob Cinader explained to him that a lot of the young cops in the LAPD at the time, like Reed, were married and starting families. Kent also resisted the idea of playing a married character because he, admittedly egotistically, feared that Reed would not be as popular with the female viewers if he was married. Kent had seen what happened when Ricky Nelson got married in real life and on Ozzie & Harriet, and didn't want the same sort of backlash.
Oh, Kent, a little ol' wedding ring can't stop a girl from dreaming.
Despite the actor's protests, Reed was definitely going to be married. So, Kent went out and bought a ring to wear on the show at "some hippie shop". He wore it for about 5 years then put it in a box "somewhere", where it still remains today. 

A short time after the amazing tale about the wedding ring a man from Indianapolis stopped by to get Kent's autograph. They started talking about the Indianapolis 500, which Kent has attended countless times. After the man walked away, I took advantage of this opportunity to show Kent one of the many eBay purchases I had brought with me. 
This picture of him and Marty at the Indianapolis Speedway, which Kent had never seen before. He liked it so much, he took a picture of it with his phone!
After he signed some more autographs for fans there was another break in the traffic at his table. I took advantage of the lull in activity to show him some more of my collectibles. In Kansas City, I had hoped that Kent did not see the shirtless photo I had of him on my phone. This time I decided not to be so coy about my appreciation of his younger physique. Without hesitation, I whipped out these two beauties:
He also took pictures of these with his phone.
Kent did not remember where these photos were taken, why they were taken, or who had taken them. I jokingly asked if it was really him in the photos. He replied that he knew it was him because of his tattoo. Wait, what? That's when Kent pointed out the faint black mark on his bicep and explained that it was a tattoo of the letter "K" he had done himself at age 11!
Can you see it now?
Wow! What a day this was shaping up to be! After some more people came and went, I decided to pull another item out of my bag of tricks. This time it was a magazine from 1972.
See the top headline above the title? 
I explained to Kent that the headline was much more sensational than the content of the article. The story was all about how Kent was being a little too helpful trying to catch burglars who broke into his house. The police had to tell him to leave the business of catching criminals to them. He got a kick out of the story and was surprised to see that the article didn't come out until 1972 since the actual crime happened in 1968.

He gave me some more details on the story that the article didn't cover. The thieves stole stereo equipment, a toaster, a guitar, and all of his bell-bottom jeans and casual tops. Including an "ugly", as Kent put it, yellow and olive green striped velour shirt he had bought on sale "for eight dollars". Since they didn't touch his sports jackets or dress pants, he knew it was young people who committed the crime. Kent also told me how he caught one of the guys involved. Well, sort of, the guy had already been caught when Kent found him.
Kent liked the picture of his wife that accompanied the story.
He was doing a photo shoot with Marty when he saw a young man enter a house wearing a distinctive velour shirt. Kent knew the man had to be one of the thieves, because he immediately recognized that ugly yellow and olive shirt. He stopped the photo shoot and walked across the street to knock on the door. The man wearing the velour top answered and Kent demanded to know where his stuff was. The thief then explained that they had already been busted by the Sheriff's department and they had all of the McCord's property. Well, almost all of it, the stereo equipment hadn't been recovered. But, that too would eventually be returned to Kent and his family. I'm not sure if he ever got his ugly shirt back, though.

After the awesome story about the burglary, the time had come for Kent to do another professional photo op with a fan. Reluctantly, I let him go. It was the right thing to do, I had already spent almost 2 hours with him. I figured I could share him with some other people. Anyway, I was getting hungry. While Kent did his photo op, I decided to get some lunch. 

After a quick bite I entered the ballroom again, I now decided it was time for me to meet JoAnn Pflug. Imagine my surprise when I saw an old friend at her table!
The Jim Reed and Dana Hall reunion and I got to capture it!
I was then in for another treat, Kent told JoAnn about the blog! How cool is that? I would have loved to know what else these two were talking about, as Kent left to get some lunch I heard him say something about Gary Crosby. Whatever he said, it made JoAnn crack up laughing. After Kent left, it was my turn to spend some time with JoAnn. I got an autograph and a picture with her in her Lt. Dish uniform. She was wonderfully perky and so tall!

The inscription reads, "For Keely! U R adorable- JoAnn Pflug, Dana Hall, Adam-12"! This one is going in a frame!
After I met JoAnn, I wandered around for awhile, then met Linda Gray and Patrick Duffy from Dallas. 



Yes, that's the dad from Step by Step to you '90's kids.
I then wandered past the hotel and bar grill where Kent was having his lunch. He called me over and asked what I was up to. I told him that next up on my agenda was my professional photo op with Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer. He told me, "Tell Fred Kent McCord said hi. He'll probably say, 'Who's Kent McCord?'". I laughed and told him that Fred Dryer wouldn't say that since they did a Diagnosis Murder together. I left Kent behind to get my picture taken with my other former-footbal-player-turned-actor-in-a-cop-show (fantasy) boyfriend.

