Bridging Generations: My Lifelong Love of Star Trek

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Star Trek. This franchise has been a constant touchstone from the very beginning of my life. To understand what Star Trek means to me, I need to tell you a little more about me. I am the youngest of four daughters, by a wide margin- eleven years separates me and my closest sister, twenty-one years separates me from my oldest sister. It was always hard for me to share interests with my family because of how many years there were between us. In fact, my two oldest sisters were out of the house by the time I was born. My father and grandfather were very stoic in how they held themselves, a relic of how they had been raised and the things they had seen in their service to their country. However, Star Trek provided a bridge between us all. Its stories offered a common ground of enjoyment as well as simply being some of my favorite memories. Star Trek to me has always been something that helped tie me to my family and that is why it has always meant so much to me.

Some of my earliest memories center around Star Trek, and not just one incarnation. Every week, I would crawl onto the couch with my dad and watch Voyager. It was my first favorite show and Captain Janeway was my first childhood hero. I didn’t always understand what was going on but I always knew that Captain Janeway did the right thing to take care of her crew. We always had special snacks on Voyager night and I always got to stay up late, even on school nights. Those nights were some of my favorites as a kid. When my father passed away ten years ago, it was those nights on the couch watching Star Trek I reminisced about at his funeral. To this day, when I miss him, I buy some of our favorite snacks and put on an episode of Voyager. Sometimes, it almost feels like I’m back on my childhood couch, journeying through the Delta Quadrant for the first time.

During school breaks and summer vacation, I would often go stay with my grandfather for a few days to a week at a time. He didn’t have cable but what he did have was VHS copies of every episode of the Original Series. That was how I first experienced the adventures of the NC-1701 Enterprise, staying up until midnight with my Papaw then going to get hot, freshly glazed donuts from Southern Maid once we finished the last episode on the tape. It was one of my favorite traditions that we had. We would talk about the episodes while we ate those just out of the oil treats. My favorites were always Bones and Scotty and I remember talking my Papaw’s ear off about them! I believe the sarcastic nature of one Doctor McCoy is at least partially responsible for my own brand of humor.

I bonded with my oldest two sisters over the Next Generation in reruns and to this day, one of my sisters and I bombard each other non-stop with Star Trek memes. This happiness, these fond memories are what brings me back to Star Trek. I’ve often referred to Trek as my comfort franchise and without a doubt, it is. It is all Trek that I love as well. Old Trek, new Trek, all Trek is valuable to me because this franchise has been a lifelong companion to me thus far. And it always will be. Whether it is through rewatching favorite episodes or staying up far beyond when I should to see the newest episode as it drops, I will always be a fan of Star Trek. It will always be a fixture in my life because of how tied it is to my best memories with my family, to connecting to the important people in my life.

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