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 native, 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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