Friday, February 21, 2014

Recalling a real Treklander: prop master Joe Longo, 74

This past Wednesday, I joined a few Trek folks (and many family and friends) to bid goodbye to a Treklander who ended up his long Hollywood career in Starfleet: prop master Joe Longo, who died Jan. 5 at age 73. As a sweet memento, the family had even reproduced Joe's trading card (from the 1993 Skybox "TNG behind the scenes" set) for all attendees at the mausoleum service. I took it, but I actually already had one—from the original set. Maybe you have one, too.

Now, this is not a case of a long shared personal history: When I met him, Joe had just moved from alternating episodes on TNG for five years to go over full-time on the new DS9. We had a good sit-down to cover those years in 1993, when I came out to work on the first TNG Companion edition, and I snapped this photo (at right) up in his office in the "Dreier Building" row of offices over Stages 8-9.  (How many first-season DS9 props can you identify on his walls?) Our chat is one of the famous 400+ hours on those cassette tapes I have.

But he was indeed on DS9 by the time I got to L.A. full-time, and I wouldn't really get to come back around to deal with his newer show until the Fact Files partwork and Communicator magazine took off a few years later. Long story short, as gruff as he always looked, Joe was a no-nonsense guy but was great to share his TNG memories with me, as fellow prop master Alan Sims had … and Joe helped out whenever I needed it after that. And I always loved to hear another Golden Age of Hollywood story about a movie, series, or an actor, when he had a sec. But, unfortunately, that was not too common. 

So check out some memories from co-workers like John Eaves, Mike Okuda, Doug Drexler and Rick Sternbach in this memorial post from Jan. 29 at star; those of you with the Okudas' Encyclopedia, note how Doug clevely worked Joe in as some of the uniform illustration "models" (with his bushy 'stach.).  For my part, let me simply share the photo above, and the memorial program below—with his career and some fun parting insights about a name you'll now now a little bit about, every time you see it forever on 12 total seasons of classic Star Trek TV, plus two films—ST II and III.

Over the last few years there have been times when I had to be away and miss a final memorial to one of our Trek family, and I always regret it. It reminds me I do have a few more to catch up on after Joe.

As for Joe, check out an another extra: look for that card below, too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your kind story. - The Longo Family