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I Went To See Star Trek With My Dad

May 13, 2009

Neil’s Blog Entry

I went to see Star Trek with my dad. Not so blog worthy on its own, but bear with me.

My dad and I have seen every “Star Trek” movie together since the release of  Star Trek: The Motion Picture way back in 1979. Say what you want about that first film, but it still has a special place in my heart. True, Laura and I sometimes put that on when we can’t get to sleep at night. But I can still remember watching it on the big screen with my dad in my hometown theater.

And I remember crying when Spock died in The Wrath of Khan. (Just a little; I swear.) I remember laughing at The Voyage Home. I remember the passing of the torch in Generations. And I loved it. I loved them all. Even Nemesis.

I was a big “Star Trek” fan. I never went to any conventions or anything like that, but I did have a fairly large collection of memorabilia once upon a time. I am also slightly embarrassed to say that I once owned a Starfleet uniform. (Urgh. Did I actually type that? Hrmm. Yeah, I did.) I also once had coffee with William Shatner. Srsly.

Now my dad is not what you’d call a fan of “Star Trek.” In fact there were several movies in which I’d have to explain who this character is or why this guy is trying to kill this guy, etc. It just became something that we did. A father-and-son type of thing. Like fishing. Or playing football. We watched “Star Trek” movies together.

Back in 1979, I was much too young to go to the theater by myself and so it made sense that Dad would take me. But when I was older, and a new “Star Trek” movie would be released, Dad and I would end up seeing it with each other. Even in college, when I moved from my home in Hanover, Pennsylvania, to Cincinnati, it would just work out somehow… I’d be in Pennsylvania on break… or Mom and Dad would be visiting in Cincinnati… and sure enough, there’d be a “Star Trek” movie playing and we’d go see it. Same thing once I married Laura… we’d be visiting over Christmas, and Dad and I would say, “Hey look! They made another one!” And we’d be off to the movies.

And it was not something that we actually even noticed right away. It just sort of happened. In fact, it was in 1996, when First Contact came out, when I said to my dad, “Hey, did you know we’ve seen every one of these movies together?” “We have?” he answered, “How about that?”

This new movie – which I’m sure I will talk about in our next podcast to great depth – was originally scheduled to open in December of this past year. I called Dad when I found out about it and we tentatively penciled in a showing sometime when I’d be in Pennsylvania between Christmas and New Year’s. Several months later, the release date was changed to May 2009. Neither one of us had plans for visits in May and I thought to myself, “Ah well, it’s okay. You don’t have to go see every one with Dad.” But then it hit me. 1979. 2009. We had been going to see these movies together for thirty years.

This was something that I did with my dad. This was something that we shared. And this was something that I was going to do again.

I called Dad shortly thereafter and told him I had a plan. We would pick a town somewhere between Cincinnati and Hanover, drive and meet there and see the new “Star Trek” movie. A four and a half hour drive for a “Star Trek” movie? Of course he said, “Yes.”So taking a day off work on Friday, May 8th, I set off at 7:30 in the morning – knowing my dad was doing the same 500 miles away.

We met in Washington, Pennsylvania and grabbed a bit of lunch before hitting the Mall Theater for our movie. It was great. There I was once again, an eleven year-old kid sitting in the theater with my dad. Watching “Star Trek.”

After the movie, standing across gas pumps, my 82 year-old dad says to me with the biggest smile, “Are they going to make another one?” We fueled up, hugged goodbye, got into our respective cars, and drove away. I’d like to say it was because I was tired from the drive, but my eyes were stinging with tears.

“Are they going to make another one?”

Still with no pithy catchphrase,
Neil

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2009 10:41 am

    This is the most awesome thing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for sharing Neil.

  2. May 13, 2009 6:35 pm

    That was a lovely touching story. Really. Thank you for sharing, because that really was worth reading.

    You are a fortunate man.

    I remember seeing ST: TMP in 1979 in the theatre with someone close to me.

    I posted about the movie if you want to check it out.

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