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  • My trek aboard the Starship Enterprise began when I was six years old. I watched the original television program until it was canceled. Once it was gone, I joined groups where we sent mail petitions to Paramount to bring it back. I bought all the books where they novelized the episodes. I had all the plastic models hanging above my bed on fishing line with glow-in-the-dark stars glued to my ceiling. Mr. Spock fought a three-headed lizard on my night table, and I had a poorly painted model of the bridge on my dresser. My cheap plastic tricorder, phaser, and communicator set served me well as I searched for unknown life forms in our backyard. I had maps to the Enterprise (I found the bathrooms), and I had a blue Science Officer windbreaker that I was too embarrassed to wear to school. I even put rubber bands on my ears to find my inner Vulcan. That was both Logical and Fascinating.

    I don't have a lot of warm childhood memories of time spent with my father, but I do have one. I remember Dad taking me to see Gene Roddenberry lecture at a local university. I wore the blue windbreaker but left my ears alone. Gene talked about the series then played his infamous blooper reel. Dad and I laughed along with the rest of the appreciative audience. I don't think I was ever as close to him as in that moment of nerd joy. There was a community to Star Trek, and in that room full of laughter, my Dad and I shared what I loved most.

    When "Star Trek The Movie" finally hit the big screen, I was there on opening day and the next day too. Some people said it was too slow and serious, but to me it was perfect. My heroes had returned. The voyage continued.

    Gene Roddenberry's vision still inspires me, a vision that the world can be a better place for all. That humanity can live together in a spirit of cooperation and not conflict. That one day we will replace greed and hunger with knowledge, scientific exploration, and creative endeavor. That our destiny is to go where no one has gone before, either in mind and spirit or through intergalactic travel to strange new worlds. Our mission IS to live long and prosper... and if we can dance with exotic green women and drink Romulan ale along the way, well, that's just a perk of joining Star Fleet.
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