(The story so far - from my local TimeRiver, Inc. (right next door to my local Starbucks), I had traveled back from 2015 to 1972, right smack dab on the day that the famous scene from "Forever" had been filmed, in which Michael Landon and Lorne Greene had wordlessly clung to each other, sobbing, presumably over the death of "Alice", "Little Joe's" bride in the episode - but really over the death of Dan "Hoss" Blocker; and my goal was to grab the famous tear-stained photo of Mr. Blocker before Mitch Vogel could get his hands on it. However, through the kind of glitch you could only get from a franchised time travel organization, I'd apparently stumbled into an alternate past, in which Michael Landon, NOT Dan Blocker, had died unexpectedly! Got it? Good!)
Well, it had certainly been an interesting little trip back in time! I would definitely have had grounds for a nice juicy little lawsuit against TimeRiver, if I hadn't signed that pesky contract releasing them from all liability in case of flood, fire, capital punishment or accidentally landing in an alternate past.
Oh well, as I said, it had at least been interesting.
I had talked Mitch "Jamie" Vogel into letting me tag along as his "gofer" so I could watch the filming of several scenes from the famous episode, "Forever", starring Dan Blocker in the script expressly written for his character, Hoss, by the way-too-soon-late Michael Landon.
And I'm happy to report that Dan was every bit as wonderful in the script as we'd always suspected he would be. There was one scene where he blundered into Alice's dress shop, looking just adorable as he tried not to look at the ladies' frilly underthings hanging from the walls. His grief at losing his beloved wife of only a few months was truly heartrending.
And of course, knowing that he and Lorne were weeping over Michael's death - rather than Lorne and Michael weeping over Dan's death, as had actually happened in my ORIGINAL time stream - just made everything that much more poignant.
Aand, yes, weird. Definitely weird. But poignant, nonetheless!
I'd decided to give up on acquiring the tear-stained photo, which in this time stream had been Michael Landon's picture, wept over by Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker. What would be the point, in my time stream, of a tear-stained photo of Michael Landon? Very few people, other than the folks on the Bonanza Board, who believed everything I said, would take my story seriously.
And it would have very limited value on the online auction market (particularly given the spectacular crash of eBay back in 2013, when, after years of total mismanagement (as predicted in my husband's vastly underrated blog, it completely went under, fake saints' relics and all).
Although, in retrospect, I suppose I could have gotten DNA samples from Dan's tears, sold them to Clones 'R Us and gotten a "Hoss" of my very own.
Oh well, hindsight is 20/20!
So - with regret - I abandoned my initial goal and allowed the ugly teenage redhead, Mitch Vogel, to snag the photo, as originally intended by God, or fate, or whatever you wanted to call it.
Let him enjoy it, I thought magnanimously - it'll comfort him when he's a has-been, five years from now.
But wouldn't you know - I was in for yet another surprise in this ever-increasingly-interesting time stream! Because at the end of the crying scene, the absolutely magnificent Lorne Greene stepped forward, cleared his throat and called, "May I have everyone's attention, please?"
The chatter of the cast and crew subsided, and Mr. Greene continued.
"I just want to thank all of you for your help and support during the filming of this difficult episode. As you all know, this was the last script that Michael had written before - " he paused, clearing his throat again and wiping away a tear " - before he was taken from us. I'm so glad we could do this final tribute to him."
A polite round of applause from the bystanders - and me! In fact, I kept clapping a few seconds after everyone else stopped, and turned almost as red as Mitch's hair when everyone turned to look at me.
"Sorry," I whispered.
"Right," said Mr. Greene, deciding to ignore me. "Now - I have an announcement to make. And I want to warn you in advance, this will come as a REAL surprise to almost everyone here!"
I perked up my ears. A surprise? I didn't remember reading about Lorne Greene making a surprise announcement in the original time stream!
What was "Ben's" secret?
Mr. Greene waited for the murmur of excited voices to subside, and continued.
"Hold onto your hats, everyone - but the guest star in our next episode will be ---"
(TO BE CONTINUED!)