Noted Trek Fan and Radio Host Joyce Mason Has Passed Away October 18, 2008by John Tenuto , Filed under: Fandom , trackback
Trekmovie.com is very sad to report that Joyce Mason, former runner of the official William Shatner fan club and host of the 1990s radio talk show "Talk Trek and Beyond," passed away September 6th of natural causes. See below for a eulogy by John Tenuto.
A Eulogy for Joyce Mason
Some people talk French, some talk German, we talk Trek!
– Joyce Mason
Many fans remember Joyce either because she ran the previous version of the official William Shatner fan club called "The William Shatner Connection" or more likely because of her famous 1990s radio talk show "Talk Trek and Beyond" which was featured on the Cable Radio Network with nearly 2.5 million listeners from about 1990 to 1998. Both Joyce and her co-host Evelyn de Biase were featured in the documentary Trekkies. Joyce had an infectious enthusiasm for Star Trek and lived the ideal of helping others so prevalent in the narratives of the show’s episodes and movies. For example, Joyce was one of the original volunteers and helped organize what is now called the "Wells Fargo Hollywood Charity Horse Show" which William Shatner runs each year.
Joyce was also featured in Nikki Stafford’s 2002 book "Trekkers: True Stories by Fans for Fans." In the book, Joyce discusses how she started watching Star Trek as a way to find one-hour a day escape from the realities of taking care of her sister who was sick for years and to whom she had devoted her life. Joyce said "The existence of a fan club like the William Shatner Connection may not seem all that important. Then again, in this world of terrorism and war, maybe we need heroes. Perhaps if we can appreciate our heroes, even make-believe ones, by banding together on our Web sites and through our newsletters and shared experiences, maybe it will help someone smile, and feel better. If it helps to dry a tear or two, then that is a very good thing."
In the December 2001 first issue of the revamped Shatner fan club newsletter "The Best of Times" Joyce announced she needed to leave her duties running the club for health reasons. William Shatner wrote this about Joyce Mason in that issue:
Joyce has been responsible for so much that we can’t even begin to thank her or list the things she has done. So on behalf of everybody, I’d like to say a grand THANK YOU to her, but I feel confident that she is hovering over my shoulder even as we speak, and that she will be close to us for a long time to come.
– William Shatner
With the recent passing of Joyce Mason and Joan Winston, of fans who did so much for other fans, I can’t help thinking of the words of the character of Dean Charles Stanforth to Indiana Jones, "We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away." Yet, the work and good deeds of Mason and Winston for the fan community can live on in the work and good deeds of us. Thanks Joyce for all you did, and all your inspiration will help to do in the future.
Joyce Mason with William Shatner
UPDATE: David Rossi’s thoughts
Star Trek producer David Rossi was a regular guest on Joyce Mason’s show, and has sent in the following statement on her passing:
Joyce Mason began every episode of Talk Trek by saying “Hello, Gentle Beings.” It wasn’t just a greeting to her. She believed in the best of people and saw off in the distance, a day when the reality of Gene Roddenberry’s vision would take hold and humanity would elevate itself to a nobler status. She was one of the kindest, most sincere people I have ever had the honor of spending time with. In times like this, it’s easy to let our grief get the better of us and mourn our loss. But in this case, having known Joyce, I mourn the people who never had the chance to know her, for the loss is truly theirs.
Safe travels Joyce.
(Appreciation to WilliamShatner.com and Jane Singer)