Thursday, June 21, 2012

Starships Were Meant To Fly

Yes this is the real deal:)  From left to right.  King Tuzigoot, the Shat, and myself.
Dreams happen because of starships, battlestars or just plain ol' space shuttles.  Currently, I have some great music on, an opened bottle of wine(red of course) and have poured some of this fantastic liquid into my tiny green wine glass. Oh going to be one of those posts:) This post was written on a pad of paper and it's one of a personal nature.  Sometimes it's good to know a little background behind the writer and his blog. So I thought I'd go a little more into the history about why Star Trek saved my life as a teenager growing up in a small town.
Shatner was wonderful. Mortality has really affected him.  He talks about it to a silent crowd of 5000+ people. However, after a truly deep moment, he gets the crowd laughing again with pranks to cast and crew on the original Star Trek set.
Last year I wrote Legends about how Star Trek began for me.  My Freshman year I escaped into the fantasy of the Next Generation and got hooked seriously into the universe of Star Trek.  Growing up is not easy to do and I had a difficult childhood in my early teens.  The 80's and early 90's were the strange years defining myself without having proper role models(beyond my parents, grandparents etc).  I feel like you need people outside your familiar circle to grow as a person. So I led a secretive life behind my parent's backs.  It wasn't bad but it was a safe place for me to escape.  The Big Ideas of Star Trek exposed me to the bigger world.  I'd come home from school dreaming of exploring the Amazon one day or climbing the highest pyramid in Guatemala.....or looking for the buried kings of Egypt. I read Ranger Rick and Arizona Highways(seriously folks!!! When I say I love Tucson, I mean it!). That's part of who I was. As much as I treasure Wisconsin now, I didn't always feel that way and from a very early age, I knew I wouldn't live there.  I didn't want to be trapped in a small town with a house, white picket fence, kids, a wife or dog working in a business office trapped in a cubicle.  Now I live in a small community, concrete walled area, no kids(but 5 cats!), spouse, and classroom that seems like a cubicle at times:) Thankfully I never went that route;) The more things change; the more they stay the same.
Brent Spiner played the character "Data"
I would tape all of my Star Trek shows on VHS and watch them over and over again in a small room away from everyone in my family.  I'd isolate myself and get lost in the space logic of the Next Generation.  Data was my hero because he wasn't human and he tried so hard to understand what it was like to be one.  He was very much as different as I was. These episodes every week had a message and it was universal for all.  Each episode spoke to different people in different ways.  But it was a safe place for me to be....protected and secure, I knew that their words were the right ones.  Embrace all ideas.  Embrace all cultures.  Learn as much as you can from them.  Make a difference in this world before you leave it.  Love whomever you want but be true to who you are. It was okay to standout. And always boldly go where no one had gone before:)
I look like a huge giant farmer in this pic.  He's English/American. Jamie Bamber(Apollo) is seriously tiny! It's like comparing the American Robin to the English Robin:)
For over 20 years, there was always a Star Trek show on TV.  And in 2005, the last episode aired ending this chapter of my life.  I don't watch much TV anymore.  Why should I?  There's so much to see in person with Mother Nature!  But if it's one thing I's that all people should be treated equally.   I seem cruel and heartless at times with my students but it's what my mother and I both call "tough love".  I will NOT tolerate teenagers or adults using language like retarded, gay, or the many other not so nice words.  I make this well known the first day I enter the "Captain's Chair" in my classroom:) Hey, a podium works:) There's no place for any of that anymore. And I'm not a saint, but I always try and listen for better understanding.  The Star Trek philosophy is one that resonates with millions around the world.  
 I don't know many people who have such great facial expressions.  People always tell me that my face expresses a whole lot:)  It's nice to see someone else who does the same:)
Seeing these actors make me smile.  I could say thank you, but I already think the actors know why we visit with them......because they made a difference in our lives.  Shatner put it best. "You're not here to just see me.  You're here because of Star Trek. Something bigger."  Some have called it the "Cult of Trek".  I don't worship the actors, but they are an extended part of my imaginary family who protected me during a fragile time of my life.
I wish my Grandfather were here to meet William Shatner.  He would have loved to shake hands with him. This one is for you Grandpa.
Their stories changed my life so profoundly that at one point in my early 20's during my first exploration of life and travel alone, I was able to snap into my real persona.  It was one of the singular most powerful moments in my life.  Mexico is to blame:)  How did it happen?  A bottle of tequila, some dancing, good friends and an exchange family:) Mexico really opened me up to the world!  I guess you could say it was my first away mission:) At 18, I found Mexico. At 19 I returned to my hometown community college to wrap up the old me.  This was the darkest time of my life.  I can't believe the things I thought glad that at 20, I took control of my life and told people where to stick it.  The result?  A full and happy wonderful life. And I hope I can make that difference for others in my own work  Yes, it was an amazing day. 
These people rock! I also had a good laugh:) The Next Generation cast sans Patrick Stewart. Spiner is hilarious.
Star Trek inspires many of us to go beyond the realm of the known and take new steps everyday in each of our lives.  Make each day count.  "Be the change you wish to see in the world."  Fantastic words from the great Ghandi. And of course, "Boldly go where no one has gone before." 
This is a great song.  The original song is fantastic but not appropriate to put on the site.  I try to keep it PG rated:)  And on a side note, some posts go through lots of editing and rewrites.  This was one of them:)


