music in the park san jose

Last November, spurred by the Gilroy Dispatch story of the return of William Shatner’s wallet, I wrote a piece titled “An Open Letter to William Shatner.”

I wanted him to know that, in addition to his wallet adventure, he has two other connections to Gilroy—one is that in 1988, Levar Burton of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was almost arrested by Gilroy Police for “Driving While Black;” the other is that the Klingon language was created by a linguist using documents dictated by Ascension Solorsano who lived in Gilroy and spoke the Mutsun dialect, as in the tongue of Gilroy’s native peoples.

Well, after the Tognetti family supplied an address for Mr. Shatner’s assistant, I was able to send a copy of the article directly to him. On March 7 my phone rang and I was informed William Shatner was waiting to speak to little old me!

I wish I could have recorded the conversation, but I can tell you it was full of praise for Gilroy. Comparing our town to his neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, he marveled that we are friendly and actually speak to one another. 

Mr. Shatner was lively and humorous, just as he is in the 2016 series, “Better Late Than Never,” where he clowns around with Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman and comic Jeff Dye. It’s available for streaming on Hulu and features their adventures in Asia.

He didn’t specifically talk about stopping in Gilroy again, but said something on the order of thinking of all this when he comes through. I joked that we could organize a reception and suggested it could be at the Miller Barn, but I suddenly realized launching into a side story about all that’s being done at the Miller Barn would only alert him to a verbosity my friends and family often point out.

Hmm, I wonder if I should write to him all about Chitactac Park—oh, I hear my family calling.

Phill Laursen


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