When I met up with Fred and Stepfanie, they both remembered my name, too! I did tell Fred that Kent said "hi", he did not say "Who's Kent McCord?". Anyway, here is the result of my Hunter photo shoot:
I look a little bit like a manic, armless person standing in a hole since Fred is about 15" taller than me and I'm so dang happy to have my arms around these two. But, I'm in a picture with Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer, so I can't complain! 
Kent and I met back up around 4:00 p.m., I was resting in a chair between the restaurant and the ballroom when he walked past me and said, "Hey, kid". In an effort to play it cool and not appear too eager to sit next to Kent again, I slowly made my way to the ballroom. What I really wanted to do was sprint back to the table faster than Jim Reed in a foot pursuit. 

Now that they show was ending soon, Kent was suddenly busier than ever. And I had still had lots of questions that I needed to ask to him! All of the other celebrities were packing up their 8x10's and Sharpies, but Kent had a line of people waiting to talk to him. At one point I turned to him and whispered, "You're popular now". He got a chuckle out of that. Several of the people waiting tried to give me the money for Kent's autograph. Since Kent was handling his own money, I just shook my head and said, "Oh, you can't trust me with money." Kent thought that was funny, too. One man with a German accent even asked if I was his wife! (Of course, I told him the truth and sadly said, "no".)

During this last hour of the show, one fan came up to the table with a copy of this picture for Kent to sign:
Kent did not have this particular shot among his stacks of Adam-12 pictures available for purchase with an autograph. He turned to me and asked, "Do you like this picture?" I looked at him and told him truthfully, "I like them all." Once again, Kent laughed at my remark.

After Kent had signed autographs and talked to everyone who waited to see him, it was time to go. While he was packing up, I asked him about the other show his fans seemed most interested in, Galactica 1980. I found out this was not one of Kent's favorite shows to work on, mainly because the show started out as one thing and wound up being something else entirely. Originally, the show was conceived as a remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. But, because of it's 7:00 p.m. time slot, the network's Standards & Practices department insisted it be retooled as a more kid-friendly show. If you've ever watched this show, this explanation makes a lot of sense. The 3-part pilot seems completely different from the rest of the series and Kent's story explains why the annoying Super Scouts were added to the show. But, don't let me discourage you from watching it. It's one of those "it's so bad, it's good" TV shows that is a lot of fun to watch. 
You can watch the entire series on Amazon video, but it will cost you $14.95 or you can stream it on Netflix, but they don't have all the episodes.
While Kent continued gathering his stuff, I had one last question to ask him, one that I had wanted to ask for a long time. I wanted to know if Jack Webb had anything to do with his decision to change his last name from McWhirter to McCord since the switch happened right before "The Interrogation". Kent replied that Jack did not influence his decision to change his name. It was Universal Studios that suggested he change it to something people could "pronounce and spell" after Jack Webb told them that he had "big plans" for Kent. Kent thought this was a good idea since his last name had been constantly misspelled his entire life. It's not even spelled correctly in his high school yearbook! He kicked around some different names, then he remembered how a childhood friend would always call him McCorder. So, Kent McWhirter shortened that childhood nickname and became the much easier to spell and pronounce, Kent McCord.

Now that all of his supplies were packed, my day with Kent was truly coming to an end. We left the ballroom together and before we parted, I asked him something I had been slightly curious about. I inquired if he had checked out this blog. Much to my surprise, he said he did! He said he liked it because it kept Adam-12 alive. Just when I thought my day couldn't get any better, Kent gave me a good-bye hug. Then he went on his way and I floated up to my room on the 6th floor without the aid of an elevator. The next morning I would have to pack up all my autographs, photos, and memories and leave L.A. 

I know I may be crazy for flying across the country just to spend a few hours with an actor from a TV show that went off the air 40 years ago, but I don't care. Those few hours with this incredibly gracious man who will take the time to talk to each and every one of his fans have made me deliriously happy. I'm positive I'll feel this way for a long time. Heck, I still get giddy every time I think about our Kansas City encounter, and that was almost 8 months ago now!

So, once again, I want to thank you, Mr. McCord, for being so amazing, spending so much time with me, and answering all my questions. (And I also want to ask you not to schedule any more appearances this year, I'm out of vacation time.)

Until we meet again,
Keely
KMA-367








26 comments:

  1. That (the blog post and the fun you had) is such greatness!

    ReplyDelete
  2. First of all, of course he remembered you, you doofus.You are cute, and funny and gracious...!

