I’ve been thinking a lot about the context of history in recent weeks, mostly in terms of books, but other people and events are added into those thoughts. When news arrived of Doris Day’s death, I was saddened. When I was young, her movies were considered family-friendly. The El Lago showed every one. Ms. Day produced good-hearted TV shows. She went on to dedicated work with animals. She didn’t have a smooth life, showing how effective the Hollywood marketing departments were. I’m grateful for the joy her work brought to my life and for the example she provided as an extraordinary woman … in the context of history.
In 1966, a television show set in Outer Space debuted on Thursday nights. I was twelve. My mother wouldn’t let me watch the show. But I was already reading everything I could find about “outer space.” The show was irresistible for me. When reruns ran during the day, this latchkey kid watched every episode. I read books set within the Star Trek universe and I continued to learn in real-time about the space program, ongoing exploration, and the courageous adventurers who set off into the cosmos. That TV show and its subsequent iterations are a constant thread for me, a connection to story that is strong and vital. I am grateful to the new generations of writers, actors, and crew members who keep the mythology dynamic. (A new season of Star Trek Discovery began last night—it’s on my mind.)