Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

October 11, 2007 at 2:24pm

Trekkin’ through Tricky’s past

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Trickys Captain Kirk has a son, and his name is Tricky. 

No, really. 

Tricky’s Pop Culture Emporium is owned and run by Patrick Kirk, whose dad was a captain (get it? Captain Kirk) in the U.S. Army.  Yes, Daddy Kirk was a Trekkie, and yes, the family sat together and watched “Star Trek” when it was on television.

It would seem like natural progression, then, that Tricky the Trekkie would dream of a world beyond the elder care he’d been involved with since he was 13 years old.  Tricky saw Star Trek: the Experience as a way out of the daily diapering of the elderly. “It was before Depends,” he remembers. “They were cloth diapers.”

Star Trek: the Experience, a sort of Disney World for Trekkies in Las Vegas, lured Kirk with the lofty title wardrobe assistant.  What that amounted to was, in his words, “washing Starfleet uniforms and shining Klingon boots.” He recalls how the Klingons’ boots, with internal lifts, lifted further the Klingons’ impressions of themselves.

But all was not well with the Experience, and downsizing brought Captain Kirk’s son a pink slip.

That brought Kirk back to work as a nurse’s aide in a Las Vegas old folks home filled with New York characters “who would not die.”  He recalls one guy with a four-pack-a-day â€" “unfiltered!” he emphasizes â€" smoking habit who had a particularly nasty attitude at 100 years old.  A former barber, the man had many photos on his walls.  All featured a cigarette in the right hand and a drink in the left.  “He used to cut Regis Philbin’s hair,” Tricky tells me, and I’m certain he’s pulling my chain. “No, I believed him,” he says.  “If he was going to lie, he’d say Frank Sinatra or something, not Regis Philbin.”

Good point.

At about this time, Elvis entered Kirk’s life in the form of albums some of the residents had given him.  Kirk says of his ambitions, “I moved there (to Vegas) to clean Klingon boots, not to do Elvis impersonations.”  But sometimes, the inevitable grabs hold, and Kirk succumbed, moving to Seattle shortly thereafter, where he garnered rave reviews and a first place for his Elvis in a skirt â€" TransElvistite.  A picture in his shop shows him as his alter ego, and he has a great pair of legs to go with his miniskirt.

Now, here in Tacoma, where his brother lives, Kirk’s shop acts as a physical autobiography of his life’s phases and interests â€" all for sale for surprisingly cheap.

Go there; talk to him.  It’s fun. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

[Tricky’s Pop Culture Emporium, 817 Division Ave. Suite B, Tacoma, 253.272.5288]

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