I learned of Mr. Nimoy's passing this morning while at school. My 8th Grade General Music class had just let out and I glanced at the computer where I saw my friend Scott Hertzog had posted a link to the New York Times announcing Leonard Nimoy dead at 83. I asked If it had been confirmed and soon learned that it had been when my e-mail exploded with news bulletins and notifications from other friends.
Shortly after, I went to help with lunch duty. Everyone that I have duty with kind of knew that something was up, but no one asked. I just sat, numbly staring off in the distance. Just before the high schoolers reported for lunch, my good friend and colleague, Chuck asked me about "that actor" that I told him had entered the hospital with severe chest pains. Don't misunderstand, Chuck is a compassionate individual, but not a Sci-Fi fan and really knew nothing about Leonard Nimoy beyond what I told him.
News travels fast in a small school. As the high school students passed by me, many of them offered condolences, some just looked and nodded, a few flashed the Vulcan salute to me. One avid fellow Trekkie asked if I had heard the news, and another, who loves to argue (jokingly) the merits of Star Wars over Star Trek put his hand on my shoulder and expressed his recognition of my sorrow. Lest there be a doubt, the kids get it. When I was done monitoring the lunch room, I returned to my classroom and broke down.
I managed to gather myself together in time for my next round of classes, and even managed to hide my feelings, and as usual, the kids helped me through the day.
So now I sit in front of the computer typing and listening to Star Trek soundtrack recordings.
I am old enough to have watched Star Trek in its original run on television, but not until the third season. My mother didn't this it was good for me to stay up too late on school nights at the age of eight and nine, but when I was ten, she relented and allowed me to watch the show. I cannot remember what was the first episode I saw, but it was one from the third season. I immediately noticed the guy with the pointed ears and wondered about him. As I watched, I learned that he had no emotions, and he was loyal to Kirk to a fault. All too soon, that third season came to an end. I hear many brutally maligning that season of Trek, but it was gold to me, and especially the logical Mr. Spock.
It wasn't long after that the episodes started airing in syndication. Every evening at 5:00 I was in front of the television watching and catching up on what I had missed. I so much loved this show that I began, much to the chagrin of my dad, emulating Spock. I became emotionless, stoic, introspective and analytical. Emulating Spock also got me in some trouble, because if anyone around me misstated something, I would correct them, just as Spock did. Most people just laughed it off, ignored it, or simply shook their heads. One day I corrected dad. Baaaaad idea, but that's another story.
I got to the point that I had seen every episode so many times that I could tell you which one was on within about 20 seconds of the beginning of the teaser.
Now, I have never met Leonard Nimoy in person. Mostly, he was no more than a frequent visitor to my living room in the persona of Mr. Spock. I also would occasionally see him at the theater, or on interviews, or a few times I encountered him in print form or more recently on an audiobook or social media. But through all of that, I can truly say that I could feel the man's honor and integrity through all of his works that I have seen. I see Mr. Nimoy as a person who was a professional who cared about ethics, not only holding himself to high standards, but also having high expectations from those around him. Perhaps this is only how I imagine him based on what I know of him through various media, but he set a standard that I have tried to follow through the years.
So I will close this with a thank you to an almost lifelong hero, Leonard Nimoy. Thanks for making me laugh and cry. Thanks for setting an example of how to live logically and ethically. Thanks for all the years of wonderful entertainment. Thanks for your part in my making connections to others that have similarly been influenced by you. Thanks for sharing your life with me, as well as millions of others all of these years. They, and I
will miss you.
So, tonight I close this blog, not with the usual Q'aplaH, but rather...
Live Long and Prosper