On a late Friday afternoon in the summer of 1989, I drove into the Holiday Inn parking lot in West Knoxville and made my way to the Star Trek Convention meeting hall to hear my favorite Star Trek actor, Mark Lenard. He was about to speak and the lecture hall was standing room only as I made my way to the side of the stage to hear Sarek of Vulcan speak. Excitement was in the air as Mark began to talk of his early years with stage and film and tv roles in New York. He poured himself a glass of water and walked around the stage as he mentioned his desire to go to Hollywood to try out for film and tv roles out there. He recalled this hotel that he and his wife stayed in on their first visit to Hollywood and that in its heyday was coloquially called "The Hotel of The Stars", since a lot of famous Hollywood actors and actresses stayed there at one time or another. As if sensing that surely no one in Knoxville, TN would have the foggiest idea of the name of this Hotel of the Stars, he casually remarked: "I would mention the name of the hotel, but none of you here would know it."
At that moment I yelled out and said: "You must mean the Montecito Hotel!" To which he responded with a shocked expression which completely sidetracked him from his speech. "HOW did you know that?!", he said. I told him I used to live there at one time when I was in Hollywood. At any rate we began a conversation about acting, why I was in staying there and so on. An odd thing for the audience to listen in on and wonder why this famous actor was talking about an obscure Hollywood Hotel with some guy who had just walked in off the street! After our brief conversation with several hundred people looking on, Mark gathered his thoughts again and proceeded with his talk for the evening.
When the talk was over, fans swarmed around him wanting autographs, photos signed, asking questions and so on. I decided to go downstairs to the vendors area to look around before I went home that night. As I was leaving and got on the elevator riding to the upper main lobby, the door opened and in walked Mark Lenard to my surprise! He recognized me and I told him that I had a postcard at home of the Montecito Hotel when it was in its prime and that I'd like to give it to him as a keepsake tomorrow. He thanked me and as we stepped out into the lobby among Klingons, Star Fleet Federation Officers, Aliens, Vulcans, Romulans, and a host of other costumed as well as regularly-attired fans, Mark said they were taking him out to dinner. I half jokingly said to him, "Try to enjoy your dinner with The Fleet!" I could only wonder about the earlier debates as to who would be sitting next to Mark in the car and what the seating order was at dinner. I did not go out to dinner with them.
That night at home I dug through my papers and found the Montecito Hotel post card. I put it in my shirt pocket for Mark as I planned on seeing him after Saturday's talk. I arrived early at the convention and decided once again to go to the vendors floor and look around at the Star Trek memoriabilia, comics, videos and so on. There was hardly anyone down there and I happened to be listening to a tv video tape interview with the actor who played "Dr. McCoy", DeForrest Kelly. I can't recall what the interview was about but I do remember hearing this melodic baritone voice behind me that any fan of the Star Trek universe would instantly recognize. "Ambassador Sarek of Vulcan", Mark Lenard himself! Mark said:"De has ruined his instrument by chain smoking." (meaning his voice) As I wheeled around to face Mark Lenard and agreed with him, I said..."Hello Mark! Here's the Montecito Hotel postcard I told you about!" and handed it to him. The moment he touched it I began to have psychic flashes about his future.
I asked Mark not to let go of the card as I was receiving psychic images about his future and that it might break the connection if he let go. He held on to it. At first I had to remember the flashes as they came visually in rapid order. When they stopped I let go of the card and told Mark that I picked up some information on his career change in the near future and would share it with him if he wished. I also told him that I could not control it and that these things happen automatically when something triggers it. Mark asked me to share it with him. As we stood there moments earlier, each holding an edge of the postcard the images danced across my mind's eye; it was as if our minds had melded together. Creating a time tunnel into the future! In fact Mark's character, Sarek and other Vulcans like his son, Spock could do those mind links, called "Mind Melds". That's what I fondly called my meeting with Mark Lenard that morning when the postcard triggered a glimpse into his future. (My Mind Meld With Sarek of Vulcan!)
The first flash that arrived showed Sarek out of his mind with some form of Vulcan Alzheimer's though I didn't get the name of it. The next flash was of Sarek dying from it! I told Mark that they (meaning the Star Trek writers/directors/Paramount Studios) were going to kill his character off and that he'd have 2 or 3 years yet doing various roles for movies and tv for Star Trek. But that he would have lots of time to prepare for this role of losing his mind to Alzheimer's. A difficult role for such a logical, thinking, reserved, intellectual, non-emotional character suffering the ravages of senility formerly played with such dignity and regal bearing!
One of the next flashes I saw was a luxury car sitting on top of a hill with Mark standing outside it. He pushed the car to start it rolling downhill and then jumped in it as it started and he drove it away. I told Mark that this symbol represented a career change doing voice overs for high quality merchandise and expensive items like luxury cars. Later Mark did the voice over commercials for SAAB, International as well as BP Oil. And that he would have to give his career (car) a push (study voice over technique and find an agent) to get it started, but then it would literally take off.
The next psychic flash concerned Mark going back to NYC to do his original love of stage acting as well as voice overs. I told him that he would make more money doing these voice overs than he would in all of his Star Trek appearances combined.
The last image was disturbing to me but I didn't know why at the time. I told Mark that I couldn't see a thing past 1996, but that I was out in space with no stars around. As if I were in a dark void of some sort. I told Mark: "If I had your voice and talent I'd go for it because 7 years is a good run in anybody's book to do voice overs." I assumed the 7 year run and the void at the end of it was the end of his voice-over career and it was but I didn't know what it really meant until later. I never saw Mark after that but a few months later I heard him on tv doing commercials! Several years later they did kill off his character on Star Trek with Vulcan Alzheimer's having some exotic sounding name.
I got a call on November 22, 1996 from a friend who lived in North Hollywood telling me that Mark Lenard had died of cancer that day. Then I knew what the void was all about, it was his death I was seeing, not just the end of his career. I never told Mark that the dark void might be his death as I honestly didn't know what it meant at the time. So in closing I say..."GOD SPEED to you Mark Lenard and May You LIVE LONG, and PROSPER, Sarek of Vulcan!