That Time I Met Star Trek Idols & Helped Reading Rainbow

The Captains Reading Rainbow Event

I’m sharing today a non-travel story, but one that was an adventure none the less.

There were two television shows really significant in my childhood (well probably closer to 4, but only two are relevant for this post.) Both of those shows taught me things like the value of imagination, travel, and exploration. If you haven’t figured it out from the title, I am speaking of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Reading Rainbow.

Reading Rainbow went off the air in 2006 after an impressive 33 year run. In 2014, Levar Burton launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring back Reading Rainbow for today’s youth in the form of a mobile app and web series. Helping kids learn to read and love reading is one of the best places I could put my money so I donated to this campaign.¬†And, the selfish side of my donation, was the reward of getting to meet a few of my other childhood idols in person.

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart to the Reading Rainbow Live Event in LA.

William Shatner

William Shatner

William Shatner at the Reading Rainbow Live Event in LA

And Levar Burton

Levar Burton

Levar Burton at the Reading Rainbow Live event in LA

Yep that’s right. Two Enterprise Captains and the Chief Engineer all in one room together reading me children’s stories (Well me and about 100 other people but close enough).

The format was similar to the old PBS show, even including a few video field trips for the audience. There were two stories to read.

Miss Martin is a Martian

Watch out for Wolfgang

Each of the guests would read one page, doing voices and actions and gestures. Children were of course invited to the event and were seated right up front to hear the stories. The actors, are of course skilled actors. So their reading of these stories was almost like watching a play. The small humans (and the large ones) were quiet, and deeply engaged, so it seems their method was effective. Afterwards there was some Q&A time, though I was to nervous to ask anything. I just stared in wonder.

Star Trek

The Crew of the Enterprise reading space themed stories.

One more photo, just because I admire this man so greatly. This one time, Patrick Stewart looked right at me. And I saw all the knowledge of the universe in his eyes.

Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart looked at me!

I have to close out this post with this:

Butterfly in the sky, I can go twice as high.

Take a look, it’s in a book, a Reading Rainbow!

I can go anywhere.

Friends to know,

and ways to grow.

A Reading Rainbow!

I can be anything.

Take a look,

it’s in a book.

A Reading Rainbow.

A Reading Rainbow.

A Reading Rainbow!

Now, who can I give my money to in order to meet Jonathan Franks?

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