How Captain Kirk, and Gene Roddenberry created Me.



Like many of us who grew up in the late 1960’s, I’ve been deeply influenced by the presence of the STAR TREK legacy for most of my life.  I’ve watch the original series version more times than I can count.  Honestly I haven’t kept up with all of the Next Generation and other spinoffs for various reasons, like “Oh yeah … I almost forgot, I have a life too.”

So recently I found myself taking one of those on-line personality inventory things that help you understand the makeup of your personality, as well the personality of others.  I’m and INFJ, which is something that I think, is fairly accurate for me, but is not something I’m prepared to go into a lot of detail on at this writing. But if you’re really interested, I’ll provide the link and you can do your own study to try and figure out who you are.

What I’m interested in looking at here is the way the character of Gene Roddenberry’s and William Shatner’s creation: Captain Kirk has become a big part of who I am. I’ve always been and fan of the series, but I’ve also been a big fan and enthusiast for popular culture, and entertainment in particular.

After I took the personality inventory, I began thinking about how it defined me as a Diplomat, with a Judging trait.  And of course like many people I jumped to the conclusion that judging might be a negative trait. The test also defined me with the variant of Turbulent, which to my mind also seems to suggest another negative trait.

But looking into this more deeply I thought that these are not necessarily negative traits when balanced out but other more positive traits that I know are a big part of my makeup. Traits like patience, kindness, caring attitude, and a great ability to empathize which are all traits that I have in abundance.

Which gets be back to Captain Kirk, and my memories of one episode in particular where through a transporter malfunction of some sort, Captain Kirk becomes two separate personalities existing in parallel universes. With his personality separated he is not really fit to exist in either universe, and suffers delusions of grandeur in one, and deep feeling of anxiety and inadequacy in the other.  The point of the story being: that to be whole the positive and negative sides of Captain Kirk must somehow reintegrate in order for him to be whole, and to survive and be the leader of the starship that as Spock would say, was “his first and best destiny.”

Like Captain Kirk, I believe and understand that it is the combination of all or our personality traits, both positive and negative that makes us who we are, and who we will be.  Kirk’s reintegration made him the strong, decisive, adventurous leader and fit for duty as the Captain of the Enterprise. Just like Captain Kirk, it is the combination of our character traits that make us fit to lead our own enterprise, our own lives as only we can.

So, I give a big “thumbs up” to Gene Roddenberry, William Shatner, and the venerable Captain Kirk for one of the many life lessons transported to me through time by the STAR TREK Universe.

For access to the Personality Test go to: http://www.16personalities.com/

Please share your comments, questions, suggestions or things you'd like to see in this Blog.

Photographic Images



Many of these images are being seen for the first time in over 40 years.


The thing I love about old photos is the sense of history they capture. Not history in the sense of great events, although I have captured a few of those, but the common every day kinds of things that go on in the lives of millions of people everywhere around the world. I think it is a noble cause to capture history, brief moments of time, images of people and how they were on that particular day at that time in their lives.

Lately I've been publishing a lot of photos on Facebook. Many of them are old photos that I've taken over the years, or photos of me in my early college days. I worked my way through some of those years as a student / photojournalist. I always had to work to put myself through school. I had some help from my parents, but not a lot. They had adopted five kids during the time I was still in school so they were in no position to be able to help me much. Fortunately I've been into photography since beginning classes in high school. This was long before the invention of the digital camera. This was back in the days where all still photography was still done using film. This was when the beginning photographer either had to have plenty of extra cash to be able to afford to get the photo processing and printing done by a photo lab or needed to have access and knowledge of how to develop and print photographs on their own.

I  had taken a home study course in photography beyond my high school classes. So I was ready and eager to approach the college student newspaper and begin a job as a budding photojournalist. It also helped that I could spell with some accuracy. I began to shoot photo assignments every week, developing my own film, printing my own images for the school's weekly newspaper. It was gratifying to know that thousands of people were seeing and being informed by my images week after week. I enjoyed the work. This idea of getting out of the office and into the lives and working environments of all kinds of people was rewarding personally as part of my development at that time.

 Eventually I worked my way up to Photography Editor on the small community college newspaper, and then later transferred over to a bigger university where I continued with the photojournalism. In the end I had to leave the student path to help my parents with their five adopted kids. During that time I also pursued some of my more artistic talents in music and recording. So much was being accomplished in my young life that even though I wasn't making much money, I was getting to do what I loved and to travel and spend time with some of my best friends. This was all a very creative time for me.

Now, fast forward about 30 years and I have a couple of boxes full of 35 mm film images, many of which have never been published any where, and many of them have never even been printed. So now that I'm going through these boxes, digitizing the images, I'm finding some real gems I didn't even know existed. It has been a real adventure to find and share some of these unknown images. I'll be doing more in the days ahead.

Over the years I've also been developing as an artist by learning to draw. I'm just beginning to create a series of cartoon characters, images as panels, which I'll display here as well. I imagine at some point I'll get a dedicated space to house my many art images. But for now I'll be posting some of them here. I hope you enjoy them.  Please comment if you feel so inclined.

See a collection of my work here: http://tinyurl.com/qegxxub