Saturday, February 28, 2015

I have been--and ever shall be--your friend

A piece of my heart is crippled with this loss. We all knew this would happen. It had to. After all, none of us can live forever, not even our heroes. After all, we have already suffered the loss of Deforest Kelley, Jimmy Doohan, Gene and Majel Barrett-Roddenberry... And let's not mince words. Leonard Nimoy was a hero. When I learned of Nimoy's passing yesterday afternoon, I was at work where I could not take the time to mourn and to think about how I felt. I was of course, deeply saddened.

Nimoy, along with the rest of the crew of the Starship Enterprise, has been a part of my life for nearly 50 years, Yes, 50 years. I was nine years old when "Star Trek" first premiered. It amazes me that man of his humble stature could have enthralled us fans for half a century. Even more amazing is that Nimoy's first film appearance was in 1951. Usually, when I have eulogized a celebrity on my Facebook page I need to do a little research but not this time. Any TREK fan worth his (or her) salt knows this stuff forwards and backwards.

For the casual observer, Leonard Nimoy was Mr. Spock. For those of us who loved him, he was so much more than merely that. Author, poet, photographer, director, film and television actor, stage actor, singer, humanitarian, father, son, husband and friend are all words to describe the man. Words not mentioned often enough were his humor, intelligence, kindness and integrity... and humanity.

Nimoy was a man of conscience. He was in the truest sense of the word, a renaissance man. He inspired me as I know he did millions of others. As a boy, I watched the alien Spock who in many ways did not fit into his world--nor in his Mother's. Those of us who have always felt different empathized with the man Spock.

Nimoy had said in the past that the filming of "Star Trek - The Motion Picture" was not all that pleasant yet it was in this film that Spock uttered some of the most insightful words throughout TREK's long history.

"Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more? or "THIS... simple feeling is beyond V'ger's comprehension. No meaning. No hope--and no answers." BUT for the character of Spock we finally got to see the half human, half Vulcan finally take that leap to find comfort in his own skin. And none of this would have been possible without the immense talent of Mr. Nimoy.

Like many fans, I got the opportunity to meet him. Twice. Nimoy was a fan of the ST convention world and enjoyed meeting his legions of fans whenever he attended. His onstage talks were delightful, witty, humorous and insightful. Once, my friends and I traveled to see William Shatner and him together on stage in Chicago. Hilarity ensued. So did tears. Watching the two together and you knew they were--as William Shatner said on learning of his passing--"we were brothers."

For all of those people out there who have never understood--or worse, belittled "Star Trek" and its millions of fans, who do not understand the relevance of the series and its characters and look at today's front page headlines of the New York Times, the New York Daily Post, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and countless other fine newspapers and see whose photo and eulogy is front and center. If this does not attest to the power of Nimoy's role in "Star Trek," nothing does.

Nimoy would been 84 a month from yesterday. Our world will be a little less logical in his absence and we fans will miss him greatly... but I am reminded of his (Spock's) words... "grieve not for the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one." Nimoy's long life was special. He got to do the things he loved and he shared that with us.

"He's not really dead. Not as long as we remember him." ... but we will all miss him.