Nimoys ‘garden’ remembered

Derek Richardson

Leonard Nimoy: a great actor, director, poet, photographer, singer and songwriter is dead. He left this world on Feb. 27, 2015 due to complications with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

He is best known for his role as the character Spock in “Star Trek,” a cultural icon associated with pointy-ears and a Vulcan salute. In fact, it was Nimoy himself that invented the salute from his childhood memories of the way Jewish priests hold their hand when giving blessings.

Nimoy began acting when he was 8 years old, and eventually went on to take drama classes at Boston College. He would spend over a decade receiving only small parts in low quality movies before taking up the role of Spock. His half-Vulcan, half-human character allowed him and writers to examine what it really means to be human.

In 1986 Nimoy would go on to direct the second most successful film in the “Star Trek” franchise, “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.” The film would capture the best of “Star Trek,” and the character Spock.

Spock became so synonymous with Nimoy that he wrote two books: “I Am Not Spock” in 1975, and “I Am Spock” in 1995. The first book touched on a self-proclaimed identity crisis that haunted Nimoy throughout his career. The second book communicated that he concluded that the fictional character and the real person have actually merged into one, while at the same time, maintaining the distance between fact and fiction.

After “Star Trek,” Nimoy expanded his roles to the stage. He played the starring role of Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” in 1971. Nimoy would go on to record five albums of musical vocals, many of which were about his pointy-eared other self. His first album was titled “Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space.”

Nimoy was in and out of the hospital the last months of his life. He expressed his feelings via some of his poetry on Twitter. His last tweet, only days before his death: “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

The garden of Nimoy’s life resulted in many wonderful memories for more people than he ever physically touched. His perfect moments will live on in the memory of all who loved him. He is survived by his wife, two children, six grandchildren, a great-grandchild, and his elder brother, Melvin.

To borrow a line from “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” when William Shatner’s character, Kirk, and the crew are assembled to pay tribute to their fallen comrade, “of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most…human.”

Live long and prosper.