Alberto Lisiero, Star Trek fan extraordinaire, president and co-founder of the Star Trek Italy Magazine, passed away unexpectedly last month. His wife and business partner, Gabriella Cordone, plans to carry on Alberto's work in his honor. Today, despite still contending with her grief, Gabriella shares -- in her own words -- her feelings about her loss and details Alberto's love of Star Trek and his role in fostering the franchise's popularity in Italy.
The night between January 1st and 2nd brought despair in my house and all over Italy, because my husband, Alberto Lisiero, died of a sudden heart attack. One moment he was with us, and the next he was gone. Alberto was the president and one of the founders of the biggest and oldest Italian fan club devoted to a science fiction saga, but for me, he was my Imzadi, the great soul who completed me, and I will always remember him as my personal Great Bird of the Galaxy. He was kind and gentle, trusting and smiling, always seeing the best in everything and everyone.
For a lot of people he was a true friend, capable of understanding and welcoming the differences. Alberto listened, truly listened to everyone like a confidant, with a childish curiosity that I can compare to Data’s, and in the end Alberto would know you better than you knew yourself. He literally lived by the spirit of IDIC every day of his life, and our home had been the home of many friends with whom we shared our experiences. We played, we talked, we watched episodes together, we simply stayed together in harmony, no matter what age, color, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation! Just people!
Those who were unfortunate not to know him personally knew his name because he had been the pillar onto which Star Trek in Italy rose from a virtually unknown American TV show to the phenomenon of today, with thousands of hardcore fans all over the country, the official magazine and the conventions that are renowned for the welcoming and cozy atmosphere. Alberto has always been a big fan of The Original Series, but the turning point was The Next Generation. When the series was aired in the US for the first time there was no Italian TV station broadcasting it, but thanks to Alberto's friends overseas, who recorded and sent the cassettes, we had the chance to watch it. And fell in love with it.
To do justice to the new series, Alberto proposed to be consulting the dialogue dubbers in order to keep Italian terminology consistent with The Original Series and the movies, and to supervise the new terms, not to mention to maintain the strict scientific terminology used in the Trek lore. He was determined to offer the best product to Italian fans, and for this "job" he asked only for credits at the end of the episodes along with those of dubbers. That was a pivotal moment in the history of Star Trek in Italy. Alberto knew that was the best way to reach out to fans who might be still feeling "alone" out there, and indeed the arrival of TNG on our Italian TV was the biggest step to form the huge group of people we now call "Star Trek Italian fandom."
The building of a trusting relationship with the professionals who worked at the Star Trek franchise in Italy was always predominant in Alberto’s mind. He was not just a "nerd" offering to correct some mistakes in dialogue, he was there to help in every aspect of localizing, and he did it with passion, determination and humility. Never once did he simply order people around, what to do or what not to do -- he rolled up his sleeves and got to work, along with those who wanted to help him, never above them. That is the reason why it was so easy to follow him, to listen and to think of him as the Admiral of Star Trek Italy. He soon became the "Star Trek expert" for everyone, and everything regarding Star Trek revolved around him and his extensive knowledge of the saga. He was also a collector of Star Trek magazines, books, memorabilia, and our house is the biggest collection of Trek stuff in Italy. He knew that without fans the franchise could not live, but without the franchise at its best there would be no fans at all!
The last weeks of 2012 had been filled with high expectations, as he was ready to help Star Trek Into Darkness to become the success it deserves. Of course, I will continue his work along with the many people who always helped Alberto, because the legacy of his passion and determination will not fade with his death.
Personally I am glad I had been his "Number One" for the best 26 years of my life, but I am so sad to think that he will not see the many exciting new steps Star Trek will take in Italy and in the world. He was so much expecting to watch the new J.J. Abrams’ movie, and he was also so eager to watch the third season of The Next Generation remastered, especially his all-time favorite episode, "Yesterday's Enterprise." Now that my husband is beyond what we perceive as this reality and has joined Gene Roddenberry, Michael Piller and all the others Trek souls who left us, I think the best way to salute him is to paraphrase his episode, saying...
Let's make sure history never forgets the name Alberto Lisiero.