The moment I will always remember about Leonard Nimoy:
Back in 2009, several friends and I attended a Creation Convention in Las Vegas. Leonard was there, and after he gave his talk he took questions. The questions were pretty much the usual thing you’d expect at a Creation convention.
And then one fan asked this: “What do you have left on your bucket list?”
Leonard’s mood changed from that of an actor repeating lines he’d said many times before (the “bicycle” story, etc.). He became serious, he became intent, he became open. It was as if his personality suddenly “expanded” to encompass everyone in the room.
Leonard said that he had already done all the things on his "some day" list, and at the present moment he was happy and fulfilled and grateful for everything and everyone he has in his life. He went on to give a special thanks to his fans, acknowledging all the support they had given him all through the years – support which had made it possible for him to pursue his passion projects and to live his life the way he wanted to.
The audience was riveted. It was a huge auditorium but I could barely hear anyone breathe. The connection between Nimoy and the audience was electric. My words can’t do justice to the sheer emotion in his voice as he expressed his gratitude to his fans.
Nimoy finished his session by telling the audience "Live Long and Prosper" in a *very* heartfelt way.
Other memories from that convention:
I had to dig for awhile to find a report I posted back then – here’s the rest of it. I’m not rewriting it; I’m keeping it exactly the way I wrote it then.
The Vegas convention was *wonderful*! Bill and Leonard were in absolutely top form, and both were looking good. It's so wonderful seeing them interacting together.
Shatner was on stage first, then both of them, then Nimoy (joined for a couple of moments by Zachary Quinto and by the boy who played young Spock in the movie).
Some interesting questions. I found it very interesting that both of them brought up their own experiences of being a fan. Nimoy talked about the time he met Cary Grant and was completely tonguetied. Shatner talked about taking his granddaughter to a Jonas Brothers concert, and what it was like to be on "the other side" of that sort of fannish adulation.
(End of the Vegas convention report)
I’m also thankful I attended Leonard’s Skype talk at last year’s Shore Leave. He was open and friendly and seemed genuinely delighted to be able to participate in a convention in such a “high tech” way. This being Shore Leave, questions from the audience were a cut above those of the average Creation Con. The one I remember most clearly was a man who told Leonard that he had been inspired by Leonard quitting smoking all those years ago to quit smoking himself. Leonard appeared to be very moved about this, and it seemed to me that he talked to the man for a longer period of time than he devoted to this other answers. Leonard explained during the talk about his COPD and how it was sometimes difficult to move from one part of a room to another. He didn’t dwell on his condition, nor did he minimize it. However, his voice was strong – strong enough to sing “Maiden Wine” - and he was laughing and clearly enjoying himself.
I left the talk happy that I’d had this chance to see him again. However, I had a strong feeling that this would be the last time he’d be able to “attend” anything like this.
I had a bad feeling when he went into the hospital this last time – his health has certainly been shaky for awhile, and there have been other scares. But this felt different. When I heard the news, I wasn’t surprised. But deeply deeply sad.
He truly had a live well lived; something for us all to celebrate even as we mourn.