February 2019 will be the 25th anniversary of one of the best moments of my life. I was introduced to Quantum Leap, the iconic 90’s TV series starring Scott Bakula, by my husband. I was a fan almost immediately. I subscribed to a fan magazine where I discovered that there conventions dedicated to the programme. I wouldn’t describe myself as a geek but I decided to investigate the possibility of going to Los Angeles for the weekend to attend the 1994 Leap Con.
It wasn’t really a road trip but we did hire a car from ‘rent a wreck’ from the counter at LAX….I would never do that again and I don’t know what possessed me to agree to this in the first place. My travelling companion had a close friend in Huntington Beach and as she had a house full we stayed in the camper van that was parked outside. I wasn’t best pleased with the arrangement and was really grumpy for a day or so….jetlag I guess and also not being in control of the situation.
We visited South Coast Plaza, Planet Hollywood Costa Mesa all in build up to the start of the convention. It was being held at the Hilton Burbank and we had tickets in row H. I had never been to anything like this and I realised that my interested in comparison to others was pretty conservative…..probably a British thing.
There were plenty of actors who had been in episodes of Quantum Leap over it’s five year run. After each of the panels there were signing opportunities so we quickly got into the habit of ducking out towards the end and lining up outside the main hall to get autographs. I still see actors all these years later in different shows and always make a point of telling the family whilst pointing that I have met him/her.
So to the point of this memory is that both Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell were appearing at the end of the convention. I videoed the whole thing from the back of the room and from the sides and eventually my seat. When Scott came on stage with long messy hair I was trembling trying to the keep the camera steady. I was all over the place. There was my hero right in front of me……wow!
Scott and Dean very graciously answered questions for over an hour no matter how random. It was all very exciting. After they had left the fans were left wondering what to do next. We had been joined by my companions friends at this point and so we decided to jump into the car and find food. Our first stop was at one of the diners that you parked up and a roller skating waitress came and took your order and you ate in the car. So we waited and waited to be served and in the end gave up…….our next try was at a Mexican restaurant bang opposite NBC in Burbank called Acapulco.
We waited for a table to be ready and after a short wait we sat down, looked at the menu, looked up and who walked into the restaurant?…..Scott Bakula….! OMG. I called his name, suddenly no British reserve, and he came up to us and I told him we had flown in from London to attend the convention. He shook each of our hands and thanked us for coming and told us that Dean was joining him. It was just getting better and better. We were giggly with excitement and sure enough Dean Stockwell strolled in. We were in the company of our heroes and didn’t have a pen, paper or camera between us, having left it all at the hotel after the convention ended.
We pushed a napkin in front of Dean and asked if he wouldn’t mind signing his autograph. He happy signed on the unstable paper and went to sit with Scott a couple of booths away from us. When our server came by with our starters we asked if could ask Scott to also sign the napkins that Dean had just done. After a couple of minutes he came back with the signed paper and said that Scott said that he would like to buy us all a drink to say thank you for being so respectful……still winning! When our drinks arrived we turned around as did Scott to say Cheers.
We did finish first and didn’t go and say good bye but Dean did raise a hand to acknowledge us leaving.
My goodness what an absolute blast!
So in the course of writing this none of the pictures are saved digitally and are on paper so bear with me and I will get some sorted for those of you interested enough.