I had a rough draft of Leonard Nimoy's obituary saved here for a while now, but I deleted it on Friday. Instead it was recommended to me that because thousands if not millions of people would be writing and paying tribute to him over the following few days, my own impression of the man would be lost in a sea of lists of his extraordinary accomplishments, artistry and impact on the human race. So instead I took my time until I could say what Leonard Nimoy meant to me.
Amongst other things Leonard Nimoy was a soldier, an actor, director, photographer and poet. To me he represented the face of Star Trek, even before I watched the show or embraced science fiction in general my teens. Leonard Nimoy's characterisation of Dr. Spock [that's not an error that's what I thought he was called] has such an impact it was literally all I knew about Star Trek before the time I began a passive-aggressive bullying campaign against Dave, a school-chum because he liked Star Trek and I often drew pictures of him with "Spock ears".
To negate the bullying Dave asked me to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation it first came on TV and see what I was mocking. So I did. The bullying stopped on Monday morning afterwards. Just over 12 months later I was wearing a Starfleet Uniform in public and people were calling me "Lt. Commander", I shit you not.
I needed a fix like a drug addict. So for about 26 weeks Dave who was now my pusher/supplier had to make me a video tape with three episodes of the Original Series on it so I could properly embrace all of Star Trek. Before long I had acquired enough knowledge to begin forming my own opinion and like all Star Trek fans, the arguments and differences of opinions surfaced, but now all in good fun.
He was never my favourite Character, but due entirely to Leonard Nimoy's performance I certainly was able to identify with Spock more than any other - he was very weird, says a lot of weird shit but once you get to know him and accept him he was a friend. That's also pretty much what I think about Star Trek as a whole and I've discovered it's also actually how more than one person has described ME.
"Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most.... human" - Adm. James T. Kirk, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan