Friday, February 27, 2015
It's one of those days you never thought would come. I'm old enough to remember Leonard Nimoy before he became a legend, when he was merely the guy who played the guy with the ears on that crazy space show and was trying to get away from it (his first autobiography was called I Am Not Spock). I remembered the Mission Impossibles he was on, but like most kids of my generation had a terrible time imagining him as anything but Spock.
I had a personal connection of a sort to Nimoy-- my grandmother was friendly with his mother, probably through Eastern Star. I believe his father owned a barbershop in Mattapan, which was once a prosperous downtown shopping area with a large Jewish community. I dreamed about my grandmother's house the other night (she's 99 years young as of this writing) and found out later that day that Nimoy had entered the hospital.
It's odd that Spock should ascend at this time, given the Trek-centric tone of The Secret Sun as of late. It seems like a portent, the way Jack Kirby's death in 1994 sent the comic book market into a tailspin it never truly recovered from. Something else seems to be dying and Nimoy's death is the marker, the milestone. We'll only know its true meaning with the benefit of hindsight.
Of course there's no speaking of Leonard Nimoy without talking about In Search Of, which was a huge influence on many a child of the 70s. Many of the topics covered on these blogs first made themselves known to me via that landmark series, hosted by Nimoy. They were also one of the first TV programs- if not the first- to deal with the Roswell event. That's the notorious Elizabeth Clare Prophet in the preview.
I should also add Nimoy's chilling performance in the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), a film that scared the absolute hell out of me as a kid. If you haven't seen, make it your business to check it out this weekend.