One of the ideas that I had while creating this site was to interview geeks that I know, love and admire. While thinking of who to interview first, the answer was obvious…
The BIGGEST Star Trek fan I know!
I first met Donald Shackleford by chance. It was Free Comic Book Day at (then) my local comic shop. I went in, eager to get some free reads just every other person in there. I noticed their was a man dressed in the old George Reeves Superman costume. I spoke with him a little while I was there, discovered that he is a big Superman and Star Trek fan, and got a picture taken with him in the George Reeves pose.
After a few years of working for Eastman Kodak, someone new started in my area. He looked familiar, and after talking with him for about 30 seconds, I told him that he looked like the Superman guy from the comic shop, and he said “That was me!” And we have been friends ever since.
And he did the the honor of being my first interview!
1. Donald, Thank you once again for allowing me to interview you and the honor of having you as my first interview! You are, by far, the biggest Star Trek fan I know. What part of your life do you feel has most benefited from Star Trek?
“It taught me to live an ethical life. My family back ground is sorted at best. You know some of it. But when you are brought up in a atmosphere of prejudice and mistrust, it was Trek that taught me that we are only travelers in this life observe to not be judgmental, help were you can. Some of my best friends who i have had he great blessing in life to know usually have trek involved not only because we share the same interest but also the morals and personality of each.
Like you my friend Troy.”
2. Trekkie or Trekker; which do you prefer?
“Trekker for me. It is the original definition as given to us by the Great Bird himself. Besides, Trekker i think also means to trek to walk and be a part of.
3. What was the first Star Trek con you ever went to? What did you think?
“Drawbrige Inn in Newport. Marina Sertis she was a wonderful public speaker funny and attentive to the fans got to know and meet many other fans and had a blast.”
4. In the war of Kirk vs Picard, which side are you on and why?
“If you look a the history of Trek and Gene Roddenberry himself Kirk and Picard are versions of himself in different times of his life Kirk when he was younger a little more brash he was a police officer and served in WWII so at the time he wrote The Original Series. He was coming from a different time in not only the world around him but also his perception of it. Picard was a Roddenberry who was a little more seasoned and saw things in a different light. When the Next Generation came along thus the Klingons of the 60’s who seemed cut throat and ruthless had a slightly different way of doing things the Klingons were not all bad you just can’t have a all bad race.
So thus Picard was someone who came from a place where experience taught him that only fight as a last resort and negotiate and use diplomacy when you can.
Each Captains outlook has a place where needed. So i honestly don’t chose sides as such both are excellent and if I had the chance I would have served under either of them.”
5. Who is your favorite Captain out of all the series?
“Kirk only because I started with the original series when it was the only series I grew up with that have to go with what came first for me.”
6. I know you have met just about all the cast members of Star Trek, but which cast member was the most memorable and why?
“James Doohan, rest him. It was a terrible snowy day of the con i saw him at his plane was late he still stayed and made sure everyone who wanted a autograph and a photo with him was done. A true gentleman he love his fans and they loved him.”
7. I know that you geek about other things besides Star Trek; what are some of your other interests?
“Love Superman that started when I was three my grandfather would pic me up and sit me down on the couch with him and we would watch it together. Not only that but Superman represents someone who is alone but has adopted another world and culture and even though he has powers that could be described as omnipotent he uses his gifts for the benefit of others not to be better than humans but to help those in trouble when he can.
As people we each have gifts but if we each decided to use compassion kindness understanding we could change our world in a way that would make it better for all.”
8. In regards to the 2009 movie, what do you think about how Paramount is revamping Star Trek, and what do you think Gene Roddenberry would say about it? Are they heading in the right direction?
“I think it is wonderful what JJ Abrams is doing with Trek it still has the original mix but with a few new things added I think this new incarnation will have a long life.”
I thank you once again for the opportunity for allowing me to interview you. Live long and prosper.
“Thank you for the honor of asking me and I am glad that I could have helped you.”
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(Donald in his Enterprise era Captains uniform at the former Star trek Experience in Las Vegas)