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'Star Trek' Stampaigners Are Still Taking a Licking

October 24, 1986|DICK RORABACK | Dick Roraback

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has thrown his considerable weight behind it. So have Ray Bradbury, Ann Landers, Notre Dame President Theodore Hesburgh and San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros. John McMahon is trying to enlist the support of fellow film maker Steven Spielberg and possibly that of astronomer Carl Sagan.

The U.S. Postal Service, though, which historically has vanquished the likes of snow, rain, heat and gloom of night, is not about to yield in the face of a mere groundswell. Nor will the likes of William Kraft and McMahon, his Los Angeles lieutenant, stay the old P.O. from its appointed role as guardian of the nation's decorum. In a word, the Postal Service does not want to issue a "Star Trek" stamp.

For more than a year, Kraft, of Strasburg, N.D., has waged a lofty campaign for issuance of a stamp bearing the likenesses of both the space shuttle Enterprise and the "Star Trek" vehicle, which first bore the same name. McMahon stresses the lessons to be learned from the comportment of Kirk, Spock et al., to wit: brotherhood among people, reverence for all life forms, peaceful resolution of conflicts. Noble, agrees the Postal Service, but in the end, commercial. Yeah, Kraft says, how about the Laurel and Hardy stamp?

"I don't understand why the Post Office isn't cooperating," McMahon says. In any case, he has the latest communication from Kraft, who apparently is not about to be beamed up. "They do not want to give in," Kraft writes, "but I've told them we will never quit."

X Marks the Addressee

The Postal Service, meanwhile, on something of a roll, has asked the American public for assistance in locating the senders of 235 pieces of World War II V-mail.

The mail was discovered earlier this year by Michael Minguez, an exterminator, who found the letters--along with an unspecified quantity of dirty socks--in a duffel bag in the attic of a house in Raleigh, N.C.

A national search for senders of the mail is in full flower, and to date 16 letters have been returned to veterans or the survivors thereof. Among the letters was one written by Cpl. Raul Alvarez to his girlfriend, Terry Espinosa, of Los Angeles.

After turning the V-mail over to his sarge, Alvarez shipped out, fetching up in India, then in Hunan Province, China.

In 1950, he married Miss Espinosa, and in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., she finally opened Raul's letter--posted in May of 1944.

(Still waiting for that letter that never came? Write V-mail, Communications Dept., U.S. Postal Service, 475 L'Enfant Plaza, Washington 20260-3100. Don't even mention "Star Trek."

L for a Lovely Letter

In all fairness, a lot of mail does get through, most poignantly the letter from Diana Flatt of Redondo Beach to John W. Parker of Clearlake Highlands, Calif.

Seems Flatt had read a Los Angeles Times article by William S. Murphy ("Walking in the Indians' Moccasins," Nov. 1, 1984) telling of archeologist Parker's interest in the Pomos, a California tribe that thrived in Lake County about 4,000 years ago. Flatt wrote an admiring letter to Parker. Parker wrote back.

Bottom line: Diana Flatt was married to John Parker in Manhattan Beach on Aug. 10. Better yet, they are still married. "Of course we are," said the new Mrs. Parker this week. "After all, he's an archeologist. We dig each other."

A Doberman Unpinched

Lisa Brown, passer-by and dog lover, noticed the dog living just east of the Crenshaw off-ramp of the Santa Monica Freeway (westbound). Brown sets out food periodically on her way home from work. So do a number of others.

So does the local dog pound, which is trying to catch the animal. The Doberman does not deign to eat from a trap.

"If he must be caught," Brown says, "I hope it's by somebody who will love him and look after him."

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