TULSA — Kimberly Long and Jessica Joplin have been "Star Trek” fans for a long time, but on Saturday in Tulsa, the women boldly went where they had never gone before. They had their picture taken with Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as "Spock.” Nimoy was at the Union Multipurpose Activity Center, 6836 S Mingo Road, as part of Trek Expo. That’s where like-minded individuals will gather once again today to celebrate their shared passion for all things "Star Trek,” from the television show all the way through this year’s hit theatrical film. Long and Joplin came from Wichita Falls, Texas, to meet Nimoy. Joplin said she has been a fan for as long as she remembers. But Long said she was a little slower to catch on to the series. "I got her into it,” Joplin said proudly. The original series had long completed its run by the time either of the 27-year-olds discovered it.
Make it a stardateMichael Hoyt, 50, of Tulsa recalls when the show first aired in the late 1960s. He said while a lot of his contemporaries were playing "cowboys and Indians” he was immediately hooked on the adventures of the crew of the Enterprise because it was so different from anything else on the air at the time. Little did he know that, many years later, being a "Star Trek” fan would help him in his dating life. Seriously. Hoyt said when he first met Dee McCoy of Skiatook, he was a little reluctant to admit his allegiance to "Star Trek.” That’s understandable. For a lot of men, such a disclosure would likely shut down a promising relationship on the spot. Luckily for Hoyt, McCoy was into the whole "Star Trek” thing. That was pretty clear from the fact that she was painted green on Saturday. McCoy, 44, was emulating the look of the Orion slave girls seen on "Star Trek.” She said she remembers as a child watching the reruns of the show when it was in syndication and gravitating toward its themes of humans — and the occasional half-human, half-Vulcan — banding together for the common good.
A shared passionR.A. Jones, one of the emcees at Trek Expo, said that those who gather for such events have a shared love of the fantasy worlds that the original show, subsequent series and feature films presented. Of course, the franchise received a huge boost earlier this year with a movie that was both a critical and commercial success. Charles Briede, a 37-year-old Fort Worth resident, said Saturday that he loved the movie because it had a great story and terrific cast. Although Nimoy appeared in the film, most cast members were young and relatively unknown. If Saturday’s crowd, which Jones estimated at 3,000, was any indication, the future of "Star Trek” fandom is in good hands. Kali Moran, 15, of Skiatook, said that the appeal of "Star Trek” has as much to do with the stories it tells as with the characters and the timeless allure of life in space. "It deals with moral issues,” Moran said. "Life and death. Love and hate.”