Iowa became a state today in 1846.
It has 99 counties and over 900 incorporated cities and towns, including the community of Riverside.
That one is best known for being the birthplace of one James Tiberius Kirk, the captain of the USS Enterprise in the “Star Trek” universe.
Riverside has been celebrating Kirk’s birthday for years in Riverside, even though “Star Trek” takes place in the far future and Captain Kirk isn’t supposed to be born until the year 2228 (or 2233, because of course “Star Trek” fans argue about this).
The town became a site of future history because of a guy named Steve Miller, a member of the town council and a big Star Trek fan.
He had read a 1968 book called “The Making of Star Trek” in which series creator Gene Roddenberry and co-author Stephen E. Whitfield wrote that Captain Kirk was from a small town Iowa; Kirk says it in one of the movies as well.
But the book didn’t mention which small town in Iowa Kirk would call home.
Miller had a town in mind and on March 25, 1985, he convinced the rest of the council to declare Riverside the official future birthplace of Captain Kirk.
They wrote to Gene Roddenberry, who concurred; then they made some important changes to reflect their new status.
Miller put up a birthstone for Kirk on a plot of land he owned, the annual RiverFest became known as TrekFest, and Riverside got a new motto.
They went from “where the best begins” to “where the Trek begins.”
There’s also a local museum with Star Trek stuff and memorabilia from the times that the town hosted visits by original cast members like Walter Koenig and William Shatner.
Which means a guy who played the character who’s supposed to be born in the town in a couple hundred years visited the town in this time.
The future is here in the world of rugs.
Artist Faig Ahmed has a show running in New York through early January featuring colorful rugs that have familiar forms until you get to the end.
That’s when they just sort of spill onto the floor as if they were made of liquid, or maybe some kind of digital noise.
Star Trek historians headline the 34th Trekfest in Riverside (Little Village Magazine)
Photo by sksamuel via Flickr/Creative Commons