I was saddened to hear of Leonard Nimoy’s death. I was a child in the 1960s and watched Star Trek, the original series on television. As a Science Fiction Fan, I knew the show was somewhat outlandish even back then, but it opened the imagination to so much more. As a child I followed the space program so closely that at one time I could name all the astronauts, and their “stats” as if they were baseball players. In fact, I made my own “space-ball cards” when I was young. Had them for all the astronauts back then (The original Seven and a few extra, and continued until Skylab).
Eventually, I lost track of the astronauts until I worked at the White House. I met several of them on trips to Houston and Florida, but to this day I have never once gotten to witness a launch of a rocket into space in person, only on television. But, I saw Nimoy once in passing somewhere in Los Angeles or some such place while traveling. I did meet James Doohan in Detroit Michigan when I was in HS when I managed to get into the Star Trek Convention there. Many years later, the Challenger was flown into Tinker AFB on the back of it’s taxi (a 747) and flew over my houses several times for photo opportunities. I got several good shots of it. I’ve been to the Air and Space museum many times in DC. I’ve talked to people on ham radio on the ISS, on various shuttle missions and even spoke to one of the missions live from NASA in Houston while working for the WH. I even saw the original Star Ship Enterprise at the Smithsonian as well. I’ve visited Johnson Space Center on several occasions… so I have stayed connected to Science Fiction, Science Fact and even to Space through television, and my job, my ham radio and various other ways.
Leonard Nimoy was a brilliant actor and the embodiment of Mr. Spock. The character was as real to us growing up as any character today – and yet, so much more than some of the paper actors in videos, movies and television. He lived to be 83 – something we all aspire to get to (and further) but for many they never get that far. His acting career spanned several decades, as he started at the age of 10 or so. I remember him in many shows, including Twilight Zone, and playing as Mustapha Mond in “Brave New World” (Aldous Huxley, writer). He was even in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. appearing with William Shatter in at least one episode that I recall.
Today at the ripe age of 57 I don’t feel “old”, just achy and sometimes problems (like my teeth, currently) get the best of me. Nimoy continued acting until recently. He lived a grand life, and is well loved by many.
So, tonight I wish him a fond farewell, Fair Winds and Following Seas into the journey beyond.
Live Long, and Prosper