I grew up with Star Trek. My dad is an old-school Trekkie, so I’ve had Star Trek engraved in my DNA. Spock was always my favorite crew member of the USS Enterprise. Now that we’ve established that, I’d like to just share a story that shows what Leonard Nimoy meant to me.
When I was in my early teens, my dad worked afternoon/evenings, usually coming home around midnight. The summer I graduated 8th grade, I was allowed to stay up ’til whenever. It was the greatest, most freeing, experience I had at that young age. So around 11:30, I’d get the snacks ready, turn on Channel 11, and wait to hear the sound of my Dad’s whistle outside. That was the signal. I buzzed him in, and he’d get in just as Kirk spoke the opening words that have become gospel to so many of us. Say it with me now, you know you want to: “Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. It’s five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.”
Dad and I spent that entire summer eating junk food, watching Star Trek (and Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and the Late, Late, Movie), and talking. Usually about Spock – Mirror Mirror Bad Spock versus Good Spock, Piece of the Action Wise Guy Spock, Spock and his relationship with his dad, Sarek, or just laughing at Spock’s wry eyebrow, which spoke volumes on its own. We still refer to the summer of 1984 as our Star Trek summer.
My dad lives in Florida now, and I really don’t get to see him as much as I’d like to. When I miss my dad, I think of our Star Trek summer. I think of sitting next to him during the first Star Trek movie, waiting for Spock to finally show up onscreen. I think of my dad and I, tears silently streaming down our faces, at the end of Wrath of Khan. I think of the two of us, cackling like two lunatics, watching the Transformer Malfunction episode of The Big Bang Theory together, the last time I was in Florida.
Star Trek was my gateway to an amazing new world, and it was the key to the relationship I have with my dad today. Thank you, Spock. Thank you, Mr. Nimoy.