Here's the danger of only linking your Star Trek anniversary parties to the debuts of series... you miss moments like this:
45 years ago today, the living breathing icon we call the Gorn was born. No, not the aired date of "Arena"—that would be Jan. 19, 1967—and no, not the Oct. 10, 1966 first draft date of the story—with all due respect to Fredric Brown's story, included in Gene Coon's first Star Trek script.
No, I'm pinning this to the date when that script and Wah Chang's budget-classic costume came together at the equally iconic Vasquez Rocks County Park under the direction of Joe Pevney, in his first assignment for Star Trek—on a Wednesday, the second of six long days for the shoot.
And lucky we have Bobby Clark, the stuntman/actor who donned the suit for two days that would forever endear him to pop culture (much more than the other three episodes he appeared in, out of his long, long TV and movie career). I talked to him last year at Vegas, finally, and saved our chat for this day—look him up when you can at the larger cons and shows such as Creation and the 2012 WonderCon, for starters: