It had finally happened. Something that had only been dreamed about by science fiction writers, and speculated about by scientists, had finally become an everyday reality.
It used to be just a dream. Like how Midwesterners used to dream about drinking cappuccino or espresso instead of Sanka. But, just as Kansas Citians could now enjoy Starbucks whenever they wanted, they could also step into any street-corner "TimeRiver" and travel back to the year, month, day and even hour of their choice.
Of course, just as it was possible to damage your health by drinking too much caffeine, there were health risks associated with time travel too. So before you could travel, you had to sign a lot of forms with tiny little print, basically stating that you agreed not to sue TimeRiver if you wound up at the wrong place at the wrong time. (So to speak.)
There was also a tiny, TINY little clause stating that it was possible you might wind up at the right time, and the right place - but in a completely different reality - what the science fiction writers used to call "alternate universes". But that almost never happened.
So naturally, as a dyed-in-the-wool Bonanza fan and regular participant on the Bonanza...the Website board (where we'd recently celebrated the arrival of FFE #5,000 - "A Coffee Pot"), I knew exactly where I wanted to go.
I didn't know the exact date, but figured I could easily find that before takeoff, given that there were now over a million websites dedicated to Bonanza (not to mention over 45,000 dedicated to Bonanza: The Clones, a new and surprisingly successful series which ran for over 10 years on The WB, right after Smallville).
But I did know it was sometime during the week of July 12, 1972. Dan Blocker had just died, and Michael Landon had altered his amazing script, "Forever," which he'd written especially for Hoss, so it would fit Little Joe instead. And there was a wonderful, extremely touching scene between Michael Landon and Lorne Greene which had kept the fan boards buzzing for over 60 years now.
Mitch Vogel, who'd played Jamie, the orphan nobody wanted (including most of the fans), said that he'd noticed Michael and Lorne talking quietly in a corner of the set just before they filmed, and after it was all over, Mitch had gone over to that corner and found a tear-stained photo of Dan Blocker.
My goal - to grab that photo before Mitch could get his red-headed little hands on it!
So, ignoring the fine print (that stuff had never happened to anyone anyway, at least not in the U.S.), I signed on the dotted line, and went home to pack my things.
Tomorrow was launch day - the day when I would be crossing the line from 2015 to 1972!
(TO BE CONTINUED!)