SMK 30TH ANNIVERSARY REUNION TRIP
Written by: Guest Blogger Dava
DATE: October 4 - 5, 2013
PLACE: Beverly Garland Holiday Inn Hotel, Los Angeles, California
EVENT: SMK 30th Anniversary Reunion
ATTENDEES: 58 Fans of the Show, Bruce Boxleitner aka Scarecrow/Lee Stetson, Martha Smith aka Francine Desmond, Greg Morton aka Jamie King, Myron Natwick aka Dr. Smyth, Richard Herd aka Jake (Photo Finish), and Dennis Duckwall, Producer
FRIDAY: October 4, 2013 - WB (Warner Brothers) TOUR A group of about 50 of us met at the WB VIP Tour Lobby.
We saw a short film about how Warner Brothers Studios was started. It was very interesting, and I learned a lot. We then split into three tour groups: A, B, and C. I was in tour group B. Our tour guide said it was group B for "Boxleitner" or "Bruce" or his name "Brad".
Brad was an excellent tour guide and had watched Scarecrow and Mrs. King "The First Time" and a few other episodes so that he could discuss the show with us. We were so excited when we saw the stairs that Lee/Scarecrow comes down in the opening credits. We also saw the stairs to Nedlingers (stairs may have been at "The Ranch" below), grassy area that was Rock Creek Park, and the wooded area used for "Utopia Now".
Our biggest surprise was we got a special tour of "The Ranch". "The Ranch" is part of Warner Brothers lot, but down the road. It was an outdoor walking tour. We saw & took a tour of one of Amanda's houses. I took a picture of the bookcase and gate door. It was so cool standing in Amanda's living room. We also saw "Harry V Thorton's" balcony where he had put out the flowers for Amanda (Tail of the Dancing Weasel), "Sonia's" house on (Stemwinder), and the house where Amanda squirted the hose to take out the bad guys (Fearless Dotty).
SATURDAY: October 5, 2013 - THE 30th EVENT AUTOGRAPH SESSION AND RAFFLE: The doors opened at 9:00 AM for a three hour autograph session. Autographs were $10 each which you were given a ticket for. There were also $5 each tickets for a raffle drawing to be held later in the day. You could buy as many tickets as your money would allow. Each star was at a table and you went to that stars line. Of course, Bruce's line was the longest. I went to each line getting autographs from each star. Bruce and I being friends caught up. We had not seen each other since November 2012. I found all of the stars very warm, funny and gracious. The first three hours flew by. At 12:00 PM, we broke for an hour for lunch. The afternoon session resumed at 1:00 PM for more autograph signing as well as the raffle drawing. I actually won a raffle. I won some SMK trivia cards, some fanfiction stories and an old program from the SMK 20th Anniversary. I was thrilled to win anything. The next three hours also flew by and we stopped for a two-hour break before dinner. Dinner was to be at 6:00 PM. We all went to freshen up and get dressed up for the evening dinner. Stars had a room at the hotel to rest.
DINNER: We entered the dining room at 6:00 PM and went to each table to find our name card. I was seated at Martha Smith's, Francine Desmond, table right next to her. We were told that dinner was served buffet style where you go up to get your food yourself. It was an Italian themed dinner. We had a green salad, several pasta dishes, antipesto dish, marinara dish and chicken picata. Cake was for dessert. Martha was very gracious and wonderful. She asked us where we were from, what was our favorite SMK episode and our favorite Francine moments. She giggled and was lovely. Martha's favorite episode is "Life of the Party". Because Martha's birthday is coming soon, she was surprised with a birthday gift and chocolate birthday cake. Bruce presented her with her "gift". Yes, it was a feather duster. She laughed when she opened the gift. They brought out the chocolate birthday cake with three candles. We all sang to her, and she blew out the candles. I asked her if she loved chocolate as much as Francine did, and she said "Yes". HA
DINNER ~ VIDEO and AUDIO: We were treated to a short bloopers video (no, not for sale anywhere... sorry), a video tribute from Beverly Garland, Bruce and Martha to Mel Stewart. A video tribute to Sam Melville from Bruce and Martha. The audio was a message from Kate Jackson that her friend and assistant, Mike, had personally delivered to us just for the event. Bruce and Martha were very moved by Kate's words, as were we all.
DINNER ~ Q&A: Question and Answer session included Bruce, Martha, and Greg. Richard Herd, Dennis Duckwall and Myron Natwick had left. They joked that two microphones were needed or Bruce would do all the talking himself. Various audience members asked questions. Greg was asked a lot about being a child actor. Martha was asked about her wardrobe and how she softened towards Amanda as the show went on. Bruce was asked about his stunts, locations, etc. Lots of laughter and fond memories by the stars and us as well. This lasted until midnight.
Bruce went outside before he left and hung around. I was able to get a few minutes of private time catching up. He also chatted with others. They said their "goodnights" to us. Then my roomies and I went up to our hotel room. Goodnight all.