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My Vulcan Savior: NDN Geek Says Goodbye to Leonard Nimoy

For a boy growing up on the rez, the adventures of Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk on Star Trek were a needed escape. A fond farewell to Leonard Nimoy.

I don’t know where to begin really. Star Trek has been such a big part of who I am since I was a teenager. Countless movies, hours upon hours of watching the reruns on TV and yes, dressing up as a Vulcan from time to time just because I wanted to feel like I was in there.

Yesterday I lost what I consider an Uncle. Leonard Nimoy was more than just an actor to me. He was equal parts family and savior. His portrayal of Spock gave me a hero who could look at the impossible and find an answer, a character void of emotions but full of humanity. He was every bit as real to me as the family that surrounded me on my rez.

So this went down the runway yesterday in Milan..... and no my mom wasnt there OR involved. My moms bag, Sandra Okuma, the middle one, 2008. The two on either side is Dsquared2 fall/winter 2015........ Coincidence????? I THINK NOT!!! Oh yeah, btw..... if you want to search the collection on instagram.... use THEIR hashtag #Dsquaw !! OMG - And PLEASE SHARE!!

Star Trek saved me, and Leonard Nimoy was one its angels.

In my darkest hours growing up, I knew I could turn to Trek. It gave me the escape that I needed. It was a wagon train to the stars—I was swept away as soon as I turned on my TV, put in a video or opened a comic or novel. Some may ask, what about God? I would simply tell them in my most Vulcan-like tone that I believe that God knew who I was at the time and knew what would best reach and preserve my fragile state of mind. I would not be here today if it was not for Trek and more importantly Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner and Deforest Kelly.

My (mortified) sister Renee, my mother, and me, age 14, wearing Vulcan ears at Universal Studios.

Fifteen years ago I had a chance to finally meet two of these men who shaped my life, and kept me going when nothing else would, at a Star Trek Convention. Deforest had passed, but both Bill and Leonard did not disappoint. While we were waiting in line to get our autographs Leonard took notice of me and my family. My oldest son Morgan was only 5 at the time and although he loved the costumes, he was a bit bored, and being at the back of the line did not make things better for him. It was at that time that Leonard had his assistant come over to us.

I’ll never forget the following moments.

“Mr. Nimoy was wondering if it would be okay if your son came and sat with him while he signed autographs,” the assistant said.

Leonard Nimoy in 2012. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

I was awestruck. My hero not only saw me and my family there, he cared! "Of course he can," was my response, secretly wishing I too could join them and tell him what he meant to me. So as my wife and I approached the stage, I could see my son talking with one of my saviors. He was laughing and playing finger games. I instantly teared up. Locking eyes with my hero, I wanted to tell him what he meant to me, but in that moment I coult tell that he already knew. To this day, that remains one of my all-time favorite memories.

I cried hard when I heard the news that Leonard had died, and not just for a man who lived a long life and truly prospered. I wept for someone who carried me through the tough times of adolescence and helped lay the foundation of who I am today.

Live Long and Prosper, Leonard Nimoy. You have been, and shall always be, my friend.

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock and William Shatner as Captain Kirk on Star Trek. Source: Wikimedia Commons.