  1. To bardzo dobrze, że spotkałeś na swojej drodze życia kogoś, kto pozwolił Ci spojrzeć na świat inaczej i wskazał właściwą dla Ciebie drogę życia. Jesteś z niej zadowolony i to najważniejsze. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    It's very good that you met along the way of life of someone who helped you see the world differently and pointed the right way of life for you. Are you satisfied with it and it is most important. Best regards.

  2. Star Trek was obviously huge and I am not surprised that it filled in your teenage life and dreams! In fact it is still massive, it has turned into a cult and even current teeenagers know it an dlike it! I am not sure about a remake, you just dont' remake this sort of series beacuse you can't replace an icon!
    Sorry for visiting less, i am very busy and i also encountered issues accessing my blogs for days on! But i am still keeping an eye on my blogfriends posts and i am publishing from time to time. keep well, DeeBee

    1. Hello there!!! It's so good to hear from you. I understand and no stress:) I check often to see if you posted something. Hope you you straighten out the issues with the blog. I know that can be nervewracking. Hope you are enjoying the wonderful weather. I imagine France is gorgeous right now:)

  3. Great post.
    I must admit I've never seen Star Trek, maybe I've missed something.
    Like you I don't sleep either the night before big events and I don't think I'll ever be able to change that.
    Wish you a wonderful day, Chris.

  4. "I'm a landscape architect, not a tree topper, you pointed-eared troll! - - - Jim!"

    I too enjoyed Star Trek and had some of the experiences you did, going into my world of astronomy, wondering about other worlds, etc. All good and it forms quite the rich adult experience. I wonder what it's like for those without that...oh, they (think they) rule the world.

    Great shots with the various actors...looks like fun!

  5. How awesome must that have been - standing in the middle of your childhood dream? You are absolutely right, some shows, Star Trek in particular had such a noble message, how did the writer(s) know how badly we needed them in our lives? Thank you for sharing your troubles, successes and your journey, something so much of us have in common.

  6. thanks for letting us into your world - as a teenager, young man, and now. :)

  7. Hi Chris, Wow--you did have a great time, didn't you? For Star Trek people ---this had to be a fabulous place to be. Meeting the 'Shat' had to have been very special.. Bet your grandpa was smiling down from above!!!!

  8. Sometimes it amazes me that people don't get what Star Trek was really all about. The whole space travel thing was really just the vehicle to express sound philosophies..."Embrace all ideas. Embrace all cultures. Learn as much as you can from them. Make a difference in this world before you leave it. Love whomever you want but be true to who you are. It was okay to standout. And always boldly go where no one had gone before:)" You said it all so well. Happy you're where you are today and happy with where you are today. :)

  9. Such fun ... love Shatner and really enjoyed him Boston Legal as Denny Crane.

  10. I was a fan of the original Star Trek. Shows like that provided inspiration and comfort when I was growing up. Thanks for the memories and for sharing some insight into your life.

  11. oh my enjoyed this
    I don't think there is a show out there now that teaches these things.....
    you swear!?!?!???? nah

  12. Thanks for sharing, it is great that life can turn around all for the better. What funto go to the re-uion! My hubby and brother are a big trekie fans. I do love Shatner's humor.

  13. Great story and great pictures!

  14. I like Star Trek and wished I can be there to hear them talk! We watched this on TV here as well (in fact, ST is popular worldwide). And that Glee video is explosive!!

  15. I've been a Trekie since Capt. Kirk and at first Picard threw me off. A different generation and times meant a different show. But always great messages and relevant social issues. Loved when a woman was put at the helm. Star Trek certainly had an influence on my life and although I never wanted to travel through space I always want to see the great beyond.

  16. Some brilliant photos there Chris. I used to enjoy Star Trek a lot. My son is a big SciFi fan and would love to go to one of the Doctor Who Conventions but the last one cost £150!

  17. Wow what a great post! I watched Next Generation but I also watched the very original. It was on Tuesday night and my Mom and Dad would let me stay up 1/2 later so I could watch this show. I watch most of the series that followed and saw every movie. I really enjoyed that last movie where Chris Pine play the young Capt. Kirk. I wish they would make another. My sons (in their 20's) and all their friends loved it!

    Thank you so much for sharing somehting so intimate with us. You seem like such a wonderful person and now we have some reasons why you are.


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