01 March 2015

Name Recognition

Leonard Nimoy
by Leigh Lundin

Jan Grape recently wrote an article, Me and Elvis, a charming reflection of the great singer. I can’t quite bring myself to title this one Me and Spock, but yes, I crossed paths with the actor.

As you know, Leonard Nimoy died Friday. I grok hard science fiction and Star Trek was about as close as one could get to real sci-fi on the small screen. Moreover, Spock was the character who made the TOS (the original series) worth watching. Even my Aunt Rae had a crush on him!

Nimoy appeared in various other rôles, but to me, he was always Spock. I admit I never saw his first film, Kid Monk Baroni, which Nimoy described as “the sort of film that made unknowns out of celebrities.” Beyond Star Trek, I thought he was particularly good as a narrator featured in Ripley’s Unexplained, In Search of, and Ancient Mysteries.

Leonard Nimoy
After Star Trek, Nimoy became famously thin-skinned about Spock, even writing a biography titled I am not Spock, referring to his identity crisis and a love-hate relationship with the character. He grew additionally alienated (pardon that pun) when Gene Roddenberry screened Star Trek blooper reels at fan conventions, further distancing himself from the rôle. Twenty years later, Nimoy would relent with a second autobiography called I am Spock, but in the 1970s, he became notorious for refusing to acknowledge the character. That’s the time when he and I crossed paths… a less than stellar performance as you'll see.

In Boston, my girlfriend and I were walking down a long corridor when in the distance I saw the actor strolling toward us. I wanted to alert my girl, but the only name I could think of was Spock… Spock… What the hell was his real name?

Leonard Nimoy as Spock
As we drew closer, my brain worked feverishly to dredge up the man’s name… No, not Spock… not Spock… What was it?

Within feet of the man, the name surfaced. I leaned over and said, “That’s Neonard Limoy.”

Uh-oh.

My words were apparently not quite soft enough because– damn those pointy ears– both Nimoy and my date shot peculiar sidelong glances at me.

Okay, okay, I never claimed to be articulate, but that’s my Neonard Limoy Leonard Nimoy story.

17 comments:

A Broad Abroad said...

A final salute and fitting tribute from one of the astronauts on the International Space Station.
LLAP Neonard Limoy.

Leigh Lundin said...

Good morning, ABA! Thank you for that photo. I love it.

Paul D. Marks said...

A close encounter of the Spock kind, Leigh. Good story.

Leigh Lundin said...

Thank you, Paul. I still chuckle about it.

Dixon Hill said...

Thanks for the morning chuckle, Leigh.

As a guy who has a terrible time remembering people's names (though I seem to recall faces quite well), I sympathize, buddy.
--Dixon

Jeff Baker said...

Very nice! About 40 years ago I was visiting my Great-Grandmother (who was almost 100!) After playing cards with my Mom for a few hours I bailed to watch "Star Trek." Grandma had never seen it and she watched along. She said "That man doesn't ever seem to smile," and I explained "That's Mr. Spock, and on his planet they consider showing emotion to be in poor taste and offensive." And Grandma said "Really? Well forevermore!"

Leigh Lundin said...

Thanks, Dixon. A lady at my local post office is named Minerva, which I can never remember when I'm actually in the post office but recall ten minutes later.

Jeff, I love it! And Kudos to her for watching it.

Vicki Kennedy said...

Thanks for the laugh, Leigh! You found a great way to say goodbye to a beloved actor and the character he played.

Eve Fisher said...

LOL! But it could have been worse - you could have said, "Hi, Jim!"

Jan Grape said...

Yikes, yes,it could have been worse.Doctor Spock, the baby doctor comes to mind. I'm terrible with names, too. When I regularly went to go to mystery cons I'd meet so many people, some authors, some editors, many fans. Everyone would frantically search for a nametag and hope they could read it. One year as I searched for an author's nametag, he said, "Yes, I'm still Richard Lupoff." Never forgot him after that.
Speaking of names, Leigh, thanks for mentioning mine at the beginning of this article.

Leigh Lundin said...

Thanks, Vicki. Someone said Spock's vulnerabilities made him more human than the humans. There's truth to that.

Eve (laughing), it would take this space cadet to do something like that.

Leigh Lundin said...

You're welcome, Jan. That's clever of Richard Lupoff, a surefire way to not only help fans but to keep his name in circulation.

Melodie Campbell said...

I would have tripped him and then thrown myself at him! (yes, Leigh - another HUGE Star Trek fan here, only I saw it the second time around in the 70s, as reruns.) Fun story!

C.S.Poulsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
C.S.Poulsen said...

Neonard Limoy--typical ADD speak, lol. I can relate. I once saw Scotty at O'Hare many years ago. His real name escaped me then and now. I'm not sure how many ADD trekkies exist in the world, but I'm one of them. I know I'll cry salty tears at each character's passing as I did with Leonard.
"Of all the souls I met...his was the most human." -Captain Kirk

Robert Lopresti said...

THe reactions of various ladies reminded me of somethingin one of the obits. Apparently nimoy was a guest as some science fiction con in the seventies and a woman said "Do you realize you are responsible for the erotic dreams of thousands of women?"

Nimoy: "May all your dreams come true."

Leigh Lundin said...

Melodie (chuckling) You have a lot in common with my aunt! Given the chance, she'd have done the same thing.

Claire, I agree with Shatner; Spock/Nimoy had something special.

Rob, I hadn't heard that one, but you're right. It's ironic that a guy who denied his emotions was so attractive to women.