Texas Tech University

Pop Culture Expert Remembers Leonard Nimoy Visit to Texas Tech

Karin Slyker

February 27, 2015

The actor best known for portraying Mr. Spock died Friday.

Leonard Nimoy

The character of Mr. Spock is perhaps best known for his logic, spirituality and having cheated death. However, the man who gave the beloved character life, Leonard Nimoy, died Friday after a lengthy battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He was 83.

“I saw him speak on the Texas Tech campus in 1983,” said Rob Weiner, Texas Tech associate librarian and pop culture expert. “He appeared at the Lubbock Municipal Auditorium before the release of ‘Star Trek III: Search for Spock.'”

Nimoy was promoting the movie, not only as an actor, but as the film's director.

“He also directed ‘Star Trek IV' and ‘Three Men and a Baby,” which was wildly successful,” Weiner said. “During his visit, he showed us some test footage from Star Trek III, and confessed that he believed in the Loch Ness monster. I'll never forget it. He was always gracious with his fans.”

Weiner said Nimoy had some conflict with Mr. Spock over the years, but had grown to embrace the character.

“In the late 1970s, he wrote ‘I Am Not Spock,' an autobiography in which he tried to distance himself from the character,” Weiner said. “When the (Star Trek) crew came together to make the film series, Nimoy initially wanted no part of it. Fortunately for his fans, it worked out.”

In 1995, Nimoy published the second installment of his autobiography titled “I Am Spock.”

“Spock was, in many ways, an expression of who Nimoy was as a person,” Weiner said. “If you look at the theme of his movies and his chosen projects, they all embodied ‘life.'”

The theme was consistent in Leonard Nimoy's final tweet, “A life is a like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”

“Live long and prosper.”