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Star Trek – a story for every generation

A few weeks ago it was my great pleasure to interview author Stan Hampton Sr.  Stan has been one of the most popular writers on my blog to date, and one of the most interesting authors I have interviewed – and that’s saying something!  In case you missed his interview, here is a short biography:

stan hampton, star trek, helena fairfax
Stan on military service.  On these steps in ancient Sumeria he first asked himself the question whether he should leave the army, and pursue a career as a writer

SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. He is a veteran with prior service in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). On 1 July 2013 he retired from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class.

Stan’s writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies . Second-career goals include becoming a painter, and studying for a degree in photography and anthropology. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. In December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.

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Recently Stan very kindly offered to come back to my blog, to tell us a little more about himself.  There is also an extract from Intimate Journeys, his anthology of short stories. (The extract contains adult material.)

So, I’ll get out of Stan’s way –  and I hope you enjoy his post as much as I did!

* * * *

Maybe It’s In the Genes

            Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise…

On September 8, 1966, Star Trek aired for the first time.  I was 12 years old; I have no idea when I first saw an episode, but when I did, I was hooked. Star Trek became a life-long interest for me.

Who could have guessed that creator Gene Roddenberry (August 19, 1921-October 24, 1991) would offer a vision of a future of promise and hope that would touch so many people? And who can forget the characters of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (DeForest Kelley, January 20, 1920-June 11, 1999); Engineering Officer Lt. Montgomery “Scotty” Scott (James Doohan, March 3, 1920-July 20, 2005); or Nurse Christine Chapel (Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, February 23, 1932-December 18, 2008)? Who can forget their home—the USS Enterprise? Or their many adventures? Who could have guessed that Star Trek would give birth to generations of spin-offs, and movies?

I think the true success of the Star Trek Universe can be measured by those who are drawn to its generations-long vision and message about the future.

Anyway, I did not take part in the nation-wide letter writing campaign to save the show when threatened with cancellation; I never wrote a fan letter to ask for an autographed photograph of a cast member; never collected memorabilia; nor have I ever attended a convention. I did put together models of the Enterprise, a Klingon battle cruiser, and a Romulan bird of prey ship. Even now I still have an unassembled AMT kit of the Enterprise.

Imagine my surprise several years ago when my mom told me that she was a life-long Star Trek fan. I was absolutely floored by the news—my 70+ year old mother a Star Trek fan! The news was so surprising because, due to my being adopted when a baby and all of the negative emotions toward her as a result, we rarely spoke until a reconciliation 13 years ago.

She spoke about the original Star Trek, Star Trek Voyager, and Star Trek: The Next Generation, as if the adventures and the people were real. She wasn’t that fond of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. My mom told me about how she once tried to make a Star Trek shirt, and she wished she had a real phaser. I was amazed, and I understood her devotion. Time has proven just how much Star Trek has become so deeply ingrained within parts of the human race.

My mom was particularly fond of Star Trek Voyager, primarily because of the Native American character Chakotay. One year I bought the entire series on DVD for her. Every time I called after that it seemed like she was always watching an episode of Voyager. At least I did one thing that made her happy.

In April 2010 she suffered a heart attack and went into a coma. I, my youngest son and his family drove from Las Vegas to Oklahoma City. Because she was in ICU I couldn’t take her newest great-grandbabies up to see her. I bought a black ink pad and the oldest one made a handprint for her get-well card, and I made a footprint of the newest baby on the card. I left the card in her room, along with a CD player and several gospel music CDs—she loved gospel music.

Within two weeks my mom was dead. I flew back to say good-bye one last time.

Sometimes I wonder how the two of us, separated by decades of silence, were drawn to Star Trek. It could be that my mom’s devotion to Star Trek tells me a lot about her. Maybe there is something in the genes I inherited from my mom—some small element of being that drew both of us to such a television program.

I like to believe that somewhere within this unknown miracle that is this universe, mom is happily visiting with the spirits of Gene Roddenberry, Majel Barrett, DeForest Kelley, and James Doohan, while on the greatest voyage that sooner or later we all embark upon.

