Leonard Nimoy passed away February 27, 2015. He had a career that spanned some people’s lifetime. He played an alien in a grade B movie and I always wondered if he thought maybe that was foreshadowing his Star Trek gig. The one he thought wouldn’t last past the final episode aired. He said when it went off the air in 1969, that he thought that was the end of it. Yet here we are forty six years later and all over the internet there are Spock quotes, Nimoy quotes.
He fascinated me (no pun intended) with his logic and ears and eyebrows. While most were focusing on man-ho James Kirk, I wanted to go to Vulcan, have a look around, maybe hit a few other planets on the way home if we could. I mean, Spock was from another planet, while Kirk was raised in Iowa. (No offense to Iowa, but I mean, it’s right here as opposed to out there.) He fascinated me because I could relate to him and his inability to fit into either world. He was neither all human nor all Vulcan and struggled with his place in the universe. I do that and when you don’t think anyone else can relate to what you’re feeling, it’s even harder. Not on so grand a scale, but as a military brat, I spent a lot of time trying to fit in, the whole square peg thing. I never felt I did and when I discovered Star Trek and Spock, I could relate to that, to his struggle.
A friend of mine posted an article about the very subject. A little girl who felt like she would never be liked or accepted so touched him that Leonard Nimoy wrote an essay in response to her. It was touching and encouraging and I hope the little girl saw it. Hell, I hope everybody saw it.
If you want to read it (and you should) you can find it here
The original Star Trek was a phenomenon then and it is still one, even with all the other spin offs and the movies and the re-boots. Space shuttles were named after the ship, Youtube is loaded with clips and fan videos. There are tee shirts and memes and conventions, people who have their entire homes covered in Star Trek memorabilia. Even I went to a Star Trek convention and I dislike crowds like cats dislike baths. I got to meet both Leonard Nimoy and Walter Koenig and thought I would die when they both shook my hand. I didn’t get a picture, but I don’t need one. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. I was an adult by then and my mom was with me. We were reduced to inarticulate goofballs in the presence of Spock and Chekov and yet they were both kind beyond words.
I didn’t get the chance to tell him that Spock made me realize I wasn’t the only one who had trouble fitting in, but that’s okay because I know now other people did. That’s good enough for me.