Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Damn it Colonel I'm a Gunner Not a Miracle Worker

Scottie has beamed up for the last time. He died this morning in his Redmond Washington home at age eighty five of pneumonia and Alzheimer?s disease. While the public knows him as Scottie, of Star Track fame, there was another side to him. From the Bob Thomas of Associated Press, via The Toronto Star.

James Montgomery Doohan was born March 3, 1920, in Vancouver, B.C., youngest of four children of William Doohan, a pharmacist, veterinarian and dentist, and his wife Sarah. As he wrote in his autobiography, Beam Me Up, Scotty, his father was a drunk who made life miserable for his wife and children.

At 19, James escaped the turmoil at home by joining the Canadian army, becoming a lieutenant in artillery. He was among the Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. "We were more afraid of drowning than the Germans."

The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one that took off his middle right finger (he managed to hide the missing finger on the screen), four in his leg and one in the chest. Fortunately the chest bullet was stopped by his silver cigarette case.

After the war Doohan on a whim enrolled in a drama class in Toronto. He showed promise and won a two-year scholarship to New York?s famed Neighborhood Playhouse, where fellow students included Leslie Nielsen, Tony Randall and Richard Boone.

Thanks Scottie ... for the great memories. And in this year of the veteran this one is for you.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,


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