We’re Fine!

We're Fine

While all rivers in the St. Louis area have flooded this photo might be a slight exaggeration. The downtown area is holding up quite well with it’s levee system. All the news media is focusing on the Meramec River (a little south of the metropolitan area) which has caused the most damage and closed the most roads and highways.  I live near the Meramec and Interstate 55 (near me) closed Wednesday night but has reopened as of this morning (Jan 1) .  The other major interstate, I-44) heading southwest of St. Louis is still closed by may reopen later today.  That will ease the travel problems that we’ve faced in the last several days.  There are still many people whose home are flooded or have just washed away.  Their problems are just beginning.


Live Long and Prosper

friday firesmithWhen Leonard Nimoy died on February the 27th, 2015, I lost one of my early childhood heroes; Spock was dead. I was seven or eight years old when “Star Trek” came out, brand new, raw and edgy for the sixties, and I knew, I just knew, by the time I was old enough to be an astronaut, the Enterprise would be as commonplace as the Ford and that we would be zipping around to explore new worlds as easily as we went to the store for a gallon of milk.

Spock represented, for me and many like myself, the idea that alien could be smarter than humans yet helpful and fun. They didn’t have to have big eyes or green skin (though Spock did have green blood) and this was an alien race more advanced than us, and they could be counted on as friends and allies.

Those of you who do not remember the Cold War have no idea how important that concept was. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of “Star Trek” was a visionary and a human being far beyond his own time.

spoc2Long before there was any real meaningful mainstream science fiction on broadcast television, there was “Star Trek”. Long before there were any aliens who were not monstrous, monsters, or
plain villainous, there was Spock. Leonard Nimoy took that role and refined it and redefined it, and carried it throughout his entire life. The
V shaped salutation of “Life Long and Prosper” is one that is recognizable through generations of sci fi fans and commoners alike. Nimoy played Spock, the pointy eared Vulcan who lived for logic, to a degree that both he and the character became iconic.spock

The death of Leonard Nimoy meant that a part of the world I grew up with had passed. It meant the death of the man who had worn the cloak of that character was gone forever. True enough, there were many great people who passed away in 2015, scientists, scholars, and a host of people who tried to make the world a better place in their own way. It is not by accident or by chance, or even by pure fandom that I chose Nimoy as the one death I would note at the end of this year.

As a species, I believe we have to continue to explore and I think most of us share a vision of peace and discovery as we explore. I believe that we have to, we must, go boldly where no one has ever gone before. And where ever we go, it must be for that yearning of learning, that need to know for the sake of knowing, that accumulation of knowledge for the sake of itself, not for religion or riches.

Spock was my first glimpse of that vision as a child, even if I couldn’t understand it then. There was something about the idea that someone could be good and doing good, and not be wholly human at all.

In 2015, I, and millions of other fans, for millions of other reasons as well as my own, lost Spock.

Who did you lose in 2015?

Live Long and Prosper,

Mike writes regularly at his site:  The Hickory Head Hermit.
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.