I was going to continue my thoughts on this afternoon's post, until I learned of Leonard Nimoy's death today. I know that he was 83 years old and in poor health, but it saddened me none the less. I do very much enjoy the Star Trek oeuvre, but that's not how I was first introduced to Mr. Nimoy's work.
When I was very little, I can very clearly remember watching the "In Search of ..." series on T.V. It ran from 1977-1982 and covered all those mysterious and marvelous topics that are commonplace on the History channel now - Bigfoot, aliens, Mayans, monsters, etc. But they also discussed cloning, Amelia Earhart, the shroud of Turin and Pompeii. So many awesome and diverse ideas getting their moment in the sun, and allowing a very little girl to become wide eyed with curiosity. I didn't care about princesses and unicorns, I wanted to learn about spontaneous human combustion and whether or not Vincent Van Gogh was mad, and even more than that I fell in love with Amelia Earhart. I think I was 5 when that episode first broadcast, so my memories must come from reruns, but I came away needing to understand what made her tick and what drove her to accomplish so much in a man's world. And secretly I prayed she was still alive, living in anonymity on a tiny pacific island.
Throughout these weekly forays, the melodic voice of Leonard Nimoy egged me on to learn more. Years later, I discovered the Time Life book series "Mysteries of the Unknown" at my local library. I devoured them, sometimes checking the same ones out week after week. A decade ago, I was poking through a tiny "antique" store near my husband's hometown when I discovered a bunch of them. I bought every single one ... just to be able to remember hours spent pouring over the mysteries that I needed to know more about.
When I was a teenager, I got a better appreciation of Mr. Nimoy's acting skills and fell in love with Star Trek in general, meandering through all its permutations over the years (minus the Scott Bakula one - it just didn't do anything for me). Thank you, Mr. Nimoy. Thank you for your voice that intrigued me week after week, that allowed me to escape into a world of endless things to discover which were cool and mysterious and not my father screaming at my mother. Thank you, sir.