Logically, I should write this today

<p>It’s a general day of memoriam and memories of actor Leonard Nimoy. Here’s my Spock/Nimoy story.<br /> <lj-cut text=”Read the rest of this entry &raquo;”></p> <p>I was a science fiction fan from childhood. In third grade, a teacher loaned me a copy of Eleanor Cameron’s <a href=”http://smile.amazon.com/Wonderful-Flight-Mushroom-Planet/dp/0316125407/ref=ArgothaldA”>The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet</a>. That book started my fascination with SF that continues to this day. </p> <p>I started watching <i>Star Trek</i> in 1967, in the middle of its second season. I was seven years old. I was too young to understand much of the subtext of the show, but I knew SF when I saw it. I enjoyed the show and begged my parents to let me stay up late to watch it. </p> <p>However, I must be honest: The SF show I really liked was <i><a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_in_Space”>Lost in Space</a></i>. This is hardly surprising, since <i>Star Trek</i> was aimed towards adults and <i>Lost in Space</i> was aimed to kids my age. I was far more interested in Billy Mumy in the role of Will Robinson than I was in Mr. Spock. I wasn’t especially concerned when <i>Star Trek</i> was cancelled, but I cried when <i>Lost in Space</i> was. </p> <p>Fast-forward to 1973. In the five years since both shows were cancelled, I’d seen both in the seemingly-endless reruns of both series on syndicated television. As I grew older, I began to appreciate <i>Star Trek</i> more and more (and began to see <i>Lost in Space</i> for the silliness that it became, though I’m still a fan at heart). Like <a href=”http://pvponline.com/comic/2015/02/27/the-most-human1″>many</a&gt; other young people at the time, I identified strongly with Spock and wished I could be as cool as he was. </p> <p>The first <i>Star Trek</i> convention took place in 1972 in New York City. I was only 12, and wasn’t confident enough to attend. The second was the following year, 1973, and by then I was a teenager. I knew I could conquer the depths of space and the New York subway system. </p> <p>There’s nothing like your first con. My memories are hazy: talks by David Gerrold and Isaac Asimov; a dealers room filled with items I couldn’t afford on my allowance; a chance to touch (through plastic) a tribble that had been used on the original series. </p> <p>I spent quite a bit of time in the main ballroom/auditorium, listening to the speakers and watching SF films I rarely saw since there were no VCRs back then. (Kids: VCRs are kind of like DVDs, but on tape. Younger kids: DVDs are kind of like YouTube, only longer and you could break them if you sat on them.)</p> <p>Just as a special showing of the film <i><a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Running”>Silent Running</a></i> was coming to an end, the room lights came on unexpectedly. Three people ascended the podium. One was George Takei. Another was James Doohan, whom I didn’t recognize at the time since he was sporting a beard and spoke in his normal voice. The third was Leonard Nimoy. </p> <p>It’s difficult to describe how special and unexpected that moment was. At the time, only the “second-tier” actors from Star Trek appeared at fan-based events. Shatner, Nimoy, and Kelley were not yet regular sights at conventions. Takei and Doohan had been announced to be at the con; Nimoy happened to be in New York City on that day, and decided just to <a href=”http://geektyrant.com/news/2011/3/5/lets-travel-back-in-time-to-a-1973-star-trek-convention.html”>show up</a>. </p> <p>The audience recognized Nimoy at once. A thrill ran through the crowd. Folks started to stand up. I stood up too, if only to be able to see over people heads. To Nimoy, it must have seemed like the audience was surging towards him. </p> <p>Doohan stepped to the microphone. “Take one more step and our guest will leave without saying a word.” The audience sat. </p> <p>Nimoy and the audience paused. Neither of us knew quite was to do. Suddenly Nimoy flashed a smile and raised his hand in the Vulcan salute. Everyone in the audience relaxed and raised their hands in salute as well, including me. The ice was broken. </p> <p>Takei and Doohan moderated a few questions from the audience. It was all typical stuff: what was it like playing Spock, when was the series returning to television, and so on. It lasted less than half an hour, then Nimoy had to leave. </p> <p>Leonard Nimoy didn’t have to <a href=”http://fanlore.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Lives!_%28convention%29#1973″>come</a&gt;. When he saw an audience that was bigger and more excited than he anticipated, he didn’t have to stay. He was then, and remained for the rest of his life, <a href=”http://www.avclub.com/article/leonard-nimoy-was-star-treks-greatest-ambassador-215896″>Star Trek’s ambassador</a>. </p> </lj-cut><p><small>Originally published at <a href=”https://www.argothald.net/blog/?p=592″>Argothald</a&gt;. You can comment here or <a href=”https://www.argothald.net/blog/?p=592#comments”>there</a&gt;.</small></p>

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