It was some 25 years ago -- soon after 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture" when James Doohan came to Bradley University to speak to students. The event was marketed as "Star Trekkin' with Scotty." I wasn't a student there, but I showed up anyway. He spoke and answered questions for about an hour, and I left with Doohan's signature on two Star Trek novels, which are among my most prized possessions.
A lot of actors would be upset at being typecast by a television show like Star Trek, but Jimmy Doohan, who died today, embraced it. And that's why he was in Peoria on that day and that's why he appeared at so many conventions across the world.
He was an entertainer, and he entertained. He did it well. I challenge anyone to name a character from the past 50 years who is better known as a pop culture reference. That's due to Doohan's talents, as much as anything else.
Beam me up Scotty, indeed.