Tag Archives: Elmira

The Daily Scrapbook 1/29/13 — Feb. 18, 1978: I meet Leonard Nimoy! (Never before seen Photos!)

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)

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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

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!

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.

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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)

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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.) I Am Not Spock 02 AUTOGRAPH  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.

The Daily Scrapbook 1/14/13; February 18, 1978, Leonard Nimoy comes to town!

Well kids, last week,  I showed you a picture of Mr. Nimoy that a fan sent me in 1976, and this week I recall the time I finally acheived my teen heartthrob dream; Meeting Mr. Nimoy.   Well, it started in January of 1978 with the announcement that Leonard Nimoy would be in Elmira NY on a lecture circuit on  February 18 at the Clemons Center.  I was totally on board!   I was aware of this already since my quarterly bulletin from the LNAF had informed me of his impending arrival.  Suffice to say, I was buzzing for month in anticipation.   Could I get his picture and autograph?  What would I say if I met him? Could I shake his hand? (Insert teenage “squee!” here).  My mom ordered the tickets, and weeks later,  we were off to Elmira, 40 minutes away, on a freezing cold night in February.  Halfway there I realized — I FORGOT MY CAMERA!!!!   But then again, my pocket camera took crappy pictures and my mom’s Kodak Instamatic would be just fine, except she FORGOT HERS TOO! Crushed. I’d just have to  rely on a good memory and journaling for this one. Oh well, at least we had good seats (second row!) and  couldn’t wait to see him in person.  Looks like the poster here had some last minute editing on the date, but as long as he was really coming to town that’s all that mattered!

(Tomorrow:  Leonard Nimoy in Person!)

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The Daily Scrapbook 12/10/12 , February 1978, Nimoy only 40 minutes away…

V1-pg 62Here’s today’s flashback — From February of 1978, a very exciting time for me as I waited with baited breath for my trip to Elmira (40 minutes away) to see, live and in person, Leonard Nimoy.  This 16 year old was so excited, she wrote two (really crappy) limericks!   More on this event soon!

The Daily Scrapbook 12/6/12 Guess who’s coming to town?

It ain’t Santa!  But in January of 1978 I got a late Christmas present when it was announced that not one but TWO celebrities connected to Star Trek would be appearing locally!  Gene Roddenberry was coming to our local Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena, promoting The World of Star Trek (basically the same show I saw in Rochester that past August), and  LEONARD NIMOY would be coming to nearby Elmira!!! Unfortunately both of these events fell on the same night: February 18th.  But which to go to? Well, if you’re like me, and I know I am, the choice was obvious; Vulcan’s beat Great Birds of the Galaxy every time!   I will post about this unforgettable event next week, so stay tuned!

However, in other news, the long awaited Star Trek II TV series return was permanently canceled by Paramount TV, no new series, no bald lady.  The headline read “Sorry Trekkies”, but I felt a strange sigh of relief.  Looking back now we did tons better with the movie series than we ever could have with a re-booted Trek.  And the movies led to more TV series, so it was a double win for the fans. There’s also a portion of an article here mentioning Nimoy in “In Search  Of.”  The producer, Alan Lansbury, describes Nimoy as “a persuasive identity”  I couldn’t agree more.  By the way, have you noticed how many times in these scrapbook pieces I’d have to fix Spock title from “Dr.” to ‘Mr.”?  Pure carelessness (or ignorance) on the writer’s part)

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