I just read the news that actor Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning after being reportedly admitted to the hospital for chest pains within the last few days and it hit me surprisingly hard.
While I wouldn’t call myself a Trekkie, I grew up watching the syndicated ST:TOS with my father and so the cast of the show does hold a special place in my heart and my childhood. Watching Gene Roddenberry’s Wagon Trail to the stars, I can hear young Shattner’s voice saying “Space…the final frontier.” and it still gives me shivers. I remember gold lame Klingons and troubles with tribbles, salt vampires and red shirts dying by the score.
I also remember those seriously hit or miss movies, my favorite of which, I think many would find unsurprising, is Wrath of Khan. I still remember watching it for the first time on television and hearing Kirk’s cry of dismay for his friend, finding him collapsed in the reactor room, and their now famous exchange through the safety glass as Spock dies.
A few days ago Michelle and I showed Connor Star Trek, the first of the remakes, for the first time and something he has been working out has been Kirk and Spock’s relationship. He doesn’t have the context that we have, knowing about what the original characters dealt with together, the trials they faced, their friendship spanning both life and death, but it’s been fun getting to share this experience with him, watching him wonder like I did at the exploration of space, hearing little bits from the movie end up in his imaginative play (like when he “beams up” a toy he’s playing with).
I’m sad today, like I’m standing on the other side of the glass watching helplessly, unable to change something I wish I could. Thank you, Mr. Nimoy, for bringing some wonder and a love of science fiction into my life and helping create something that has spanned the years that is now filling my son’s life with wonder.
You have been, and always shall be, our friend.