It is not often I am at a loss of words, but today I find myself dumbstruck by the news of Leonard Nimoy‘s passing.
There will be those who express themselves better, but I would be remiss if I didn’t try to take a moment to recognize and honor this actor who created one of Pop Culture’s most famous characters, and one of my personal heroes, Star Trek’s Mr. Spock.
Like many of my generation, I discovered Star Trek during its period of constant syndication during the 70’s. It aired nightly at midnight, and I would sneak out of bed, and watch it on an old portable black and white TV, with the sound turned down low, as not to wake my mother, sleeping in the other room. If I did, it would certainly get me in trouble, resulting in a grounding or worse, but so strong was the need in me to see the show, to join the crew of the Enterprise as it boldly trekked across the galaxy, that I took that risk.
For a young boy, who perhaps was a bit of an outsider himself, fascinated by all things outer space. Finding Star Trek was akin to finding the Dead Sea Scrolls. It gave deeper breadth to world far bigger than myself. I immediately found a kindred spirit in the show’s pointy eared, alien character, Commander Spock. Like him, I found myself surround by like, but an obviously different sort of people. Yet he managed to not only fit in to that world, he thrived in it, becoming a trusted ally and confidant to his crew mates. His friends. That an alien could find a way to fit in, inspired me to be myself, and assured me that I too would find a place where being me would be enough.
Leonard Nimoy was also much more than just an actor playing a role. He was a writer, poet, photography, recording artist, director, and role model, inspiring millions, including one nerdy nine year old boy, sitting in the glow of black and white portable television.