Leonard Nimoy has passed away.
“We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead… Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.” Admiral James T. Kirk
Damn, this one was not unexpected but still a gut punch to baby boomers, nerds, and anyone who appreciated a man who lived his life with passion, panache, and grace. He wasn’t just a TV actor in a cult TV series. He recorded albums (plus the notorious Ballad of Bilbo Baggins), wrote poetry and two autobiographies, directed films, had a memorable role as William Bell in the series Fringe, and was an engaging photographer (whose subjects were different than the norm but no less human in Nimoy’s lens). Really, that parenthetical goes to the essence of Spock. For all his reserve and cold logic, his human side was always accepting, generous, forgiving, angry, impassioned, and ever curious.
I started watching Star Trek in seventh grade. When it was first run my mother steered us away from it. Nothing good could come of science fiction. Then our only local TV station picked it up for reruns and had the smarts to do it in that 4:00-5:00 after school time slot. Basketball season was over. A friend of mine lived a block from school and with another friend we’d camp out on the living room floor, eager to go where no man had boldly gone before. I don’t know about the others but I guess I was relating most to Spock. Even then I could identify more with the half human/half alien outsider, a creature of cold logic and rampant intellectual curiosity BUT not without human quibbles and passions. He was perhaps the first complex TV character that I could relate to. Little did I know that a few hundred miles away there was a girl around my age who was declaring on the playground “No, I am Spock”. You know, the one I married.
So rest in peace Mr. Nimoy. You gave me and countless others an anchor to identify with, not to mention a role model on how to live life on this planet. Thank you for the journey.