Saturday, February 28, 2015

Live Long and Prosper

It was September of 1966.  I was in junior high school (what middle school was called back then) and I lived in a New York City housing project in the Bronx.

I was a young teenager who loved science fiction.  Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Frederick Pohl were some of my favorite authors.  I was also a huge fan of some of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Our TV set was a black and white console.  Our shows were broadcast over the air, and there were three major broadcast networks to choose from in my native New York City, along with several independent stations.

The school year had just started and, with it, a new TV season was about to start.

One of the new shows was a science fiction show called Star Trek.  I watched it from the very first, and fell in love with it.  So did, over the years, millions of other people.

Part of my childhood died yesterday with the death of actor Leonard Nimoy, who played a character, Mr Spock.  Spock, a human looking man with pointed ears and strange eyebrows,  had a human mother and an alien father, a native of the planet Vulcan.

Leonard Nimoy, and his fellow actors and actresses, made science fiction accessible to people who, otherwise, may never have been exposed to it.  The original Star Trek series only lasted three years. But what a three years it was.

I made a friend, someone who recently moved into my apartment building.  She loved Star Trek.  And, her family had a color television.

Starting with the second season, I sometimes went to her apartment on the 13th floor of our building to watch the show.  That friendship lasted through high school, even though we ended up going to different schools.

The stories of Star Trek captivated me and fired my imagination.  So did the character of Mr. Spock.

To many people, Leonard Nimoy was the face of Star Trek.

He was the accessible alien - and we could all identify with his struggles to keep his human emotional nature in check. Vulcans believed in logic but there was that pesky humanity of his.  It showed up at the most inconvenient of times.  We loved him for it.

We loved the alien side of him, too - his Vulcan nerve pinches and mind melds that would save the day in a hopeless situation.

Yesterday, I went to lunch, turned on my phone, and immediately found out Leonard Nimoy had died, at the age of 83.  The tributes were already pouring in, from actors and actresses, from fans, from scientists, and even from the President of the United States.

I watched on Facebook as tributes scrolled by.  It seemed like everyone on Facebook was saddened.

Before long, a hashtag #LLAP was trending.  Facebook friends were posting "Live Long and Prosper", which is a Vulcan blessing.

The response is "Peace. And long life."

Leonard Nimoy, the actor, always had mixed feelings about the Mr. Spock role, but he always loved his fans.  And his fans loved him.

Leonard Nimoy gave us hope about the future, a future where Earth was united, and interacted with other species under the umbrella of a utopian type United Federation of Planets.

Maybe one day, it will come true.

He lived long.  He prospered  And we will all miss him, here in the world that Star Trek made possible.

I wish each and every one of my blog readers a long, prosperous life.  May you live long and prosper!

26 comments:

  1. What a lovely tribute to the distinguished Mr. Spock, Alana. I didn't know that you were a trekkie, but I suppose I should have suspected it. You're cool that way.

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    1. I'm not a Trekkie, but I love a good science fiction story. The Star Trek series blazed many trails and, I am positive, inspired some of the devices we now use in our everyday lives.

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  2. He was so talented in many ways. Actor, photographer, artist, and yes, he even sang. He lived a good life. It's hard for me to believe that he was as old as he was.

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    1. Yes,Nimoy was a multi talented man. I admired him greatly, especially as he grew older. What a class act!

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  3. well written article and tribute brings back forgotten memories

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  4. Wonderful tribute to a fantastic (in every sense of the word) character and a fine human being. He was also an enormously important cultural icon for people of our generation - and later generations. Leonard Nimoy, the man, has passed from our presence but Spock will live on and continue to inspire us.

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    1. Thank you, Dorothy. Yes, I agree he will continue to inspire for years to come.

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  5. Yes, I was surprised to hear this about Leonard Nimoy yesterday - he was one of the important faces of Star Trek. I was very saddened - I never watched the old series - until my husband insisted, so I could have fun seeing the points made in the movies.

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    1. It's funny you mention not watching the old series. My sister in law, who was born at the tail end of the baby boomer generation, never got into the original series because of the "cheesy" (her words) low budget special effects. But, as cheesy as some of those shows were, there were many plots that were thought provoking and even taboo-breaking. I'm happy your husband talked you into seeing some of the old shows.

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  6. I felt as if my favorite grandfather had died

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    1. People of all generations were saddened. That is a sign of a life well lived. Thank you.

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  7. I love the way you just go with topics. You're current, honest and interesting, sharing your unique perspective on that topic. Great ending! I also liked him (not a trekkie) but I enjoyed the show and listened to a clip on him and was quite touched by it.
    Thanks for a great post.
    Amy

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    1. Thank you-that is high praise from you, Amy.

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  8. As hard as I tried, I failed at greeting Mr. Nimoy's death in a logical manner as befitting a long time Star Trek fan. My kids and Mister have always teased me for being a Trekkie, but I am not sure I reach the level of others. Yes, I went to the Star Trek exhibit in Las Vegas and ate at Quark's more than once. But I loved the entire franchise and it will never be the same. LLAP.

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    1. You are more of a Trekkie than I am. I have NEVER been to a Star Trek convention. And, truthfully, I only listened to the last three years or so of ST The Next Generation, and have never seen any of the subsequent TV series. I have seen all of the movies, though.

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  9. Your post was a touching one that once again brought tears to my eyes.So thank you for allowing me to remember him .

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  10. What a touching tribute! Even though I wasn't necessarily a Star Trek fan, I did appreciate his presence and character on the show. It wasn't until yesterday that I realized he was an artist in other ways too! May his soul rest in peace. <3

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    1. I knew about Nimoy's singing, but not about his photography (until recently). Years ago we may have called him a Renaissance Man.

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  11. This was indeed sad news for all of us Star Trek fans around the world. I always admired Leonard Nimoy and there was so much more to him than Mr. Spock. He was an actor, director, author, poet and an artist. His speciality was Rubenesque portraits. Thank you for this lovely tribute. Well said.

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    1. What I never knew, Debbie, before Nimoy's death, was that he may well have been considered a leading photographer of the 20th century if there hadn't been that other love of his life - acting. An amazing man.

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  12. I, too, loved the science fiction books of the time. I even inherited my grandmother's collection of very old books in the genre. And how I loved Star Trek. Leonard Nimoy will be sorely missed. I would like to think that hope for the future lives on.

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  13. I would say- " A lovely Tribute"

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