The butterfly effect is an amazing thing. For example, in 1966 Leonard Nimoy appeared as a character named Spock in a science fiction television show called Star Trek. A whole generation grew up knowing that an actor infused personality into an analytical and very relatable character who was about logic and science.
Science became cool.
That generation grew up (my parents) and introduced the character to their children (like me) who got hooked and continued the adventures with this actor and character in the movies.
And I knew that being a nerd on my computer at a young age, sitting in the gifted programs classes, learning logic puzzles…
I knew it was okay.
It was okay because, to me, Leonard Nimoy made Spock “cool”.
Working in pop culture conventions, I get to see the good and the bad that comes to dealing with professional actors on the show circuit. Some you meet and they are all you hoped. Others you meet, and wish for the bliss of ignorance of the days before you met them. Still others you hear stories about and wonder.
Since I started going to conventions in the late 1980s, I never heard a single negative thing said about Mr. Nimoy. I was granted the privilege of meeting him multiple times in my life and each time he was a class act. I can only recall positive stories from friends and professional associates about it.
Leonard Nimoy was all of the human being you wanted when meeting an influential and iconic person from the entertainment industry.
Case and point, my wife just posted this on her Facebook:
I’m having a much harder time with Leonard Nimoy’s passing than many of you might have thought.
I did have the opportunity to meet him, and (as Tom likes to point out) have real conversation with him… he was a wonderful human being. I asked a question about Fringe and was giggling so much due to nervousness that he remembered me when Tom & I went to get his autograph later that day.
You see, I remember watching Star Trek with my dad, and Spock was always Dad’s favorite character (whereas “Bones” was always Mom’s favorite). I think this is probably why when I met Mr Nimoy, it was a big deal. I had to call my dad & tell him right away that I met Leonard Nimoy…his response “Spock? You just met Spock?” It was so cool to share that with my dad.
I have no photos of myself & Mr Nimoy, just simply a memory…and it is a good one.
He was a class act, and I will cherish my memory of meeting a legend such as him.
I have heard dozens of stories about the man similar to that one. Similar to my own story and experience as a teenager getting into Star Trek and growing up understanding the dynamics of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy… the concept that three entirely different beings and have everything in common on the most important level.
So thank you, Mr. Nimoy. You lived long. You prospered.
And, in doing so, you inspired so many of us to do the same. Rest in peace.
UPDATE: My wife found the video of her talking to Mr. Nimoy. Start at 3:18 and you’ll hear her always distinct laugh. Thank you, Internet.