At the height of Spockmania, Leonard Nimoy's mom had to get in line like everybody else

Because a spaceman's best friend is his mother.

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In 1968, Star Trek was still on TV, and fandom was feverish. Sure, there weren't yet conventions to attend, and the show would grow in popularity after it went off the air. But in '68, the people who liked Star Trek were as devoted to it as anyone. Leonard Nimoy's character Spock was positioned right in the center of the fervor. Spock was so popular, in fact, that NBC demanded a more prominent role for the Enterprise's favorite Vulcan. Right before the second season, Leonard Nimoy's newfound fame allowed him to renegotiate his contract. Spock was so in vogue that NBC was unable to replace Nimoy for fear of alienating his followers.

As his popularity grew, Nimoy released "Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy," an album that showcased not just his highly logical character but also his affinity for a variety of musical genres. During an autograph signing event to promote record sales, The Tampa Bay Tribune spoke with Nimoy's mother about her son's new fame.

"He looks tired," she said of her son. "He's such a tired boy."

By '68, Nimoy was 37 years old and maybe not the spritely young lad his mother had known. "It's too bad he's such a tired boy. I haven't seen him once in my house but once for 10 minutes. I came here to see him."

The signing, one of many, took place in the housewares department at Lechmere Sales, a retail location in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cambridge was the closest Nimoy's mom, a Boston resident, could get to Spock without leaving the Earth's orbit. 

So what did she think of all this popularity? What did Leonard Nimoy's mother think of the crowd of people surrounding her son, crushing in on each other to get a peek at Captain Kirk's second-in-command? "I knew he was a wonderful boy. He did have a certain ability for public speaking. He behaves himself very nicely." She remarked of the crowd, though, "If I had known, I wouldn't have come."

Before the event concluded, a saleslady at Lechmeres protested, "People are coming up with pieces of paper. They're supposed to bring records. He shouldn't just sign paper."

Nimoy's mother, though, knew better. "No, that's his way," she said. "He's that good. Besides, maybe some people are poor and can't afford the record." 

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Trekkie1969 12 months ago
Yeah, the "Boston native"thing threw me, too.
tootsieg 12 months ago
Leonard Nimoy was on so many TV shows. Glad he hit the “big time” with Star Trek. His mother was a nice lady.
Runeshaper 12 months ago
Nimoy's mom sounds like a GREAT lady! Live long and prosper.
Andybandit 12 months ago
Cool story about Leonard Nimoy and his Mother.
Mblack 12 months ago
Did his mother have pointed ears?
KJExpress 12 months ago
Nice article. I always enjoy Star Trek TOS related articles.

Lechmere Sales was a nice store. There were some out in the 'burbs. Unfortunately, it no longer exists, like most if the department stores I grew up with.
Pacificsun 12 months ago
This is a very, very nicely written article. Perfectly articulate, to the point about kindness and sensitivity, from his mother who knew him best. A story to be reviewed again after so many decades. I've included a link to candid pictures provided through the Heroes & Icons website. And maybe a little different than those published via MeTV.

But would encourage others to find the retrospective written by his son. Who speaks of this actor, as well as his father, in such a balanced light. Beyond the hype and the extreme titles of some books of the books he authored in the beginning. How he came to accept his fame, and adapt to the alternative trajectory which it generated. Even before and through the stereotyping he always seemed to project himself.

And how he developed into such an authentic Icon. Into the history books, right here on Earth!! How fortunate we've been to be witnesses, for some of us, to encounter.
nd1irish madvincent 12 months ago
I forgot that Leonard Nemoy opened for the Beatles in Hamburg in 1961 at the Star-Club. Or was it the Kaiserkeller? Introduced Astrid to Stu Sutcliffe.
JJ614 madvincent 12 months ago
Cute manip!
texasluva 12 months ago
It was great for Nimoy and his fans. Though one always put him as Spock in their memories. When watching other classic movies and TV shows and he shows up as a different character in the cast. You think, wow I didn't know he played in all these others. He did and it was awesome to see him other then just being Spock of ST:TOS. He lives long in our hearts and WE have prospered because of it.
Pacificsun texasluva 12 months ago
I like to see him in the Westerns, and he was good in the Strigas Affair. But he never lost his sense of an individual personality. When they hired him, what they got was Leonard Nimoy. And thankfully, so.
LoveMETV22 12 months ago
That was a nice article. Sounds like Leonard Nimoy's Mom was a sweet woman. 🖖
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