I was 8 years old when I first saw Star Trek.  Growing up, we didn’t have a television, so when I found Star Trek, it made a huge impression on me. I can still remember every Friday going out to eat dinner with my family at Panda Inn.  I’d quickly gulp down my food so that I could leave the table and hang out by their TV.  In the take-out area was a small television, and I knew that at 5pm, this amazing sci-fi show would be on the screen.  I had no idea that I was watching reruns of Star Trek, or that it had already been off the air for 20 years–I just knew it was a magical hour that transported me into a world in which I desperately wanted to be apart of.

Kirk, Spock and McCoy were men I looked up to and wanted to emulate.  I wished to be bold like Kirk, compassionate like McCoy, but most of all, I wanted to be logical like Spock. Plus, being a vegetarian myself, I couldn’t believe that there was a role model for me!  Mr. Spock was such a strong character who also happened to be a nonviolent vegetarian – I was totally inspired.

I was fortunate enough to have met Mr. Nimoy in 2009 when he was at Comic Con in San Diego. I brought a photo along with me that he signed. I’ll never forget how incredibly excited I was that after all these years, here he was, right in front of me!  I was so nervous that I forgot to ask him to personalize the photo.  Normally I’m not a star-struck type – but I was that day.

Many of us were touched by the example the characters in Star Trek set, and I’ll close with a farewell from Kirk “Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most….human.”  Mr. Nimoy, thank you for bringing to life an iconic character.  You made my life better, thank you. Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy. LLAP