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A Late Night TREK

late night musings on my long history with Star Trek

This is one of those posts that started late at night. (2 am to be exact). I just couldn’t sleep. My mind was swirling with many thoughts — good thoughts, thankfully — leading me to childhood and teen memories, which then led me on a rabbit trail about Star Trek. Yes. Star Trek.

First, it led me to the first showing of the first MOVIE (probably a Christmas treat in 1979 as that’s when the movie aired and I would NOT have wanted to miss it!) And I remember where I was… just saying! I went with my brother and a couple of friends. Mind-blowing, even though in retrospect it is my least favorite movie possibly because of the somewhat LONG pans of the ship etc. (Trying to mimic the worst parts of 2001 A Space Odyssey, perhaps? Ack! The only good thing about that movie is the iconic theme music!)

But I digress…

Then, as happens at 2 am, this led my mind to a trip I took to Vulcan, Alberta in 2019 with that same brother, a sister, and her husband. I’d never been to Vulcan before but had always wanted to visit. Lucky for me, Vulcan was the rendezvous point to pick up our cousin from Ontario. We were embarking on a “cousin tour” which took us through three provinces. Shirley wasn’t sure if she would be up for seeing many of our cousins again since many were getting elderly. What fun! (As it happens, cousin Shirley, now also in her eighties, IS feeling up for another cousin tour and is headed my way this summer! I’m on the tour, not part of it this time.)

But I digress–again!

My late-night thoughts then led me to my very first recollection of STAR TREK. I know I was about four years old because I know exactly where I was. I was lurking outside the basement cellar steps listening… I wasn’t supposed to be there. My oldest brother and his friend (our cousin) were downstairs where I believe he had a very crude man-cave of sorts (it was little more than a cellar) but there must have been a black and white TV down there and they were watching this new TV show that was deemed too scary for me. But I remember… the eerie music & sound effects, the phaser fire, the transporter, the “Scottie, beam me up!” 

We moved from that farmhouse before I turned five, which is why I know this was the original TV airing. (Check the dates!) It was probably past my bedtime. But I sat very still on the large porch steps that led to the smaller, steeper, basement stairs, listening as the sound floated up through the grate. The adults must have been visiting or playing cards so they didn’t see me there, at least not at first. I do remember getting whisked off to bed eventually.

My love of the show came in earnest in the early seventies when it went into syndication. I remember watching it faithfully (along with a few other Sci-fi classics like “Lost In Space”) and can say with confidence I’d seen most episodes by the time we moved from THAT house in the summer of 1973 just as I was finishing Grade 6. I guess as a 10 or 11-year-old I was deemed mature enough by then. Either that or mom was too busy with other things. (It was Saturday morning and she worked full time during the week…)

(See how useful moving a lot can be? I’ve moved more than thirty times in my life, so picturing where I was is a very useful way to remember dates. It’s been a bit harder since I’ve been fairly stationary in the past 20 years, having moved only twice in that time. So, I’ve had to scrounge for other markers, but moving was a great way, at least for the first part of my life, to remember those kinds of details!)

Digressing again? Perhaps!

I definitely know Leonard Nimoy was my first celebrity crush. I had a big poster of him as Spock and one of the Enterprise on my tiny bedroom wall in the place we lived next. (A trailer. You know, the kind with the long hallway and minuscule bedrooms, so there wasn’t a lot of wall real estate and I had to share the room with my sister for the first six months till she got married!) This would have been Grade 7 and 8, before my “Bay City Roller” phase which struck in Grade 9. I’m sorry to say, Spock came down in favor of plaid that year, and then we moved again, but I still watched devotedly. There’s room in your heart for more, right?

Disgressing again… it is now past three, folks!

I won’t wax long, but suffice to say, I have a long history and love of Star Trek in all its forms and at one time in my life had to give it up altogether for a time because I was showing obsessive/addictive tendencies. (Another digression and a different story.)

All this because I was thinking about cousin Shirley, my time in Vulcan, seeing the original movie… working backward… trying to fall asleep.

And now you know. This is how the writer’s mind works. If you lay in bed too long composing a post or a story or whatever you will NOT sleep until you dump it in some form. Paper, journal, computer. Whatever. A brain dump is necessary in order for sleep to come!

Here are some photos from that trip in 2019. (Pre-Covid freedom with no restrictions about travel or masks! Imagine!)

Tribute to the great Leonard Nimoy

Leonard’s handprint in the traditional Vulcan greeting!

A whole wall of Enterprise Doctors!

Grant and I go where no one has gone before! (At least not us!)

If you want to read the whole post it’s called Live Long and Prosper!

Here’s another post about how and why I gave up watching STAR TREK for a time. Surrender to God Brings Freedom

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