I was heavy-hearted Friday when I learned of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek’s beloved Mr. Spock.
I became a fan of the series in the 1970s watching syndicated reruns with my dad. Spock was instantly my favorite character. His cool reserve, his intelligence and, as I got older, the sly humor of his character appealed to me.
We watched “In Search Of” in part simply because he was on it.
He struggled with his identity as Spock over the years, I know. He was a superb method actor and was horribly typecast. (I did not know until yesterday that he had directed Three Men and a Baby, but that’s another story.)
But his character spoke to me. I was a smart, but horribly geeky child. I understood things my peers did not, and simply were not interested in. I retreated into books and television where I could be me without worry. I wanted to BE Spock. I tried to perfect the eyebrow, tried to be logical, contained my emotions as best I could. (When you’re 5’5″ having a volcanic temper — and I did and sometimes still do — didn’t get you respect, it got you laughed at, so learning to control my emotions like Spock at least kept that from happening.)
I didn’t know, because I grew up in a small town in western Kansas, about conventions and such. But I remember the first Star Trek books coming out and making my parents buy them for me.
I went to the movies with them, cried when Spock died in Wrath of Khan, rejoiced when he was brought back to life. I cheered in the reboot to see him alive and well and still Spock.
Spock was a loved, and respected part of my life, as he was for so many others. I was glad, in the end, that Nimoy embraced Spock, became Spock in so many ways while retaining his warmth and humanity.
The world is a sadder place with out him in it, and he will be missed.
Good bye Mr. Nimoy, you are, and always shall be, one of my heroes.