Captain Kirk, my role model and a great story-teller

Up till Now: The Autobiography

I’ve read roughly 120 pages of William Shatner’s autobiography, Up Till Now. It’s written so that you feel that Bill is in the room, having a relaxed chat with you about his life. It’s full of the whimsy that his personality — and Priceline ads — project. His tales are lively and interesting, and you can sense his zeal for life.

I’ve always had a soft spot for this actor. In college, we had to write a paper on the role models we had while growing up. The professor seemed upset when I included the character of Captain Kirk. He thought it was strange that I’d choose a male, rather than female, role model — and a fictional one at that. But in the era I grew up, there were no strong female leads on television, and few in film. It was debated whether women should be allowed to seek careers, and even whether it was appropriate for them to wear pants. Women were to work their buns off in the background so that their husbands could live interesting and rewarding lives.

As a child, I spent most days playing outdoors. In the summer, my friends and I would go inside and sit on the cool terrazzo floor to watch black-and-white horror movies. It was disturbing to see that grown women had disturbingly weak physiques — dropping to the ground each time they stubbed a toe. It’s a good thing that there was alway a man around to lift them up, comfort them, and laugh at their naivete.

When I first started watching Star Trek, I was really too young to understand the full meaning of its stories. I just thought it was “cool,” and got a kick out of watching something my mother greatly disproved of and that my older brother thoroughly enjoyed.

As I entered my teens, and reruns of the show continued to play, I appreciated the conceptual side of the show.  And Captain Kirk became everything I dreamed of being — strong, brave, clever, and adventurous. The fact that he always survived his adventures probably didn’t hurt either.

Morgan Freeman as Vincent the Vegetarian Vampire

Is there anyone who doesn’t like Morgan Freeman?

Before Mom had her heart attack, I visited The Clearwater Marine Aquarium [Florida]. Tim, a fantastic tour guide at the facility, told the audience that he spotted Morgan Freeman during the filming of Dolphin Tale.

“Vincent the Vegetarian Vampire!” Tim blurted.

Freeman’s jaw dropped. He put his hands on Tim’s shoulders and said, “Of course you know, you just dated both of us.”

So of course, when I got home from Florida,  I had to look up videos of “Vincent.”