Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thoughts on June 11: Spock again illuminates McCoy


Or, rather, Leonard Nimoy illuminates DeForest Kelley.

It seems here in the Blog Age I've settled into a tradition each year of celebrating De's life career on his Jan. 20 birthday ... and using the anniversary of his passing on June 11, 1999—today—to reflect on what he's meant to me, to fandom, and to the world. Nothing radical there.


But I look back at my Trekland posts on the major markers of his death—the tenth anniversary, and then the fifteenth—and realize that, like all history and anything connected with the non-Prophets' linear existence, the passing years only shed more light, more texture and more nuance on what it is we already know.

So it was this year with Leonard Nimoy's own passing Feb. 27, and how I caught my own thoughts and reaction, upon hearing the news, first shifting to 6/11/99 and De—and then comparing and contrasting the two, and reflecting on first fandom and then our culture's reaction and modes of today... as I wrote about for Star Trek Magazine just a few days later for the rushed first edition after Leonard's passing. Very proud of that piece, as once again sometimes the simplest writing turns into my favorite.

Come to think of it, it's where my thoughts went when we lost Majel in 2008, and even grand old producer A.C. Lyles a year back. With Gene so long gone, De continues to be my adult anchor and reference point to all Trek, it seems. Hmmmmm.

One thing that has not changed, in fact perhaps accelerated by Leonard's passing, is the ongoing stampede of fans and appreciators of De's role of McCoy and his humble, understated performance overall. What I wrote about that explosion last year, sparked by finding my first Trek T-shirts (above), has not only mushroomed, but the awareness of it as well — especially among younger fans who can take their 24/7 remastered streaming fandom and see it all for themselves, much quicker, and go online and spread it further.

When I finally shed a professional veneer during our last interview and confessed to De that he and McCoy were both my favorites, he laughingly cracked a great retort: "Well, where were you in the 60s when I coulda used you up, against Bill and Leonard?" I've told that story more than once, but it occurs to me now: I think he'd love to shoot it back at all his new fans today, as well...and be just as appreciative.


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