Memories from Equicon '76
The Day Ray Trygstad and I met Gene Roddenberry

In the Spring of 1976, my dear friend Raymond Trygstad and I were Midshipmen at the U. S. Naval Academy. Ray was a Second Classman (Junior) in the Class of 1977, I a Third Classman (Sophomore) in the Class of 1978. In addition to the minor details of spending four years training to become Professional Naval Officers, both of us were staff members of The Log, a (…then somewhat unbridled…) humor magazine published by, and for the amusement of, the Brigade of Midshipmen. Ray was The Log’s Art Editor, I was a Co-Photo Editor.

(The Log has been around since 1913, although there were something like 8 years in the early to mid 2000's when it disappeared, then was ressurrected…but I digress….)

Both of us were also members of the USNA Men’s Glee Club and traveled once or twice a year when the club went on tour. And lastly (for the purpose of this setup), both of us were also (…and are to this day…!) inveterate Star Trek fans.

In April the Glee Club toured Los Angeles. On the plane on the way, Ray said to me, “Hey, did you know there’s a Star Trek convention in L. A. this weekend? And guess what—we have a day off from singing on Saturday!” The decision was made. Bright and early on April 13, 1976, dressed in our liberty whites, we presented ourselves at the Equicon '76 registration table as journalists from the Naval Academy (which we were!), obtained press credentials, and had a more-than-memorable time. The absolute high point, though, was the impromptu interview we scored with Gene Rodenberry, Star Trek’s storied and beloved creator. Ray wrote up the interview and we published it with my photos in The Log. (This link will download a PDF scan of the pertinent pages from the June, 1976 issue of The Log, Vol. 65, No. 10.)

The photographs below are from the convention and interview, and are as fond a set of memories as I carry from my time at the Academy. You can clearly identify Ray and me. We’re the only ones at the convention in all-white attire. Ray’s shoulder boards have two diagonal stripes, mine have one. I shot all photos with Ray or neither of us in them. Photos with me in them were Ray’s work with my camera. The camera was a Canon FTb I’d had since high school (…still have it…somewhere…). The film was Kodak Tri-X that I developed and printed at the time. Recently, while cleaning out a storage room, I came across the 35mm negatives and several prints (oh joy of joys!). I digitized the negatives directly to positive images with a PlusTek model OpticFilm 7600i Ai film scanner using SilverFast® Ai v6.6.2r5 software for Windows. I also did a wee bit of cleaning up scratches and such in Photoshop CS5.5.

So…after more than four decades, here they are again in a format better suited to the internet age. It is my sincere hope (and I’m certain it's Ray’s) that you thoroughly enjoy these images. Bon appetit!

—James D. Gafford
San Francisco, California
2019, June 8


First and foremost to Ray Trygstad, IT professor and guru, bagpiper, tenor, preacher, and my ever-friend and co-conspirator on our galactic voyage (and not to mention…author of the earliest version of my web site). Ray's ping to his colleagues at the Illinois Institue of Technology's School of Applied Technology / Information Technology and Management led me to Lighbox.

This photo gallery was made possible by Slimbox 2, a set of CSS and JavaScript files copyright ©2018 by Christophe Beyls. The latest version of Slimbox 2 (2.05) is hosted and available for download at GitHub. If you enjoy playing with web site source code, you'll love this!

Christophe's work is based in turn on the original and ever-popular Lightbox2 CSS / JavaScript system created (and copyright ©2015) by Lokesh Dhakar. (Lightbox2 can be downloaded from Lokesh's Lightbox2 site.)

Both systems are licensed under the MIT License.


All black-and-white thumbnail and full size images in this gallery are copyright ©1976 (for original Tri-X film images) and ©2019 (for digitized images) by James D. Gafford. All rights are reserved into perpetuity. These images may be used by anyone in any fashion they deem appropriate provided that 1) no alteration is made to any image other than adjustments to size, resolution, cropping, and/or image clarity necessitated by a particular display or publishing need, and 2) that this copyright notice is included unaltered in its entirety. Raymond E(dward) Trygstad (originally of Vista, California, now of Naperville, Illinois) and his assigns/heirs are explicitly excluded from all restrictions herein, and may do with any and all of these images as he and/or they may please.