Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Idol" Time.

This blog is from my 2nd guest blogger.  The author is my oldest son, Daniel, who is 19 and in his 2nd year studying Psychology at the University of Buffalo.  Feel free to comment on the blog, even guest bloggers love feedback.  Dan's thoughts follow next....

     When I discovered that Bill (my dad) was looking for guest bloggers for Layers of the Ongion, I immediately let him know I was interested. In case you don’t already know, I’m not one to pass on an opportunity to show off, and I like to think I possess a little skill at writing, so it seemed like a great opportunity. Still, I can’t help but be a little apprehensive at the prospect of trying to match the level of quality this blog usually attains, so I apologize in advance if I fall short; good news is, your regularly scheduled programming will return next week. In the spirit of the usual post found here, I will strive to go off on several tangents and will do my best, whenever possible, to add unnecessary commas.

Picture this, but a lot nerdier.
     For my first ever guest blog, I will be discussing idols. Now I know what you’re thinking; no, it’s not the false kind you hear about in church. These idols are more like mentors or guides, in essence, they are heroes. Not every idol has to have superpowers; in fact, some of the best are just men and women doing the best they can with normal abilities. My idol is such a man, and he seems to have no need for superpowers once you see all that he accomplishes without them.  Even as young as I am, I sometimes find myself struggling to remember facts from my childhood. One memory that continually comes up time and time again however, no matter how many years pass, pertains to spending time with my dad in our living room after dinner. Now my dad was, and is, a busy man and frequently trips to other states or countries prevent him from making it to the dinner table. As such, the times we spent lounging after a meal were sacred in a way, and will always hold a special place in my heart, even if it seemed like all we were doing was watching a TV show.

Kirk with one of the many women he encountered
One of the shows my dad always seemed to be watching was Star Trek: The Original Series. Of course these were reruns from decades ago, but I didn’t know the difference and my dad didn’t seem to mind. I remember always wondering as I watched the show how on Earth the Enterprise and its crew always managed to get into so much trouble, but looking back, I suppose it was because they weren’t on Earth, they were “searching for new life, and new civilizations” and such. No matter what happened though, Captain Kirk kept a cool head, and eventually thought of a way to get out of the situation, whether it be his famous fight with the Gorn, or just a chess game where the loser dies. Kirk was all that you would ever need in an idol; he was resourceful, intelligent, always had a witty remark, and above all he was brave. True, Kirk was sometimes saved by McCoy or Spock when things became too big for even him to manage, but more often than not it was Kirk saving the day. I could always rely on Captain Kirk to bring the episode to a satisfying conclusion before bedtime.

Oh Captain, my Captain, Captain of the USS Armchair, Bill Yarger
Now that I am in college, and am no longer living at home, I have taken once more to old habits; after all, “old habits die hard”. I recently acquired all three seasons of the original series of Star Trek, and many a night after dinner, I find myself watching an episode of it or two, in a sense reliving my childhood. Now that I am an adult, I see some things in the show that I missed before, like the fact that Kirk also always gets the girl, only to leave her for the cold embrace of the captain’s chair once more.  I see something else though, and I think this is infinitely more meaningful. I know now why I idolized Captain Kirk as a child, and it’s not because he was cool, or because he was always out on interesting missions. I idolized Kirk because he was a lot like my real idol, my father. All of the features that defined Kirk as a man could also describe my dad; he was smart, ingenious, self-sacrificing and a little arrogant. Kirk and my dad alike enjoyed spirits and frivolity, (although I doubt Romulan Ale can compare to my dad’s drink of choice, a double tall Sapphire and Tonic) and like Kirk, my dad was a traveler; the fact that his ship was actually a car was unimportant. However, as great as Kirk was, the similarities end there, because unlike Kirk; my dad has a loving wife and 2 great kids. (The jury is still out on one of us)

I will leave you with one thought to ponder the next time you relax with your family or friends; Are you an idol to someone else? If you are, what are you doing to maintain your position? Remember, it takes a lot of work to be the captain of the Enterprise; being someone’s idol is no different. If you can manage to be even half the idol I had, you should congratulate yourself on a job well done. Thanks for reading, and have a good week!

James T. Kirk Jr.

Dan Yarger, today's guest blogger


Gayle Hendershot said...

Great blog, Dan. I admire your dad for his wit and his ability to give to others with good humor and grace. I hope my sons feel that they can look up to me. Parenting is the biggest privilege extended to us by God.

cdyarger said...

Dan, you have "boldly gone where no man" - wait! Hmm, not really I guess but it's a great blog - worthy of the normal author! Love this one!

Terese Earl said...

Dan, you have done a wonderful job of filling in those big shoes your dad wares.Your job as an idol(parent) is always a learning experience.No one is perfect,but it helps having kids turn out great.Not to mention you tooting our,(your fathers), horn and telling them.Hope you continue many more tales from home.

Anonymous said...

How much did he pay you for that glowing tribute? JK...He is a great man and worthy of your adulation.

Anonymous said...

Dan, We've never met, but I can tell you are your Father's son. Nice to see you like the classics like Star Trek.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

Great blog...hope to see more from you in the future. Oh & I think the jury is in...all 3 kids are great!
~ Debby

Bill said...


There is only one thing to do after reading something like this and it is to try and live up to these high ideals. Thanks for the glowing but undeserved tribute. I do hope you blog again on a more interesting topic.



Anonymous said...

you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

Daphne Mays said...

Bravo! Well done, Dan and Bill!

Daphne Mays said...

Bravo! Well done, Dan and Bill!