Leonard Nimoy would have been 89 today! I always like to take a moment to remember him on his birthday. He was a wonderful, brilliant man, fine actor, and great friend to many.
I have to admit, that although he is missed, I am a little thankful that he isn’t here to deal with this pandemic. As a man suffering with COPD from years of smoking,(even though he quit), I suspect he could have caught the virus a bit too easily. But he is at peace now, and, we’re so lucky to have had him in our cultural life.
I also wish a Happy 2nd Anniversary to Adam and Terry (Farrell) Nimoy, who couldn’t have picked a better date of remembrance for their happiness. I wish them love, peace, and safety now and always. <3 <3
Today, February 27th, has always been a special day for me because it was my mother Anna’s Birthday. This year is extra special because today is the 100th Anniversary of my darling Mom’s birth!
The circumstance of her birth was not too uncommon for families at the time. On this day in 1920, my Nana, Mary, went into labor in her home, and my Mom was delivered on her family’s kitchen table! From what I understand, it was a tricky delivery, but thankfully my Mom made it through, and had a quite incredible life for a a blessed 93 years. She passed on in 2013. Of course one never gets through the loss of their beloved Mom and Dad, but as time goes on, you do have the comfort of seeing them in yourself; like when I warm a child’s hands or greet someone new and ask “Where’re you from?” (That is SO Mom!). I have some audio and video of Mom that is also a blessing. So today I send up my loving wishes for a Happy Heavenly 100th Birthday to Mom, I know that Dad and all of our passed loved ones are dancing in the clouds! I love you Mommy.
This brings me to the other reason why this date has some significance. As many of you know, it was a sad 5 years ago today that Leonard Nimoy passed away. In the wake of it being the same day as my Mom’s Birth, I admit, it is not the first thing that popped into my head this morning, but I know it is important to my readers and his many fans around the world. It’s a sad coincidence for me.
Although I’d much prefer to honor and celebrate our late Star Trek family members on their birthdays, I would have felt guilty had I not at least post a picture of Leonard to mark the sad occasion. So going through my archives, I found this one, which always makes me smile.
Leonard meant many different things to so many people, and my Mom liked him too, but the word that one hears the most is “beloved”. And I think that is all that one really needs to be remembered; that they were loved and cherished. We can be loved and cherished through our actions and kindness for all those around us. I do wish you all such love in your life, and may memories of your loved ones bring you comfort and happiness all of your days.
Today should always be a holiday for Trek fans everywhere! On this day, September 8, 1966, Star Trek premiered on NBC. I doubt anyone then thought it would become a milestone in modern science fiction, and glancing at some of these reviews you could see a sense of doubt. But aren’t we lucky that it got on the air after all? To my knowledge, Star Trek was the only network TV series that got twopilots made!
Unfortunately, the original episodes were not shown in shooting order, but rather the first episode the network preferred, which was The Man Trap. (even the artwork for its premiere featured Where No Man has Gone Before!). Man Trap was a good episode, but not the best offering for a show that was attempting to be seen as serious. Although the Salt Vampire was seen sympathetically, she was still, alas, a monster, and some early critics saw little potential beyond that, probably laughing it off as another kiddie sci-fi like Lost in Space. Bit other critics saw potential, and I think if the original Trek wasn’t shoehorned into a cemetery-shift time-slot by its 3rd and final season, it might have made it to a full 5-year journey.
There’s a part of me that would have loved to see the original Trek progress into 5 seasons (up to 1971) but somehow, I think without Roddenberry as the main producer (Fred Freiberger took over in season 3) I suspect it may have gotten worse. Freiberber preferred action over deeper philosophical themes. In a way, we were lucky it ended in 1969, for I doubt it would become the timeless phenomenon it became in the decade long gap between TOS and the first movie.
It was syndication that brought it more to the masses, nation and world-wide, and when more people saw it then, NBC realized what a treasure it cast away. Fortunately for us, we can say the catchphrase which started in the ’70’s with ferocious pride: “Star Trek Lives!”