* * * *

stan hampton, helena fairfax, romance, short storyIntimate Journeys Anthology, by SS Hampton Sr.   Ed. Mel Jacob. Melange Books, February 2012.  ISBN: 978-1-61235-332-6

BLURB: Every journey through life is an intimate journey simply because it is someone’s personal journey. Sometimes the journey is like being alone in a small boat at the mercy of wild ocean currents, and sometimes the journey is like being part of a crew in a strong ship with billowing, wind-filled sails…

EXCERPT: Wayne Parkhurst stumbled quietly across the darkened, thickly-carpeted bedroom into the bathroom, slid the door shut, and flipped the light on. He groaned and staggered as if from a hard punch as he covered his aching eyes with shaky hands until he could brave the scorching light.

            He stared in the mirror at his bloodshot eyes, noted the ragged tufts of short, sandy-brown hair sticking in all directions from his pounding head, then realized his stomach muscles ached, and his left shoulder was burning. His eyes widened a he saw a large, finely-detailed, multi-colored tattoo of a dragon-prowed ship with the sail unfurled on his upper left arm. Across the sail was a laughing skull with a pirate hat against a pair of crossed skeleton bones.

            “My God, what have I done,” he whispered, though he had a pretty good idea of the night’s transgressions, as he stared at the tattoo and massaged his aching stomach muscles. What would his parents think? Or his fiancée, Missy? Or her parents? What would all of his relatives and future relatives-in-law think?

            “You really don’t remember?” a soft, cheerful voice called. In the mirror, Wayne saw a small, well-formed nude woman with delicate features and long black hair leaning nonchalantly against the doorway. Her arms were folded below large tanned breasts and her dark eyes sparkled mischievously.

            She wasn’t what he was used to, even for one-night stands, but as the old saying went, ‘any port in a storm.’ He definitely needed a port before the oncoming storm that loomed over his future, even his life.

            “I remember,” Wayne answered slowly as he looked at the dark, damp triangle between her legs. “I was being rhetorical.”

            “Good,” the woman replied as she stood on tip-toe and wrapped her arms around his neck. “I would have been insulted if you didn’t remember.”

            “I remember everything,” he replied as he embraced her and buried his face in the side of her neck. He enjoyed the scent of her perfume and the warmth of her sweat moistened flesh against his. “My God, I’m corrupt,” he mumbled as he gently ran his hands cross the soft rounded cheeks of her rear.

            “Not completely,” she said as she led him back to the bedroom, “but you will be.”

Excerpt from The Samar Café

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/sshampton/intimatejourneys.html

Thanks for coming back, Stan, and for sharing an extract from your anthology.  It’s been a great pleasure having you, and I hope you’ll be back again soon!

If you have any questions for Stan, or any comments at all, please let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

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9 thoughts on “Star Trek – a story for every generation

  1. I knew nothing of Stan’s background other than he lived in the Las Vegas area. Interesting to learn more about him. I found his “Maybe It’s In the Genes” blog endearing, the connection between mother and son with Star Trek.

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  2. Susan,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Like I wrote, I was really surprised when my mom told me she had been a Star Trek fan since it first debuted. Thank you for visiting.

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  3. Very moving piece, Stan. I loved Star Trek. It’s still a nostalgic memory for me and my brothers. We didn’t get in until much later in South Africa (after 1976) but I didn’t miss a single episode.

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    1. Charmaine,

      Good morning. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. So you’re a Star Trek fan, eh? A writer of impeccable taste, lol. Thanks for visiting, and have a great week.

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  4. Tina,

    Thank you for your kind words regarding the post and the story excerpt.. I can’t decide who my favorite character is – they all have traits that I like. And yes, the Star Trek appeal does seem to be universal, which to me is understandable. Thank you for visiting.

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  5. I did not know “Scotty” had a full name! LOL.. Stan, I imagine your storytelling skills could have come from your mom as she appreciated Star Trek’s tales. My parents thought it was a foolish show, but I loved it. The story lines were so well done and universal. Who cares if the story takes place in the past, present, or future as long as it is a great story? Your mom recognized that, for sure.

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  6. JQ,

    Hi. Yep! The best book about Star Trek that I found was by Stephen Whitfield, “The Making of Star Trek” (Ballantine Books, 1968). I looked up Scotty’s name in the book. Whitfield showed up on the set during the seconds season, so a lot of the book is based on his first-hand observations. Anyway, my mom never told me why she loved Star Trek – just that she became a fan when it first came on the air. Maybe deep down inside she believed in the positive potential of the human race. As for writing skills – I never thought of that. I know she wrote a lot of letters, including to me when I was deployed. Anyway, thanks for visiting!

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