I mentioned in my entry last night that I met a man who shared my birthplace. Most of my students assume I was born in Nebraska but as you will see, that is not the case. The following is from April of 2007.
One of my students, Lauren, just returned from a trip to New York to explore modeling possibilities. At worship services, her mother asked if I had ever been to the Big Apple. "Been there? I was born there!" Actually, it was Brooklyn and we moved when I was young but there is just something about the locale where we first see the light of day. Many famous people were born in New York; not so many where I was raised in Nebraska. Communities try to link themselves to favorite sons or daughters as a matter of civic pride. Sometimes the link can be financial if the birthplace becomes a tourist attraction. But what if the celebrity is fictional and is still two centuries away from birth? Sound crazy? Not to the good folks of the very real speck on the map, Riverside, Iowa. With a population of less than a thousand, Riverside has proclaimed itself the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, commander of the Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek television show and movies. Star Trek creator Gene Rodenberry once made mention that Kirk would be born in a Iowa village. The citizens of Riverside made the next logical step by announcing that Kirk will be born in their Washington County hamlet on March 22, 2228. It has to be true- there is a plaque to prove it! (Perhaps not coincidentally, William Shatner who brought the role of Kirk to life, has March 22 as a birth date. Ironic.....or fate?) With no opposition from the Star Trek copyright holders, Riverside now plays hosts to Star Trek gatherings in a hope to bring badly needed income into the local coffers. There is talk of building a Star Trek museum in Riverside. In the great state that gave us Field Of Dreams, it has a certain appropriate feel to it.
Who would proclaim the birthplace of a hero in a tiny out of the way hick town centuries before it would come to pass? Who would come up with a crazy prediction like that? (I know you are way ahead of me on this one.) In Micah 5:2, it is prophesied that there would be a mighty one born in Bethlehem, an obscure Judean village. The scholars knew this scripture well, quoting it to Herod when he became worried about the rumored baby the Magi were seeking. Hundreds of years before it would come true, the birth of the Savior was foretold. I can't tell whether they had any conventions or nailed up any plaques in Bethlehem. I don't even know if the people there paid the words of the prophet any heed. But what a baby...and what a Messiah! No fiction, no actor, and no sequels. Just the most perfect script that only God could write. None of us will be around in 2228. What are the odds of a baby boy being born in Riverside, Iowa on March 22, 2228, which just happens to be a Saturday and the 297th birthday of William Shatner? Based on population trends, I am guessing the odds are slim but it could happen. More incredible things have come to pass in off the beaten path places. Just ask some shepherds in Bethlehem.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Most legends have their basis in facts."
Captain James T. Kirk ( from the episode And The Children Shall Lead)
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