Captain James T. Kirk was in Riverside Iowa.

Of course, most people know the hype about Captain James T Kirk; you know being born on March 22, 2228 in Riverside, Iowa? Well, I posted a copy of the stone in Riverside, Iowa professing his birth in that town, and my Facebook exploded with reaction. I got inquisitive, so I drove to the sleepy little town of Riverside, Iowa.

According to Wikipedia, Riverside is a city in rural Washington County, Iowa, United States, along the English River on Iowa Highway 22. It is part of the Iowa City, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 993 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Highland Community School District.

Riverside proclaimed itself the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk, a fictional character from the television series Star Trek, with the agreement of series creator Gene Roddenberry.

After arriving at this wonder of a town, I proceeded to take pictures of things that interested me. To my surprise, there wasn't anything that I found to be so amazing about this place. Needless to say, I was bummed out. As I was leaving town, I decided to stop at a local gas station, and that is where the magic began.

As I left the gas station, with soda in hand, a man was passing by said hi, and I reciprocated by saying, where have you folks hidden the USS Enterprise? Now we are outside mind you and after I said that you could hear a pin drop. All the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I witnessed the look on this man's face. He steps back and says, "What do you know?" I thought for a second and said out of jest; Captain Kirk was here already, wasn't he? The man looked at me and then looked at my van. The man says, "are you here to do a story?" I followed with a resounding yes.

As we stepped away from the gas station's front door, he proceeded to tell me what he thought to be the truth. In 1951 a ship had landed in Riverside, Iowa. Four people, who were approached by the original Captain James T. Kirk, and had witnessed the landing of the USS Enterprise, were given specific instruction on a matter of great importance that could save the world. These four people did exactly as instructed and were warned never to divulge the reason for this interference with time. They were allowed to tell the story of the USS Enterprise and Captain James T. Kirk but must do so in a way that wouldn't jeopardize the mission for generations to come. Gene Roddenberry was the one to bring to life the story finally, and all without harm to the completed task.

Wikipedia tells it best with, When Roddenberry pitched Star Trek to MGM, it was warmly received, but no offer was made. He then went to Desilu Productions, but rather than being offered a one-script deal; he was hired as a producer and allowed to work on his own projects. His first was a half-hour pilot called Police Story (not to be confused with the anthology series created by Joseph Wambaugh), which was not picked up by the networks. Having not sold a pilot in five years, Desilu was having financial difficulties; its only success was I Love Lucy. Roddenberry took the Star Trek idea to Oscar Katz, head of programming, and the duo immediately started work on a plan to sell the series to the networks. They took it to CBS, which ultimately passed on it. The pair later learned that CBS had been eager to find out about Star Trek because it had a science fiction series in development—Lost in Space. Roddenberry and Katz next took the idea to Mort Werner at NBC, this time downplaying the science fiction elements and highlighting the links to Gunsmoke and Wagon Train. The network funded three story ideas and selected "The Menagerie," which was later known as "The Cage," to be made into a pilot. (The other two later became episodes of the series.) While most of the money for the pilot came from NBC, the remaining costs were covered by Desilu. Roddenberry hired Dorothy Fontana, better known as D. C. Fontana, as his assistant. They had worked together previously on The Lieutenant, and she had eight script credits to her name.

You see, you never know what kind of story you may get by running into the right person.

A lot does happen in Iowa.

May the force be with you. Or, whatever.

Walter Gatlin

Media Iowa

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

© 2020 Media Iowa Company / WHI Media / WHI Radio