What do Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise and I have in common? We’re both Iowans! I am Iowan by import; I moved here from Wisconsin in 1988. But Captain Kirk is Iowan by future birth, in 2228.
His official future hometown is Riverside, a tiny town in eastern Iowa that throws one helluva party in his honor every summer. To be fair, Riverside’s Trek Fest honors the entire Star Trek enterprise (with a lowercase e) — the original series, the movies, and all the ensuing generations.
Jim and I go way back, although I was too young to watch the original series in 1960s prime time. I first watched it several years later during afternoon reruns. In high school I read “The Star Trek Reader,” novelized versions of the original episodes, while I patiently waited for the Star Trek movies that I knew would come some day.
I made a point not to see Star Wars when it debuted, because I was holding out for Star Trek. To this day, I haven’t watched any of the Star Wars movies all the way through. You can keep your galaxy far, far away. I’d rather go where no one has gone before.
P.S. Be sure to add Trek Fest to your bucket list and get yourself to Riverside, Iowa, on June 26-27, 2015.
Also, remember to celebrate William Shatner’s birthday on March 22.
And farewell, Mr. Spock. Live long and prosper in your final frontier.
(At right: a few items from my desk.)