I heard on WCRJ this morning that today was William Shatner’s birthday, getting it wrong by two days. Must have been a time warp. He was born 3/22/31 in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighborhood of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to a Conservative Jewish household. Betcha didn’t know he was Jewish. So, yep, Captain Kirk has turned 90. How about that! He still looks pretty good.
Kathy and I have been huge Star Trek fans since the get go, especially of the original cast and the remakes with younger actors portraying the originals. Chris Pine has young Jim Kirk nailed. Mountains of prose have been heaped up about Star Trek, so stop me before I start adding my pile. This is about William Shatner.
We were privileged to see him live at Sound Board, MGM Grand Casino on Grand River in Detroit 1/24/16. It was just him at a podium, which he didn’t spend much time behind, regaling us with stories from his life. He kept us entertained for an hour and a half, even imparting a little wisdom. I still cherish and follow a chestnut he offered after describing his travails trying to scratch out a living after Star Trek closed down, his livelihood dependent on voices at the other end of random phone calls. This led to some interesting situations, but eventually TJ Hooker, and it was smooth sailin’ after that. He said what he learned was “Always keep yourself open to new possibilities”. That thought has served me in good stead since, especially since I’ve retired. You never know what’s going to come along.
So today was a special day for me and Kathy. Kathy’s been a space nut since John Glenn visited their Silver Lake Ohio house in a campaign swing. He was running for senate, and won.
Kathy’s kept her toe, and as much of her other body parts, in space as possible since then. She adapted her musculoskeletal research to space flight issues, received several grants from NASA to study effects of zero gravity on pregnant rats flown in the space shuttle, made the first cut in her application to the astronaut corps, got recruited to be one of NASAs chief scientists (space station ‘98-’00, human space flight ’00-’02), and served on several NASA committees since, including the Return to Flight Committee, convened to address the Columbia disaster. She acquired a master’s in lunar geology in ‘15 to bolster her space credentials. She’ll resign her appointment in the School of Kinesiology 7/1/21, but will retain her appointment as adjunct associate research scientist in aerospace engineering. Yes, I’m proud of her. The girl may make it to Mars yet.
So she didn’t flinch when I suggested we buy those Star Trek uniforms. Today seemed to be a good day to haul them out.
My tunic is a science officer’s uniform (Spock), custom made. Kathy’s belongs to the communications officer (Uhura) and is actually a short short dress, which looks great on her with those long long legs. Yes, we’re trekkies, hanging on anything about the original series, including the remakes. We don’t go to conventions or anything like that (see Galaxy Quest https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0177789/), but welcome any chance to don our uniforms and pledge allegiance to the Federation.
The backdrop of a handsome Kirk is thanks to Canada Post. An issuance of stamps honoring classic Star Trek characters was announced from Vulcan, Alberta (yes, there is) in 2016 https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Canada_Post. Offerings included some side art, which I had to snap up. I’ll never mail a letter with Cap’n Kirk, but I can have him on my wall. He was to have been hung on my revamped NIB office wall, complete with the chance to tell the story about keeping open to possibilities, but they wanted me gone before that could happen. He sits against the wall in our living room, waiting for his chance to adorn amongst all the space pictures. When there, he’s right at home.
The day is mostly gone, but we raised a few toasts to Cap’n Kirk before dinner and several more during. We don’t know Mr. Shatner’s favorite meal or I would have cooked it (but you remember what Cap’n Kirk’s favorite drink was, don’t you? They were both illegal according to the Federation: Saurian Brandy or the dreaded Romulan Ale). We didn’t have either on hand, but thought he might have enjoyed our dinner. Mainly a throw together of left overs, it was based on capillina (angel hair) pasta cooked up in the pot liquor left over from our St. Paddy’s corned beef. When Kathy tasted it, she said all else was superfluous. But all else was pretty tasty: thin sliced tenderloin (frozen since ’03) and chunked garlic browned in dried chili prepped hot lard (yes, lard) followed by butter braised mushrooms to which I added the half cup remainder of last nights roasted peppers. It looked pretty in the wok.
Think the replicator could make that? It tasted even better than it looked, with a chunk of Zingerman’s sourdough on the side to push stuff around and a bottle of Killerman’s Run 2017 Shiraz (Penna Lane, Penwortham, South Africa) to wash it all down. But that’s not the bottle I asked her to bring up from the cellar! So now we’ll have to tackle a Hahn GSM 2019, a Grenache-Syrah-Mouvedre blend from Soledad California, in the Monterrey Valley. In the interim we’ll have some Nibbles dark chocolate from San Diego for dessert. Light. Should you wish to make the same, here’s the recipe:
Now tell me Captain Kirk wouldn’t have liked all that! What a hoot it would be to have him over for dinner! Mr. Shatner, you’ve been a part of our lives for way over half a century. Live long and prosper! I know that’s Spock’s, but has there ever been a better wish?