    It is great he is nice. It sucks when someone you admire turns out to be a jerk. I once saw Keith Hernandez throw a beer can at a kid. It is also nice to hear because I know if I was that talented and pretty, I would be unapproachable.

    I totally would have gone with it, just to be silly, if someone had asked if I were his wife, really, but just to be funny and I cannot believe you did not go with it just because you are a rascal.

    Is Kent retired? He made a lot of really good guest appearances. He even made me cry once, when he was in "Farscape," and I am no crier. lol
    Do you know how he feels about people writing to him. I have been wanting to thank for a little thing where he was oddly very helpful.

    Talk to you later, babe. B)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You may think I'm cute, funny, etc. but for all I knew, Kent could have thought I was a doofus after our first meeting. Now I know he doesn't think that.

      Maybe when I know Kent better I can joke about being his wife, but I don't think we're at that stage in our relationship yet...lol.

      I've never asked him about writing to him. If I ever get the chance to see him again, I'll ask. I also have to remember to ask him about Unsub if I ever see him again.

      Which "Farscape" ep. made you cry?

      Right back at ya. babe ;)

      Delete
    2. When he was saying goodbye to his son, Ben Browder, knowing he would never see him again (I think the kid was closing that worm whole thing behind him). That scene was great, besides Kent himself, was I read he filmed it months after the rest of the episode and it sounds like he is speaking to the kid who plays his son, but he isn't, really. I also got a little misty when, along with his daughter, kent's character is saying goodbye to his son, at the end of the episode when they were having Christmas. The scenes between the two of them are the best ones.

      And if he remembered you as a doofus, I would think he was nuts. B)

      Delete
  3. I'm so glad your reunion with Kent was such a happy one. I'm sure he had as good a time as you did.

    I'm surprised you don't mention talking about the passing of Martin Milner. The event being so recent, I'd have expected it to come up.

    In any case, I'm thrilled for you that Kent was happy to see you and that you had such a good visit with him, and had the chance to see him with JoAnn Pflug -- The Reed-Hall reunion we've all wished for!

    And it's great you got to meet some of your other TV heroes and heroines, too. That sounds to me like a vacation weekend well-spent!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You predicted that our reunion would be happy and I wouldn't listen. I don't say this often, but I was wrong. I think he was having a good time with me, he seemed pretty relaxed and jovial.

      I did tell Kent that I was sorry to hear about Martin's passing and he did reveal to me that it hit him a lot harder than he expected it to hit him. He also commented that he was glad that his speech at the LAPD tribute to Marty ended up on YouTube because he really wasn't sure what he said while he was on stage that day. He had some notes and tried to stick to them, but his emotions got the better of him.

      It was an excellent vacation, probably the best one I've ever had!

      Delete
  4. I'm glad you had such a good time. Very well written & entertaining blog. Mr. McCord sounds like a very gracious, nice person. Keep up the good work, Keel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Diane! He is a wonderful person. Having been treated so well by Mr. McCord motivates me to continue working hard on the blog as a tribute to his work.

      Delete
  5. Great blog! To the wife question, I'd have said with a wink, no I'm not but I won't tell if you won't. Lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Donna! I'll have to remember that response to the wife question for the next time. lol

      Delete
  6. Oh and how interesting Kent thought it would be better if he was not married on the show.
    I think we all like it, but he makes a good point. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At first I did think it was strange that they younger partner was married. But, I think it makes the show more realistic.

      Delete
  7. Very nice, Keely! I'm glad he remembered you. I've heard people describe autograph shows with a certain degree of sadness or outright disdain. It's certainly clear you have an altogether different ( and more positive) experience.

    I'm also glad I decided to check the blog today, as I just discovered a still of Martin Milner next to Jack Webb from Pete Kelly's Blues I thought you would like:
    http://www.modernmythmuseum.com/mp%20marvin%20pete.jpg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I've heard them described that way, too, Thomas. But, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a little sad to see how much Jan Michael Vincent has changed. But, it was good to see that a lot people came out just to see him.

      That's a great pic! I love that movie, this looks like the scene where Marty and the rest of the band is singing "Bye, Bye, Blackbird". Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
    2. I was surprised to hear Jan Michael Vincent was there. It seemed for a long while that he had pretty much disappeared from the public eye completely, and nobody seemed to know where he had gone.

