Dear Leonard Nimoy,
Thank you. Thank you for everything you meant to all of us. Spock was one of the most important characters of my childhood, and I’m quite certain I am not alone. I had a very intellectual father; Dr. Kenneth Lacoy Golden carried a Phd in Comparitive Mythology, and as you might expect, Star Trek, and many other myths, as my Dad would call them, were paramount in my household. My Father was also afflicted by a disease his entire life. Kern Sayer’s Syndrome, while incredibly rare, had a significant impact on his life, and mine. My father was always clumsy, and less than dextrous, even as a child. He never became interested in sports or other physical activities. My father’s domain was the mind, not the body. As such, I sometimes felt unusual as a child, my Father never taught me to catch a ball, to ride a bike, nor was he concerned with my performance in little league. He was however, very intent that I watch Star Trek, and read the Bible (for mythological knowledge, my Father was an atheist.) The contrast in my experience with my Father and that of my peers was sometimes difficult. Spock, like my Father, helped me to understand that the intellect was not only valuable, but cool. Spock was an inspiration, someone to be like, to aspire to, and what a lofty place to get to set your sights. Ultimately, I grew to be proud of my Father, my love for Star Trek, and the pursuit of the intellect at large. It’s been a great asset in my life, and it’s taught me to always strive for a depth of wisdom that includes and exceeds logic. For while Spock may have played an emotionless alien, he taught me more about feelings and human nature, than anyone but my own Father.
To this day, one of my favorite scenes of all time is a conversation Spock has with Lt. Valeris in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country:
Spock: “History is replete with turning points, Lieutenant. You must have faith.”Valeris: “Faith?”Spock: “That the universe will unfold as it should.”Valeris: “But is that logical? Surely we must…..”Spock: “Logic, logic, and logic….. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end.”
Which closely mirrors another sagely source of advice that my Father passed on to me, the Desiderata:
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
On this sad day, I can put forth nothing but gratitude to the wise and noble men and women who helped to build me into the person I am today. Leonard Nimoy, was truly one of those people, and I will think of him often and fondly, with gratitude and admiration. Live Long and Prosper.
Benjamin Alan Golden