In 1991, Star Trek celebrated 25 years of filling our lives with science fiction, adventure, and joy. We were closing in on the final movie that was being made with the original cast members and, unfortunately, having to say goodbye. The reins had already been passed to Star Trek: The Next Generation, and that cast would soon take to the movie screens.
DeForest Kelley appeared at a Creation Entertainment convention in 1994, and the audience had the pleasure of listening to him read his final hilarious and poignant ode to the show, cast, Gene Roddenberry, and others who’d made the show possible. Kelley provided tongue-in-cheek updates on the actors’ lives in his Southern drawl. He even throws in a few snide comments here and there that make the poem that much better. (Especially when he’s talking about a certain green-blooded individual)
"But I can’t kick about my life. I’m happy in the valley with the very same wife. (Not many of them can say that.)"
His mention of Gene Roddenberry was short but eloquent, letting the world know that the creator of Star Trek had changed his life.
"Finally and foremost, there’s my dear friend, Gene, the man responsible for this whole, wonderful scene. Isn’t it strange how one person you know can change the way your life will go? He will always be a part of my life even though my nurse became his wife."
Kelley ended the poem with a loving tribute to the fans for being the reason Star Trek was celebrating 25 years.
"Now all of this has been said in fun and not intended to hurt anyone. You are the reason we’re all here, to celebrate this, our 25th year. I always thought Star Trek would just be something constant such as the sea. But like all good things, this too must pass. So I’ll see you often in the bottom of my glass."
You can listen to the poem in its entirety at the video above. It starts at 4:23 and ends at 11:11. Kelley finishes the poetic celebration by raising a glass to the gathered crowd. It was a perfect way to honor 25 years and to say goodbye to a lifetime spent as the same character, working with the same people, and knowing that the legacy of your work will always be remembered.