Our friend Dan traveled to the Pensacon last weekend and had the chance to meet Summer again. He was so kind to share this and his last meetings with her.
Now my Summer Glau story that goes back 3 cons. Anyone who doesn’t already know, Summer is my favorite actress and has been for many years. I went to my first con when I saw that she was going to be there. I had no idea how much fun they were. Having recently started working at Rockler and having fun with the laser engraver, I decided I would make an engraving to give her at the con. Now when I finally got to meet her and her husband Val who was there, being my first con, the first time meeting any celebrity, and it being Summer….well, I kinda went all fanboy. I completely forgot everything I was gonna ask her and just about everything I wanted to say. She and Val were both very gracious and kind, they made a big deal about me giving them the engraving, I got a selfie with her and made my escape.
Feeling like a complete noob, I decided to go back the next day and try again. I was the first person to her table, and while I was waiting I noticed that drawn on the paper tablecloth in sharpie was a heart with the letters “V + S & M.” Knowing their daughter is Mila, it was obvious that either Val or Summer and drawn this, and in a burst of inspiration I snapped a picture of it. Figured if I ever got the chance to meet her again, this would be great to incorporate into a piece. After meeting him, I became a fan of Val as well. Btw, I acted much more like a rational human being that time.
A year later, I saw that she was going to be at another nearby con with a couple other Firefly cast. I didn’t want to just do another laser etching. I had to up my game. So I started learning how to make CNC carvings. I had already found the perfect picture, being a shot of her, Val, and her baby, so after going through a bunch of tests and refining the process, I set to work on her carving.
When I met her at that con, I shared the story of our last meeting. She remembered the laser engraving I gave her after I reminded her about it. Her reaction when I gave her my first carving was priceless! She held it up, showed it to her assistant, said, “Look. That’s my baby!” She almost started crying. Glad she didn’t, that would have wrecked me. Then she came around the desk and gave me a hug. And it happened to be on my birthday. Best. Day. Ever. The only down side was that Val wasn’t there. I did see him and little Mila the next day and he thought it was awesome. Until now, I have not posted this picture anywhere as I forgot to ask her permission to post it since it was a personal pic of her family. So I kept it to myself until I saw her this weekend and she gave me permission to share it.
That brings me to the con this weekend. I didn’t make anything to give her, but I had some new carvings for her to sign. When I got up to the front, Summer said, “I know you!” She remembered my name, too, and asked what new stuff I had. I pulled out the latest to show her and she was again thrilled. I told her she could write whatever she wanted on it (I already had Firefly quotes and autographs) and since I had told her how she had inspired me to be a better woodworker, she wrote “You inspire me…” Then I went back with the masterpiece later (it was too big to fit in my bag and carry around). Her reaction was priceless! She couldn’t believe the detail I got in the faces. It seemed like she was afraid to sign it cuz she didn’t want to mess up her signature. 🙂 Oh, I also asked her if she would punch me in the photo op. She did. Lol.
A note about her family pic/carving: like an idiot, I didn’t take a picture of the final product with the heart carved on it, so this picture has the heart photoshopped on to show you what it looked like.