Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My father versus Commander Riker of Star Trek the Next Generation

(How my dad took a shot at the entire enterprise of the performing arts)

Because I had been in a handful of small theater productions when I was much younger, and because my parents were frantically opposed to the whole idea, I told my dad the story of Jonathan Frakes, the son of Professor James Frakes at Lehigh University.

My dad was busy getting a cup of tea in the kitchen as I spoke.

“Jonathan Frakes’ dad thought that a life in film and TV was a terrible mistake. They had real ugly and bitter struggles because the father thought the son would not get anywhere. But look— see, now he’s Commander Riker of Star Trek the Next Generation.

My dad paused before he left with a parting shot, without looking away from his tea cup, “Just give it a few years. Soon— he’ll be nothing!”

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