Sunday, June 1, 2014

Linlithgow and me

      The day after our arrival in Scotland, Stephanie Kittle, Shelly Gardner, Cicely Douglas, and I decided to hop a train to the small town of which is about 20 minutes west of Edinburgh.  As we had already witnessed from the day before, Scotland is an absolutely beautiful country filled with panoramic views, a rich history, and wonderful people, but this little side trip had a much deeper personal meaning to me. 

      Following a tip from a good friend of mine, I discovered that Linlithgow is the official “birthplace” of, arguably, the most famous celebrity Scotsman in the world, the Starship Enterprise’s Chief Engineer and resident “miracle worker” Montgomery Scott from the original Star Trek television show.  So, besides being a “trekker” why was this information of such personal importance to me?  Several decades ago, I was privileged enough to not only meet but eventually become an “adopted daughter” of the brilliant man who portrayed this character, James Doohan, and there was absolutely no way I could pass up the opportunity to see the tribute this small town in Scotland had erected honoring my “Pap”!

      From the moment our merry little band arrived in Linlithgow, we were welcomed with open arms by the townsfolk who answered our every question about their small part of the world with the cheerful smiles and enthusiastic delight.  Spurred forward by their exuberance, we visited the 700 year-old awe inspiring St. Michael’s Church followed by the majestic Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. 

St. Michael's Church.

Linlithgow Palace.

      After observing such breathtaking beauty and mesmeric history, I felt more than a bit foolish asking the location of my desired destination.  This trepidation was immediately erased by the beaming smile of pride I received from Linlithgow Palace’s gift shop employee, Laren, who eagerly informed me the tribute was located at the Annet House Museum.

Annet House Museum.

      Immediately upon entering the Annet House Museum, I located my desired objective, hanging above the door leading to the exhibit area:

Montgomery Scott Tribute Plaque.

      Upon seeing this, I instantaneously began remembering all of the wonderful adventures and conversations Jimmy and I shared over the years, filling my heart with joy and my eyes with tears, as well as reminding me of all the life lessons and wisdom he imparted during our time together until his passing in 2005.

      By now I’m sure you are saying “Ok, that’s a neat story but what does that have to do with your trip’s concept?”  For me, this story is what this trip is all about!  Examining the past and combining it with the present in order to forge a brighter future, which is the backbone of leadership.  I consider myself blessed to have experienced influential personalities and concepts like Jimmy and the Star Trek ethos of IDIC (Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations) from such a young age.  Together they expanded on the core tenets of leadership imparted to me by my mother by illustrating the enormous benefits diverse cultural viewpoints can bring to a leader/manager’s toolkit.  Thanks for the lesson’s Pap, I haven’t forgotten any of them and hope I’ve made you proud!

Jimmy and Melissa.

-Melissa Behres

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