He was Spock | HumorOutcasts

He was Spock

February 28, 2015

I don’t idolize people in the entertainment industry. It’s so hard to make it to the top that most talented celebrities tend to be out of touch with the rest of the world, and for some reason the people who gain celebrity without talent seem even more vacant. By all accounts, celebrity also seems to make people … how can I say this? … dicks.

Leonard Nimoy was not, by all accounts, a dick. He was also anything but vacant. He had a Master’s degree, served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army, was an accomplished photographer, director, writer, and producer, and invented the Vulcan nerve pinch and salute. Plus, he was a Transformer.

Just the same, it wasn’t the death of Nimoy that sent me into a three day funk. It was the death of his most famous creation: Captain S’chn-T’ Gaii Spock, son of S’chn-T’ Gaii Sarek, son of Skon and Solkar, of Vulcan.

We’ll just call him Spock.

In his younger days Nimoy wrote a book called “I Am Not Spock”, which was true enough (although he wasn’t as negative about it as the title suggested). He corrected that twenty years later with “I Am Spock”. By that time, ironically, I had come to realize he was not just Spock.

I wanted to be Spock. Not Kirk, not Scotty, not even McCoy. I got a Spock haircut, and ankle boots that more or less resembled those from Starfleet, and I even had a blue long sleeved shirt with a little symbol thingy in the right place for Spock’s uniform. It was actually a symbol for the shirt manufacturer, but close enough for imagination to take over. I wanted to be a scientist, and an astronaut, and surely by the time I hit my mid-twenties I’d be stomping around on Mars with the rest of the crew.

None of this improved my standing at school.

But that’s the point, that’s why I empathized with Spock. As a kid I felt like I didn’t belong, like I was someone from another world. We were both out of place, misunderstood, and trying to hide emotions we didn’t want others to know we had. We were both tall and thin, and a little alien looking. Neither of us ever seemed to get the girl, because we were surrounded by charming adventurers like Kirk and Sulu. (It turns out Sulu never got the girl, either.)

We were both … different. In the rural Midwest of the 70s, that was a bad thing. But in the long run, Spock jumpstarted my interest in science fiction, writing, science, and learning in general.

To me, of all the souls I’ve ever known, his was the most human. All of this came from the creative genius of Leonard Nimoy … who lived long, and prospered.


Mark R Hunter

Mark R Hunter is the author of three romantic comedies: Radio Red, Storm Chaser, and its sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant, as well as a related story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts. He also wrote a young adult adventure, The No-Campfire Girls, and a humor collection, Slightly Off the Mark. In addition, he collaborated with his wife, Emily, on the history books Images of America: Albion and Noble County, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With The Albion Fire Department, and Hoosier Hysterical. Mark’s work also appeared in the anthologies My Funny Valentine and Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology. For two decades Mark R Hunter has been an emergency dispatcher for the Noble County Sheriff Department. He’s served over 32 years as a volunteer for the Albion Fire Department, holding such positions as safety officer, training officer, secretary, and public information officer. He also has done public relations writing for the Noble County Relay For Life, among other organizations, and served two terms on the Albion Town Council. When asked if he has any free time, he laughs hysterically. Mark lives in Albion, Indiana, with his wife and editor Emily, a cowardly ball python named Lucius, and a loving, scary dog named Beowulf. He has two daughters and twin grandsons, and so naturally is considering writing a children’s book.

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8 Responses to He was Spock

  1. Kathy Minicozzi
    March 1, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute.

    • March 2, 2015 at 1:02 am

      Glad you liked it … it was definitely heartfelt.

  2. March 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Every since I was a kid, I wanted to be able to raise one eyebrow like Spock. Still working on it. LLAP.

    • March 2, 2015 at 1:02 am

      I can do that! Only the left eyebrow, oddly enough. I can also wiggle my ears and cross one eye, but I never saw Spock do those.

  3. Bill Y Ledden
    March 1, 2015 at 6:24 am

    As brilliant as Zachary Pinto is as Spock, he is by no means a Leonard Nimoy.

    • March 1, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Exactly right. I like the new cast, and I’ve been a fan of Zachary Pinto since Heroes, but nobody can really replace Nimoy.

  4. Bill Spencer
    February 28, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Mark, I really like this tribute. It’s moving and beautifully written.

    • March 1, 2015 at 4:29 am

      Thanks, much appreciated.

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