I work at the Griffith Observatory where I have been very lucky to have met those who have gone into space, Buzz Aldren, and Gordo Cooper, and those who have inspired our imaginations of space travel, most notably, Leonard Nimoy, who graced us with his genuine love of the iconic building.
He supported Griffith Observatory over the years with his physical presence and financial contributions. It was always a thrill to see him in the hallways, and his graciousness endeared him to the staff who no doubt quietly gawked at the famous chiseled face.
Leonard Nimoy was not just, Spock. He was an actor in roles as diverse as Vincent Van Gogh in his touring one-man show, and Golda Meir’s husband, with Ingrid Bergman. He was a poet, a photographer, and a writer. He was prolific.
Still, Spock was always the filter through which I saw him. It was a positive filter, a reasoned, wise, logical filter, presenting a dignity to which I would like to aspire. Appealing for being the outsider who was of the gang but separate, able to be bemused and quizzical and non-judgmental. “To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote. And even with his dazzling smile, I also saw him that way.
I was at work when we heard the news of Neil Armstrong’s passing, and participated in a moment of silence in his honor. I was at work on the day of learning of the passing of Leonard Nimoy, and watched an assortment of flowers and photograph’s collect on a table just outside of the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon, a special presentation theatre named in his honor. It is a continual reminder of his support of Griffith Observatory, and a reminder of the man.
He lived as long as he could, and prospered perhaps far beyond what an immigrant’s son dreamed. “Whatever I have given, I have gained,” he wrote in one of his poems.
He wasn’t just “Spock”. He was our friend.