Friday, February 27, 2015

The Passing of Leonard Nimoy

This was supposed to be a book review. Given my mood at the moment, I'm just not up to it. I know this is whining and furthermore, whining about the death of someone I have never met. I'm going to do it anyway. The deaths of celebrities are something that I usually pay no attention to, but this time it hit me. Today should be a day like all other days. It is not. Today is the day that Leonard Nimoy died. And, as someone who has dedicated his blog to ALL forms of SF/F, including movies and TV shows today is not a day I could allow to go unmarked.

My SF fandom started in a little trailer in southeastern Michigan called Americana Estates. I sat in the living room of a trailer and watched Star Trek with my dad. I watched as the Enterprise cruised around the galaxy, seemingly always on its way to Alpha Orions IV. I saw TV's first interracial kiss, even if I was over a decade late. (I wasn't born when it first came out.) I saw some of the weirdest aliens ever in my life. I laughed at the Trouble with Tribbles and I'm still more than just a little creeped out by Spock's Brain. I would sit and I would watch and, when it was over, I would run outside and get barked at by the neighbor's dog Princess or go play with some Construx or my cars. Star Trek was more than just a show to me. It was part of my childhood. As a guy named Jim McCoy, who has been known to respond when referred to as "Bones" it was bound to be, I guess.

Even more than that, the cast of ST:TOS has always been, in a weird way, like my family. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Chekov, Sulu, Uhura, Scottie, I grew up with them. I spent more time with them when I was young that anyone I actually AM related to except my parents and my sister. Oddly enough, though, for a guy whose first name is Jim, I always felt closest to the characters Spock and Dr. McCoy.

I have a head for math and science (although my degree is in history) and I wanted to be an MD when I was a child. Barring that, I was convinced I was going to be some kind of  scientist. I got out of the sciences when I got sick of being told to stop thinking and just follow the formula, but that will never change my initial affinity for these characters. McCoy's humorous sarcasm and Spock's cold, passionless logic appealed as well. Until you've been the kid who was picked on in school and wished that he couldn't feel it I guess you wouldn't understand. If you have been and you're a fan of the series, especially, you probably already do. No one who knows me would ever believe that I didn't wish for his skill with a phaser at those times either.

ST:TOS was, of course, not the last stop for Nimoy but it is, and always will be, the one he is best known for. It's the one I will always remember him for. It is the reason I took the time to write this when I've never done anything similar upon the death of a famous person ever before. That show has as much to do with who and what I am as any other pop culture influence upon my life EVER. Star Trek taught me to show respect to those in positions of authority, to never stop asking questions and to always be loyal to those who have earned it. I'll never forget those lessons.

So farewell, Leonard Nimoy. Say hi to my father for me if you see him. Although we have never actually met, I have and always shall, consider you my friend. It was your fate to Live Long and Prosper. As you boldly go where no man has gone before, know that you take a little piece of all of your fans with you. And as you leave us In Search Of a reason for this, rest assured that we will not be satisfied until we find it.

On Sunday: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

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