Running a Star Trek collectibles site means you get contacted by people looking to sell stuff. Sometimes that ends in disappointment but sometimes you land a big envelope of Matt Jefferies autographs from Australia.
This is a story of the latter.
I received an email in early October: “I have hand written letters, card, magazine…. All signed by Walter Matt Jeffries… Found in a box of books I bought in an auction… Maybe you’re interested… cheers Tracy”
I was, and I asked for photos. Unfortunately, Tracy did not have set sketches or production notes, but rather personal correspondence from later in Jefferies’ life. The best item is a signature on an article about Jefferies in the December 1996 issue of Aviation Illustrated magazine. But yes, I was interested. Jefferies, the art director for TOS’ entire run, is a Star Trek hero and I had only the official signed card and the book his brother wrote, Beyond the Clouds.
Tracy suggested $100 plus shipping, and I countered at $100 including shipping. She agreed, and that’s when I learned she’s in Australia, so even better. $100 Australian is about $88 Canadian.
While I waited for the package, I asked Tracy for more details on the acquisition.
I bought a box of books at my local auction (deceased estate) and found some personal stuff belonging to Effie Young amongst the books. On the front of the envelope says … Do not throw out… friend since I was 15… Effie was an American girl (who ultimately married an Aussie) and she knew Matt Jeffries when she was a teenager (possible romance?) Effie lived in California growing up… Effie married and moved to Australia but she must have had a strong friendship over the years with Matt and his family, as he posted the signed magazine to her from California.
The package arrived and I am certainly pleased with my purchases. I got the magazine, a business card, a large envelope, a note signed “Love Walter” and a Christmas card he signed “Love Mary Ann ’n Walter.” For the scans of the last two items, I cropped out the personal details he shared with Effie. Jefferies was unwell and undergoing treatment, and the details are a little too personal to share.
Thank you, Tracy. It’s nice to get a small glimpse into this long-term friendship, and you made a little money and I have a few items connected to Matt Jefferies. Good deal.