To celebrate the life and career of our favorite alien scientist, here are some of my favorite excerpts from Leonard Nimoy’s first memoir published in 1975, I AM NOT SPOCK (a very misleading titled, for it is clear he loved that green-blooded Vulcan).
RIP, Mr. Spock…
I am not Spock.
Then why does my head turn in response to a stranger on the street who calls out that name? Why do I feel a twinge when someone says, “What happened to your ears?”
I am not Spock. Then why do I feel a wonderful warmth when I hear or read a compliment aimed at the Vulcan?
Spock for President reads the bumper sticker on teh car in front of me. I’m filled with pride and I smile…
Recently I sat with a group of actors I’d just met… As I was leaving one of the actresses said, “Leonard, we love you.” I smiled and I was warmed. I said, “Thank you” but I wanted to add, “I’ll tell him when I see him.”
She loves Spock! I know it! I’m sure of it!…
That’s nice. More than nice, it’s wonderful. But standing silently behind my shoulder is a very jealous, ever-present Vulcan!!
SPOCK: Tell her I accept her compliment, emotional though it may be.
NIMOY: What compliment?
SPOCK: She said they love me.
NIMOY: That is not what she said. She specifically said, “Leonard, we love you.” And I know there’s nothing wrong with your hearing!
SPOCK: If you’re so certain of her intent, why are you becoming agitated?
NIMOY: That’s ridiculous. Every time I’m paid a compliment you grab it away. You grab it up for yourself!
SPOCK: Would she have paid you that compliment if not for me?
SPOCK: Then how can you claim it for your own?
Sometimes I’ll get on airplane and somebody’ll flash me the Vulcan salute. Or some nice lady will ask for my autograph and I’ll proudly sign “Leonard Nimoy,” and then she’ll say, “Please sign it Mr. Spock. That’s the way my son knows you.”
Sometimes I get tired of the struggle and I simply sign, Spock. I tell myself it’s faster. It’s only five letters instead of twelve. But who am I kidding? No one. I do it because the look in this particular child’s eyes says, “I love you, Mr. Spock” and I know that if I signed any other name, two people would be cheated: The child and Spock, and I can’t do that. I don’t want to hurt that child, and I must be fair to the Vulcan. I think he would do that same for me.
And this is made of just too much awesome to not share…