Inspired by today’s Anniversary, I made this little poster; 48 images for 48 years! Happy Birthday Star Trek! With Love to Bill, Leonard, George, Nichelle, Walter and Grace!! Congratulations on being part one of the best and happiest parts of American culture! May you truly LIVE LONG & PROSPER! Love, Therese
Well kids, this was it; my ambition, my dream , my ultimate fan-girl fantasy coming to fruition as a tender 16 year old. As I mentioned in the January 14th post, my Mom had secured tickets to see Leonard Nimoy (in person!) on a lecture tour in Elmira NY on February 18th, 1978 , and as we traveled out on that cold winter evening, I had realized to my horror half way there that none of us had brought a camera! Too late to complain, too cold and too far to go back, so we carried on. All I knew was I never wanted to forget this night, and fortunately, after it was over, I hastily scribbled eight journal pages of the whole event. (see below)
One of the eight pages I scribbled after our night with Nimoy!
Looking back at it now, I’m glad I wrote these girlish scribblings, for I’m finding all these little details that I had forgotten over these 35 years. Like the excitement of just getting out of town to do something different, and how I was so nervous that my hands were trembling in anticipation of seeing my hero in person! I remember the pretty chandeliers in the lobby of the Clemens Center, and how my Mom gave me gum to settle down while we waited. A musician came out to warm up the crowd before the lecture, and although he played delightfully on the grand old theater organ, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of the light emitting from the thin space beneath the hem of the heavy blue velvet curtains, for there were clearly feet shuffling back and forth to the podium (Is it him, is it him?). I suppose I could only compare my excitement to the girls awaiting The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show or modern ‘tweens awaiting One Direction. Thirty long minutes later, our anticipation was rewarded when, quite casually, Nimoy
Leonard Nimoy Vulcan salutes the crowd at the Clemens Center, Elmira NY, February 18, 1978
sauntered across the stage in a pale blue sweater, beige and grey plaid shirt and brown trousers. The audience erupted in whoops, hollers, and Vulcan salutes, I could feel my face grow warm with excitement as I saluted too. Nimoy began with a cheeky ice-breaker: “You are an emotional bunch of humans!” he grinned. And for the next two hours with just a pitcher of water for the occasional sip, he regaled us with funny and thoughtful tales of about life as an actor, as Mr. Spock, and little philosophies about life, the universe, and everything. At the end I recall he even recited a poem (his?) with its refrain “Hallelujah”, and everyone in the audience saying it along with him in a wonderful moment of communion. One of the funniest stories he related was how, one day while filming on the Star Trek set he had an awful toothache; so awful in fact that on his lunch break he went straight to the dentist in full costume, ears, uniform and all! He recalled getting plenty of odd looks while driving across L.A. to the dentist, yet at the office, throughout the entire check-up, neither the receptionist nor the dentist uttered a word about his other-worldly appearance. “Could you imagine what they said after I left ?” he joked.
And then it was time for questions. My hand shot up and I was the first one he called on. In anticipation of this evening, I had created a gift for him. I had been practicing my calligraphy for my 10th grade advertising class and I had painstakingly recreated on parchment in pen and ink with the prettiest font I could muster, a quote from his recent biography I Am Not Spock. The quote read something like: ‘We spend so much time doing what me must do, that we forget what we can do.” and was bordered in a simple pine frame. I nervously said “Mr. Nimoy, I made this for you in honor of your upcoming (wedding) anniversary.” and I reached over the brass railing that separated us from the stage, and pushed the frame as far forward onto the grand piano in front of the stage as I could.
Mr. Nimoy comes out from behind the podium at the Clemens Center in Elmira NY, and reads the calligraphy gift from Therese on the piano.
