Sunday, March 1, 2015

Leonard Nimoy

We were told that, here in Boulder yesterday, we'd start having snow around noon and it would last until noon today.  Maybe a quarter-inch fell.  Big deal.  I walked to the store this morning and renewed my stash of nuts for the squirrels and shelled sunflower seeds for the birds.  I also grabbed a hot, fresh, blueberry whole wheat bagel for my own breakfast.   The weather folks are now saying that we'll get 2 to 6 inches through tomorrow morning - and a light flurry has just begun to fall.
  My kits went out and played for a good 30 minutes this morning, so, hopefully, Nedi will have worked off some of his excess energy.  And I found a nice three-year-old filly to follow through her racing career yesterday - her name is Devine Aida, and she's a daughter of Unbridled's Song, so she's carrying my favorite bloodline.   And it's hard to realize that the Kentucky Derby is only two months away...  I don't have any preference for any of the colts, yet.
  I am deep in personal mourning for a good Jewish man.  His parents came to the United States from Russia, and he was born in Massachusetts.  He passed away Friday at the age of 83 from end-stage COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).  His name was Leonard Simon Nimoy.  Nimoy worked on stage, and both in front of, and later, behind, the cameras of television and cinema.  Tall, thin, black haired and brown-eyed, with a deep voice, he didn't really capture the attention of the rank and file of the world's populace until he was cast as Lieutenant Commander (Mr.) Spock in Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek.  My parents had a subscription to the TV Guide, which always had a photo from, and a short synopsis of, new television shows.  I was excited about "the alien" - half Vulcan, half human, green-blooded, Science Officer Spock.  I remember sitting on the living room floor, in my pajamas, hoping that channel 12 would come in clearly through the television antenna.  It was Thursday night, 8 September 1966, and the show started at 8 p.m.  I had just started fifth grade, and my bed time was 9 p.m.  The first episode aired was "The Man Trap" and not "Where No Man Has Gone Before," the second made pilot program.  The original pilot was "The Cage" and was later used in "The Menagerie," which won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
  Mr. Nimoy's portrayal of Spock touched and inspired a lot of people; just as Nichelle Nichols' portrayal of Lieutenant Uhuru (whose name meant Freedom) inspired African-Americans.  Star Trek looked at the social and economic issues of the day and showed us hope for the future - that people of different races, religions, even planets, could work together in harmony and, hopefully, peace.
  I have seen all of Mr Nimoy's film and television appearances.  I have tried to see everything that he directed.  And I was privileged to see him on stage in Equus in the small, intimate Helen Hays Theater.  My friends and I even ran into him, his wife, and a security man, on the sidewalk outside the theater, while we were looking for a tea shop.  He smiled and greeted us like old friends - and that was in 1976.  I have the albums that Leonard Nimoy recorded, the books that he wrote, and several of his photographs.  He inspired me to become more interested in science and logic, and, thanks to the episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," I immersed myself in history - which I still find fascinating.
   I was diagnosed with COPD when I was 18, and couldn't get rid of a bronchial infection.  I have chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks, and chest colds are very difficult for me to get rid of.  My Doctor said it was/is the result of having had two chain-smoking parents.  I don't smoke, and never have.  Mr Nimoy smoked cigarettes for many years, but he stopped smoking more than 30 years ago.  And he still died from the effects of his tobacco smoke.  It's such a terrible lesson to learn.
   Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy.  You inspired thousands of people to become scientists, computer technicians and programmers, to follow logical thought patterns, and to be devoted friends.  Bless you, always, my friend.

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