      Delete
  8. Learning how this works now---finally found your account of meeting Kent for the second time. What a joy to read that he was still as nice a guy as your first account indicated! I'm still working on reading all your blogs, so don't know if you plan to see him again. I so wish that he had facebook or a blog of his own. I would love to ask him about "Woman's Story", to see how his character ended up. Judging from your accounts of "real life" meetings with him, Kent McCord seems to have survived the Hollywood experience as a kind, genuinely down-to-earth person rather than one of the many egotistical casualties of being in the fickle public eye. I hope you do get to meet him again. I'll be very interested in seeing your synopses and critiques of Season 4. My 2 favorite episodes are "The Search" and "Ambush", and I can't help wondering why you chose the photo of Kent/Reed from "Ambush" to denote your lowest rating (if I understand correctly). Guess I'll have to keep searching thru your blogs & replies to see if you ever reply to my comments, since I choose to remain anonymous. That's because of a bad experience with e-mail & hackers, and as such, I will forever remain cautious, not to mention suspicious. Such a bummer! Anyway, thanks so much for sharing. Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello again Anonymous! My memories of meeting Kent are among my most cherished. Some times, I still can't believe it happened to me!
      Season 4 will be coming up soon, I only have 3 more episodes to go in season 3.
      OK, on the ratings. My ratings are based on the life of Jim Reed and I tried to think of how Jim would rate his life events from best to worst. I figured the birth of his son would be one of his life's best moments. Marrying Jean would probably be another one. But, that didn't happen on the show, so I wouldn't have a visual representation of that. I chose the photo from Ambush as the rating for the worst (in my opinion) episodes because I thought Jim would rate that incident among the worst in his life. Make sense?
      Hope you continue to read and enjoy the blog.

      Delete
    2. Gotcha! I just had never thought of "Ambush" as a really bad experience for Jim because he "came out smellin' like a rose", a real in-control dude with the bad guys in custody. The exchange between him & Pete at the end about his not needing any help just cracks me up every time. I watch 2 A-12 episodes every weekday I'm home and a couple of episodes on DVD every night. Don't know how many times I've been thru the whole thing. I'm on Season 6 again now. I was sad the first time I finished the whole series, and then it occurred to me (DUH!) that I could keep watching it and it would never really end. It's quite an addiction. Good thing my husband is understanding! I will continue reading your blog for sure, and no doubt about the enjoyment of it, either.

      Delete
  9. BTW, I will continue to watch with great interest for any info your friend might find about "Woman's Story". Did you ever happen to ask Kent about it? I need to look more for info about "Farscape", which one of your respondents talked about. Can't remember if I've seen anything about it other than its being listed on Kent's hone page. Don't know if it's available in DVD, but will check. Cheers---

    ReplyDelete
  10. Don't know what happened here. Thought I had replied and that it had shown up. (I SWEAR I saw it!) Have to put something in here to get out, so here is more evidence of my e-incompetence. Will continue looking. Thanks for your tolerance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your reply showed up. I'll be sure to ask Kent about Woman's Story in September. Farscape is good and it's on DVD, I saw it once in a used-DVD store. It's also on Netflix.

      Delete
  11. Gonna check out Farscape on Amazon or whatever---see what's out there. Is Kent in every episode? I just haven't gotten that far in my quest for info & availability of things he's in. (We choose not to do cable or satellite---stubborn old codgers that we are, so we don't get Netflix.) I will watch avidly for your account of seeing Kent in Sept. to see what he has to say about Woman's Story. I'm close to Kent's age, and I think it's so cool that you & he have hit it off. Just goes to show you that generational differences aren't that important. Good people are good people, no matter what their ages or backgrounds are. So glad you're one of 'em!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So I watched part of the first episode of Farscape on YouTube(all I had time for) and didn't see too much beyond Kent's short scene. Got the impression that his appearances in it aren't too frequent or lengthy. I did make a list of episodes he is in, and wonder of wonders, I found several volumes of used Farscape DVDs at Hastings tonight. I did buy season 1, vol. 1. Unfortunately, I couldn't tell from the packaged DVDs what episodes were on each one, and I didn't have the episode list with me. (Poor planning, but the Hastings stop was impromptu.) I'll look at my list now to try to see what's what, and then go back to see if any of the other volumes in the store are on the list. Hope they are, because they're included in a sale this weekend. BTW, all I could find of "Beg, Borrow or Steal" is about a 15-min. excerpt on You Tube which I had already seen & forgotten about. Kent didn't appear in that excerpt, so can't tell anything about it. Dang! It just ain't out there. As you can see, I'm really only interested in Kent's appearances, which sort of limits my experience of any given production. Oh, well, good sense doesn't necessarily increase with age. Hero worship doesn't decrease, either, especially when someone else's real-life experience of the hero reveals that he really is a delightful person. Thank you again for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think Kent is in 10 Farscape episodes. There's a 2-part episode that I think he had more screen time in than usual. I think his appearances are throughout the series, which doesn't help if you're trying to avoid buying the whole thing.

      Delete
    2. The used S1, E1 Farscape DVD didn't work right, so had to return it. Been watching it on YouTube lately, and now I'm hooked. Gonna buy the series, since I like all the characters and find young Crichton as appealing as Jim Reed. (Blasphemy!) Jim Henson's creations are amazing!

      Delete