Sunday, 1 March 2015

The death of Leonard Nimoy

did not attract the attention of the Senior Cat. 
       "Who's this Nimoy person everyone is making a fuss of?" he asked me rather irritably when yet another neighbour had mentioned it.
He has only the vaguest idea what "Star Trek" is - "some sort of television show" was his response when I asked him. Right. Spock? He had no idea. 
When the first Star Trek series was the absolutely must watch show for others we did not have a television set. We were living in a rather remote location where we relied on a 32v power plant. What power we had was needed for essentials. TV was not an essential.  (But I still regret not seeing Maigret.)
I doubt I would have been very interested. I have never - apart from Diana Wynne Jones - been a great SF fan. My brother would have been more interested. He reads some SF.
Someone who, until last year, lived in this street was a fan. He took it all quite seriously. He was, I suppose, a "Trekkie" of sorts. He had all manner of Trekkie related things as well. It was an unusual hobby for a man who had been in what was once called "an Opportunity Class" at school - a class for children with learning difficulties. Something had caught his attention though and he persisted with his interest. He must have been in his late 20s when the show first appeared here. 
His twin brother, of normal intelligence, was only mildly interested - or pretended to be for his brother's sake. His wife and two daughters were not at all interested but the older daughter told me of his interest. She remembers her father watching it when they were small.
        "He'd get quite excited. I don't think he really understood it that well but he never missed it. We all had to keep quiet while he watched.
He died last year. All his Trekkie paraphernalia was left where it was. I didn't even think about it. 
 His wife, a woman not much more intelligent than himself, just left everything as it was. His daughters decided it was easier not to do anything about it while their mother was still in the house. One is a nurse and the other is a horticulturalist. They have done well despite being brought up in what was often a very difficult environment where both parents were virtually illiterate and there were frequent violent arguments.
Recently they moved their mother into a nursing home because she has become increasingly confused. The house had to be cleared. The husband of one daughter brought in a skip and they cleared the house. Almost everything went into the skip.
        "We never felt we could interfere," he told me, "But the inside of the house was in an appalling state. It was easier just to dump everything."
And that included the Star Trek collection. Like the Senior Cat the son-in-law has no interest in such things.  To him, and to the daughters, this was just "rubbish". There were, apparently, figurines, a space ship model the Trekker had made himself and other bits and pieces. They even dumped DVDs and, I suppose, videos - on the grounds that they were scratched. I suspect they just wanted to be rid of them all. Many other useable items were dumped as well. His daughters wanted no reminders. Another neighbour discovered too late.
        "Some of that stuff might have been worth a bit if they'd bothered to keep it,"  he told me with a shrug. He sells things he has found and done up on e-bay and other places. It's a hobby which pays him very nicely.
I can't help wondering though whether there aren't some Trekkies prowling through the local rubbish dump rescuing Mr Spock. After all wasn't he supposed to have some Vulcan blood and live longer than the rest of us?

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