A Kiss from Captain Kirk

April 1, 2006

Published as:

“Captain Kirk”      Chicken Soup for Mothers & Sons.  April 2006
“A Kiss from Captain Kirk”  The Best of Times Magazine. Nov/Dec 2002

By Perry P. Perkins

I was seventeen and, at first glance, the strangers crowding around us would have guessed that I was with my grandmother, and not my mother.  A year of chemo-dialysis had ravaged her once sturdy frame until she tottered at barely half of her normal weight.  Her once lustrous black hair was almost completely gray, and deep lines of pain and weariness etched her face.

It was a rare day, unusual enough just to be out of bed, and with no doctor’s appointment to go to, that morning we had gotten a ride across town to a Star Trek convention at a local auditorium. It may seem strange to have taken someone as sick as she to a science fiction event, but her eyes shone as we paid for our tickets, and she seemed to regain a lost spring in her step as we made our way through the mob and towards the stage.

You see, William Shatner, the renowned Captain Kirk of the original Starship Enterprise was, himself, the guest speaker at this year’s event.  My mother had been raised, far from the nearest town, on an Eastern Oregon cattle ranch.  Divorced nearly all of my life, she was an old-fashioned, wholesome soul who blushed at the slightest profanities, or what she called “racy Jokes”.  She had never remarried, or even dated, deferring all of her love and energy to me, her only child, and of course, to William Shatner. 

Many nights, as a child, I was sat down to watch the epic adventures of the Enterprise and her crew, mom sitting beside me gazing adoringly at her ideal of masculine perfection.  A photograph of the actor sat on her dressing table until the day of her death, obtained by me after joining the actor’s fan club.   Now, years later, she was about to see her idol in the flesh!

I managed to elbow us a path through a horde of Klingon clad enthusiasts, until we were seated near the front.  Mom waited, with great patience as the obligatory outtakes and “unseen episodes” flashed across the screen.  Finally, the moment came and Shatner himself strode out onto the stage.  He was a bit  older than I remembered and seemed to have lost some of his Starfleet physique (haven’t we all?), but it was obvious from Mom’s shining face that she still saw the Captain in all his glory.

Mr. Shatner was a gracious and entertaining speaker, sharing witticisms and backstage gossip, keeping his audience enthralled for the better part of an hour.  Finally he began to wrap up, and asked if anyone had any questions.   A thought struck me, and I raised my hand.  Seated, as we were, in the front row, Mr. Shatner could hardly have missed me, but one by one, he called on other hands around the room, until he had time for only one final question.  My arm could hardly have stretched any higher and I think that he must have seen the desperation in my face as he hesitated and then pointed to me.

I stood, half facing the audience.  I was either about to become a hero or look like a complete fool!

“Mr. Shatner,” I said, “My mother thinks that you’re about the most wonderful man that’s ever lived, and she’s been a fan of yours since I can remember.  It would mean a lot to her is she could come up on stage and give you a hug.”

I heard my mother gasp in the chair beside me but dared not turn to look, my pleading eyes locked with a man who had probably dealt with more than his share of obsessed admirers.   Silence hung over the auditorium for a moment and when the Captain nodded, the room erupted into deafening cheers.  I held my mother’s arm and steadied her as she made her way slowly up the stairs and across the stage.  He had turned off his microphone, but I was close enough to hear him ask her name and then thank her as he kissed her cheek.

I will remember this day vividly, as one of the happiest of my life.  My mother fairly floated through the rest of show, and I think anything I could have done would have been forgiven that day.   Just a few weeks later, on the night before my mother passed away, she retold this story to her doctor, and she still smiled and blushed at the memory of her kiss from Captain Kirk.




  1. Mr. Perkins,
    I just read your story,”A Kiss From Captain Kirk” that is published in Chicken Soup for the Mother and Son Soul. I do hope you shared this story with “The Captain.” I’m sure it would touch his heart has it has mine.
    Thank you for your story.

  2. I did send a copy of the story to Mr. Shatner, via his fan club coordinator, several years ago, but I never got a response. Maybe I’ll see if I can dig up a new address and send him a copy of the book.

    Thanks for the kind words, I’m glad you enjoyed the story.



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