Surprised, Nimoy came out from behind the podium and bent down to read it. Flashbulbs burst all over the place as he did, and he smiled saying, “Thank You! I’ll pick it up after the show.” My mission completed, my only ambition now was to meet the man and get his autograph. And I gotta tell you, after the show, Nimoy awaited every last fan in his tiny dressing room to greet, sign autographs and have pictures taken. You see, this was in the days before the Creation conventions where you have to pay over $100 for an autograph. I remember getting in the line that was already growing exponentially off to the side of the stage. It would be a long wait, and I chatted with a couple of other fans and told them my woes forgetting my camera. A nice, lovely woman named Linda Jessup told me she had taken a few pictures already, including Nimoy looking at my gift and would send me copies! I was so thankful to her, and these are the pictures I present to you today! Amazing how the kindness of a stranger can make a difference in ones life. Linda, if you’re out there, I thank you again 35 years later, I have always treasured these and am thankful to share them with my readers today. (and hey, if you have any others laying around, let me know!) As Linda and I chatted, my sister Mary-Anne suddenly came up and took me by the arm “Come with me!” she said, and ere long we were heading out backstage behind the curtain, my gift in hand, where a stage hand stood near Nimoy’s dressing room. I’m supposing that my sister didn’t want to wait all night to drive us back home and got permission to let me skip the line! She said “Tell that man there that the organist sent you so your present could be given to him by one of them! (God bless her!) ” So I told the stagehand just that, and he said “You can give it to him yourself!” (Okay, my my teenage heart is about to burst here). So here I am, approaching my big moment with THE MAN, and all I can think is don’t do anything stupid, don’t do anything stupid. As the people exited ahead of me, I stepped into the tiny room, and said with my voice all a-quiver:
“Hi Mister Nimoy.” and I put forward the gift.
“Ah yes!” he replied “Thank you very much, it’s is really beautiful! I told him (again) it was was in honor of his upcoming wedding anniversary, and he replied “Yes, it’s in four days!”Then looking at the writing on the piece he asked “Are you into calligraphy?” And without thinking I said “No, but I’m taking Advertising in school!” (I felt really stupid after saying that, since my gift to him WAS a piece of calligraphy, I just couldn’t put two and two together!) He sat at the dressing table and gestured for me to sit at the other chair there, and as I did, he noticed the three LNAF membership cards I had pinned to my blouse.
The three LNAF cards I had pinned to my blouse that exciting night.
“So, you’re an LNAF’er?” “Three years!” “Did you get your Yearbook yet?” “Not the ’77. ” “Oh,” he smiled Well, Louise* was snowed in , you know!” “Oh.” I replied, and glanced into the mirror, instantly slapping my hands to my face “Oh My God, I’m beet red!” Nimoy just grinned, no doubt used to this teenage hysteria. Flustered but determined, I grabbed my new paperback copy of I Am Not Spock from my purse and handed it to him along with a purple Flair pen. (Yeah, I still have that pen)
Photo of Leonard Nimoy after his Clemens Center lecture, taken by fan Linda Jessup , who sent me these three Nimoy pictures the following month. I am forever grateful.
“How do you spell your name?” “Therese” and I aimed my membership cards at him. To this, he smiled, and with that beautiful baritone voice, and in a French accent at that, he charmed: “Ahhh, Thérèse!” (Okay, my heart may have just stopped right there.) He signed the inside cover of the book, and I thanked him, vigorously shaking his right hand in both of mine. (He must have thought I was a total kook.) The inscription simply read “To Therese – Thank You! -Leonard Nimoy ’78” As I headed out the to car, I couldn’t even feel the cold night air as I got in. My Mom joked “Therese doesn’t have to be driven home, she’ll float!”
Okay, writing this post has reduced me to a pile of jello. Clean up in aisle 12 please! Thanks Mr. Nimoy, and if I ever meet you again, I’ll bring my camera!
*Louise Stange, the president of the Leonard Nimoy Association of Fans (LNAF) in Ohio.
One of the most romantic Spock moments ever, the pre-kiss kiss. He kisses her quickly as if he might get stung, then decides it’s a good idea! Beautifully acted by Nimoy and Hartley. Man when I was a teenager, this was my go-to rerun (it was on about 8 times a week, pre-VCR’s). I wanted Spock to live happily ever after in the Sarpeodon Ice age!
By the way, today I celebrate the most romantic day in my life–My sweet husband and I have been married 19 years! 🙂 <3 Viva L’amour!