A Look Back At Baltimore’s 38th Shore-Leave Convention

Here in Baltimore Md, we honor a favorite tradition by attending the fascinating local ,fan run and fan friendly, Shore-Leave Convention!

I always hate when my time machine is in the shop. There are so many genre cons and happenings on Earth during these years . Here in Baltimore Md, we honor a favorite tradition by attending the fascinating local ,fan run and fan friendly, Shore-Leave Convention! So many like minded beings from across the Galaxy, or father , share in festivities abound at Shore-leave 2016. Travel back in time with me , 38 years to be exact. We fanatics witness the Star Trek Association of Towson, establishing their first Shore-Leave CON. And, we like it……more than a shipful of cute purring Tribbles.

But, where was I…..oh yes, my stupid time machine. I knew I should have waited until tomorrow….or wait, was it yesterday? Hmmmm. Anyways, the Shore-Leave weekend boasts so many activities, attending panels, walking the dealers rooms, meeting the guests stars for a brief yet fun time while grabbing their signatures! I myself , over the years, have amassed hundreds and hundreds of autographed items from these genre guest stars !

This year the visiting main acting guests were, Karen Gillam, John Noble, Michael Forest, Barbara Bouchet, Zoie Palmer, Anthony Lemke, Anthony Montgomery, and Michael Trucco. Many writers, artists, scientists, and so many others that come to meld with fellow fans! I was honored to be able to get a chance to interview John Noble, Michael Forest, Barbara Bouchet, and Anthony Montgomery. It is incredible even to me that I can sit down with a guest stars and just chat about them, their career, and of course their sci-fi shows or films!

This years Shore-Leave falls on none other than the 50th year anniversary of STAR TREK itself! I was 11 years old when I first watched this show in September of 1966. Yes, I know, I am old. Why do you think I need to get my time machine out of the darn shop. Got places to go…….anyways……where were you when you first remembered watching Star Trek?

Shore Leave Mark Gross With Michael Forest

Mark with Michael Forest

During my interviews with the four guests I was able to chat with, they shared some interesting tid bits. Michael Forest, who played the Greek God Apollo in Star Trek episode, ‘Who Mourns for Adonais,’ was a really fun interview. Micheal shared with me that when William Shatner first met him on the set, Shatner was standing on his toes bouncing up and down to chat because Michael was so tall. Michael, also tells me that he is a huge fan of astrophysics and Nasa!

Shore Leave Mark Gross with Barbara Bouchet

Interviewing Barbara Bouchet

Barbara Bouchet has been an actress in the USA and in Italy as well . She played Kelinda in the original Star Trek episode, By Any Other Name. During the kissing scene in that episode, she says Shatner asked her out for a date. She went to his trailer, but when he came out of the make up caravan, he did not have his hair piece, so he was bald. Barbara said it frightened her so she just ran the other way! Barbara tells me that she was lucky to have worked with Bob Hope, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Otto Preminger and so many more.

Mark interviews the brilliant John Noble

Mark interviews the brilliant John Noble

John Noble tells me he loves his character Walter in the series, Fringe. He also thoroughly enjoyed his intense role as Denethor in Lord of the Rings. John says that when he is not shooting for TV or films, he loves puttering around the house on projects, especially gardening. He loves being an actor and working a lot!

Anthony Montgomery, loved his role as Ensign Travis Mayweather on the Star trek series, Enterprise. Anthony has created his own comic book series called Miles Away. It is about a young 16 year old student named Maxwell Miles. The tag line is….In school he feels like an alien…after school, he fights them. Anthony has many other projects going on as well . He has danced, done theater, and more! As far as his role on Enterprise, Anthony says he enjoys being part of the Star trek lexicon! He still travels worldwide to attend conventions and promote Miles Away.

Mark Hanging Out With Anthony Montgomery

Mark Hanging Out With Anthony Montgomery

You really do need a time machine, especially one that works, or at least the entire weekend to experience everything at the Shore-Leave convention. I always enjoy seeing fans in full costumes hanging out and some waiting to come out for the costume contest masquerade. Plus, so many panels, art show, auction for charity, music, gaming, workshops, huge outdoor telescope, science programs, the Ten Forward after party and so much more goings on during these three days!

Karen Gillan was not doing interviews, and her time was tight during her Saturday and partial Sunday stay. When she was closing up Saturday night, I asked her and her manager to please take my card. I wanted to see if she would do a quick email interview after the weekend. She said they would try to get back with me. Karen was very kind. She even signed my Shore-Leave program guide for me, for free. I acquired autographs also from all the guests I interviewed. After all, I, like you, am a collector of hand signed items. I have been for almost 40 years now. Earth time that is.

OK, time for me to head towards other adventures now. To boldly go where this short little bald guy has not gone before . Or, perhaps I already have, and I am catching up with myself and my refurbished time machine. Perhaps, passing through time lines and meeting myself along the way. I hope to see you all again at next years 39th Shore-Leave convention. Hopefully it will just be me from this present time line, and not many of me from various points in time. Boggles the mind. I think I should just trade my machine in for a transporter device. What could go wrong with a used transporter unit? If , however, only my head makes it to the show next year, you’ll know why. Beam me up.

Shore-Leave 2016 was a grand time over it’s 3 day weekend run. Fans get to take away many a unique involvement as I am sure the guests, writers and all others involved do. I was able to get interviews, snap many photos, obtain some autographs, and connect with friends all while covering the show. It is usually a bittersweet time when Shore-Leave winds down Sunday evening. We humans and other beings from other worlds, dimensions, realities, and times, prepare our minds to return to our lives again , having had such a delectable experience!

I would like to thank my crew over the weekend, the incredible Jessica Blitz and the impressive and tall Clare Brewer. These two ladies were astounding partners shooting video and photography all while keeping me out of trouble! Jessica and Clare both arrived individually to meet me using their own shuttle crafts. I am still trying to figure out when I am able to get my time machine repaired. Until then, I’d also like to thank all those associated with the Shore-Leave Convention!

You can view more photos of Mark Gross and his assault on innocent cosplayers at Shoreleave via our Facebook Gallery, which have linked up below:

You can learn more about Shore Leave at their website, which is right here!






Mark J. Gross has been a fan of the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genre, since being stranded on this planet in 1955. Not telling anyone I was stuck here with a broken time machine, shhhh.... on paper I hail from Baltimore Maryland.
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