I heard about Leonard Nimoy's passing yesterday, but it's taken me a while to process this.
I never had the opportunity to meet him, having grown up in a tiny, horrible town near the Oregon coast, too far away from the nearest convention centers with too little money to afford such a trip. But he and Star Trek were always there throughout my childhood and long after. Star Trek was one of the first TV shows I ever started watching. I don't even remember how old I was. Probably four or five.
I actually started learning how to tell time by noticing where the hands on the clock were when Star Trek started -- 4:00 weekday afternoons on KPTV Channel 12 from Portland. I don't want to give the impression that I had a horrible childhood, but school was often almost impossible to endure because every day I was the target of every bully in sight -- but I could always come home, turn the TV to Channel 12, and be carried away to other worlds, and for an hour I could forget what I'd had to put up with all day.
Star Trek was always there as I was growing up, and Leonard Nimoy was an inseparable part of it. The show, and the character he played on it, just wouldn't have been what it was without him.
He was always there. And suddenly, he's gone. As with the other cast members who have died, James Doohan and DeForest Kelley, the thought of never seeing him again, except in things he's already done, is both sad and unsettling. Each time this happens, it feels like a part of my own foundation has been lost.
But then, to quote a line from The Wrath of Khan, spoken by Dr. McCoy: "He's really not dead ... not as long as we remember him."