Things To Do

Wherein We Discover Batgirl Attended Two DISD High Schools and Spock's Coming to Town

A press release announcing the month's-end Sci-Fi Expo at the Plano Center just hit the in-box containing the full list of ladies scheduled to attend the event, themed this time 'round as "Women of Sci-Fi." Among those scheduled to appear: Morena Baccarin, star of V but who I've seen more than once this week on Ovation during its Firefly fest; Battlestar Galactica's Tricia Helfer, who you may also recall as the star of the Kevin McAlester-directed Old 97's video for "Dance With Me"; and Katee Sackhoff, also of Battlestar.

But for some of us with long memories, there are myriad other draws as well: Lt. Uhura, Wilma Deering and Batgirl, which is to say: Nichelle Nichols, Erin Gray and Yvonne Craig -- who I didn't know till, oh, five minutes ago spent her teenage years in Dallas, no kiddin'. As in: When her family moved from Tennessee to Dallas in '50, Craig wound up first at Sunset, then at Adamson, from which she graduated before going off to dance in New York City. You can look it up. (Update: And it would be wrong; see below.)

And, whu-boy,  I couldn't help but notice that the May event -- which'll find the Expo in its new digs at the Irving Convention Center -- has quite the guest list lined up: Stan Lee and Leonard Nimoy. I hope that's my Spidey sense tingling.

Update at 4:37 p.m.: After the jump, Kathy Goolsby -- the Expo's publicist and an old friend of Yvonne Craig and her sister's -- clarifies long-standing stories about when and where Yvonne attended high school. Adamson alumni, prepare to have your hearts broken. The story's on the other side.

Shortly after I posted this item, I got a note from Goolsby, who had just spoken with Meridel Carson, Craig's sister and manager. Goolsby, who'd done work on Yvonne's autobiography, could not recall the details of Yvonne's DISD days, so she asked Meridel, who checked with Yvonne. This, says Goolsby, is the official story:

I asked about the high school as I couldn't remember. She only attended Adamson for a semester or so, then they moved across town and she went to Sunset. Yvonne was an "A" student but never graduated because she lacked one credit -- P.E. The principal refused to make an exception and allow her to graduate without it, even though she was in better shape than most because she left school every day, took the bus to a dance studio in Highland Park where she took classes and taught children's classes for several hours. Nowadays all that dancing would count as a P.E. credit, but not in the 50s. She took summer school to make up classes she would miss while studying dance in New York, and once in New York she auditioned for and was accepted in the Ballet Russe touring company, and never returned for that one credit. Meridel said Sunset's classes of '54 and '55 claim her as their own even though she didn't graduate with either.
A highlight of my day. Don't know about yours.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky