Builder at the helm of own ‘Star Trek’ home | VailDaily.com

Builder at the helm of own ‘Star Trek’ home

Ruth Moon
The Gazette

GUFFEY, Colorado – With a little creativity and a lot of spare time, one man is transforming trash into intergalactic treasure.

Water bottles.

Curling irons.

Sewage pipes.

Hair dryers, old cassette players, radios, fire alarms, grocery store mushroom trays, Christmas lights and computer speakers.

These are some of the things Steve Doman has recycled into parts of three enormous, “Star Trek”-style command centers dominating three walls of the Guffey resident’s mountain home.

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The tall, lean 63-year-old is friendly and willing to show off his creations. Although he doesn’t advertise them much, he’s had e-mail from interested people as far away as Holland and Sweden, and around 100 visitors over the years.

Doman moved to Guffey from California in the late ’90s and began building fences and barns. After a few years of his eight-month work year – it’s too snowy in Guffey to work outdoors all winter – Doman decided he needed a hobby.

“I would walk to the post office down there for my mail, and that’s all,” he said. “After a while that pioneer spirit kind of weighed a little thin.”

He started by remodeling and adding on to his house with castoff timber from nearby construction sites.

And since Doman has been a “Star Trek” fan since the first shows came out in the 1960s, that was his next project. He started building his first command station about nine years ago and has since spent $6,000 and 3,000 hours building and rebuilding the consoles.

“I’ve spent all my life being able to make things with junk,” he said.

Doman doesn’t just make things – he is a junk artist.

Sawed-off bottoms of Coke bottles stretch across the top of the black expanse at the top of one console, and the caps to those bottles are authentic-looking knobs and buttons around the screens. A few computer screens in each console blink screen savers with ship blueprints and other Star Trek images.

Plastic reprints of command center controls and track lighting completes the alien effect as a spacey female voice intones: “Welcome to Star Fleet command headquarters.”

There’s even a “plasma inverter injector reflector shield” made out of a garden hose holder Doman found on the side of the road and embellished with water bottle caps.

Other Guffey locals pitched in to help Doman collect materials, although he likes to work alone. For several years, a bin at the Freshwater Saloon in town collected junk for Doman’s projects.

Joseph Scranton, a retired woodworker who lives near Guffey, counts Doman as a close friend. He has seen and been impressed by Doman’s “Star Trek” structures, but said locals are even more impressed by Doman’s work in his day job.

“His legend is probably related to his expertise in terms of fencing,” Scranton said. “If he can’t do it, I don’t think anyone else will be able to accomplish it.”

Do Doman’s after-hours activities make him a Trekkie? He admits he’s a “Star Trek” fan – but not the same kind as the ones who dress up and go out, he’s quick to clarify.

“They didn’t have this,” he said, gesturing to the command centers scattered around the house. “So I’m kind of different. I’m a little different.”