T'Pring (Age 7)
by Mary Rice
What I remember about Friday, June 16, 1967:
I remember it was a school day, but I didn’t have to go because I was going to Hollywood, California to be on a T.V. show. I was standing at the foot of my bed by the door when my Mother, Marie Louise Kuntz Rice, came in. I told her, “My back itches.” She said, “Oh no! Not you too!”
My three brothers broke out in chicken pox the day before. Sure enough, it looked like I too had chicken pox on my back. Oh, well. “The show must go on!” My mother dressed me and we took off to Hollywood not really knowing what else to do. Once there, my dress was taken from me and I wore just my light blue slip. I remember sitting in a chair much like the ones found in hair salons. I watched in the mirror as a woman put hot rollers in my hair. My mother jumped out of her chair. “That won’t burn her hair, will it?” She was assured my hair was quite safe. A man came in and started putting make up on my face. It itched. I was feeling a little too warm by then. A fever, perhaps, was beginning. The make-up man was working with a small make-up brush on the right side of my face near my ear. I heard him say “There’s a bump here. Oops, it popped.” Chicken pox! I didn’t say a thing. Neither did my Mom. No way was the make-up man going to say anything! So there I sat probably infecting the entire studio. He soon left for a few minutes. My hair was again being worked on. The hair dresser sprayed black hair spray on my hair while assuring my mother it was safe and would wash out. My make-up artist came back with a rubbery prosthetic pointed ear in his hand. He carefully attached this to my right ear. Perfect. A seven year old Vulcan named T’Pring was born.
My mother and I were led to the set where Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) were shooting a scene on the planet Vulcan. The background of the planet Vulcan was bright red. I was in awe. Everyone was very quiet and I felt I had stepped into a secret world known only by adults. I felt that way the entire day. When the scene ended, both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy walked towards me. They were so tall! Leonard Nimoy bent down on one knee and laughed as he held my arms in his hands. He loved the way I looked. He turned me from side to side looking at my ears. “Hey!” He called out asking about where my other pointed ear was. He was told the shot was from the right side and they only needed to use one ear. He was smiling and very friendly to me. Something I’ll never forget. I was picked up by someone and placed on a small make shift stage of some kind and told to turn to my left. A woman placed a shinny scratchy fabric around my neck and pinned or folded it in a way that made it fit me. It looked as though I was wearing a long shirt or short dress. Pictures were taken and my head continued to feel hot. No doubt about it; I had a fever. But this was probably a good thing: feeling “under the weather” helped me to look as if I was truly a very serious Vulcan child. All too soon, my day on the set of Star Trek was over. The pointed ear was confiscated and I was excused. A little white scar where the chicken pox was, next to my right ear, is still very visible today – a wonderful souvenir of a magical day on the set of Star Trek. Three months later, Star Trek episode 34, Amok Time, was aired and the world was introduced to T’Pring at Age Seven. Shortly thereafter, I received a few autographed pictures from Leonard Nimoy. A “logical” gift from one Vulcan to another.
Chase and Mary Today
If you wish to get an autographed photo from Mary they are $20.00 - email Mary Rice at email@example.com. Be sure to put "T'Pring Photo" in the subject of your email.
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