I cannot remember geeking out on a topic as much as I have today.
Star Trek is 50 years old today (as least as far as when it aired... the show already was a year in production or so when it aired). Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator, started putting words to paper in 1964.
I guess I would call Star Trek one of my oldest, and longest lasting friendships. I was nine years old when it first aired on this date in 1966. I've loved every moment that involved watching it, reading it, living it (I view my Navy adventure as something born out of my love of the show).
My imagination was captured from the moment I saw the USS Enterprise in orbit. The characters, the stories, the dilemmas, the morality plays, all have served to make me who I am today. If that sounds corny, so be it but I know it to be true.
The show was definitely a product of its time, and I certainly hope it has influenced our future. Can a TV show do that? Can a book? Can a movie? Can a comic book? Sure!
Star Trek has shaped just about every facet of my life. The show's view of humanity, of diversity, of tolerance, of a curiosity of the universe about us has inspired me. I would not be wrong if I stated that 90% of the friendships I have had through my life were with those who share my love of the TV show.
I met my best friend in high school Randy and girlfriend, later wife because of the show. My South Bend friends including Sherri, Jane, and Brian. Many of my friends from the Navy (a good many) are Trekkers too... Barnes & Noble employees are all too often nerds (we love books and a lot love Star Trek too).
My son Wes and I share a lot of interests in life and no one should be surprised knowing that Star Trek is one of them. Poor kid never stood a chance. Wes was born but four months before the release of Star Wars, but in our household, there were always books and most of them were Star Trek.
One of my Navy friends, Tim, with whom I served with in Afghanistan, told lots of people there I have a huge tattoo of the Starship Enterprise embellished between my shoulder blades. I don't. But it sure was amusing because just about anyone who knows me wouldn't have been surprised if I had... and they were somewhat let down when they learned I don't. Maybe I should?
Star Trek has led to conventions, to book groups. Heck, Sherri and I taught a Star Trek class at IUSB's Continuing Ed program back in the 90s. It was a blast! Sherri and I belonged to a Star Trek group (USS Magellan) in Chicago for 20 years. No, we didn't wear uniforms at our gatherings, but we did do an awful lot of community service work (blood drives, charity drives for PBS and the like).
THAT is what Star Trek is about.... being a part of our world, not retreating but working to make a better tomorrow for everyone.
I think Gene Roddenberry and the hundreds, if not thousands of people before the cameras and those behind the scene, the authors, directors and technicians would all be proud of how their contributions to this little sci-fi dream have changed the world for the better.
Happy 50th anniversary, Star Trek! Here's to the future!