Leonard Nimoy - last convention in Chicago 2011 Sept.30 - Oct. 02
Conventions

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2011 September 30 - October 02

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Some photos by treknews.net by John Tenuto (s.: Articles and Quotes)

"May each and everyone of you live long and prosper!", Leonard Nimoy wishes everybody in Chicago on October 2nd -- the date of his last convention. With this wish he retires from conventions.

(Thanks to Bonnie and Grace for sharing their experiences!)

Grace Lenihan shares an encounter on Saturday morning and Secret Selves Seminar with us :

Tall and handsome as ever at age 80, there he was in the flesh, surrounded by family. I juggled the coffee, purse and cane to my right side, and flashed him an LLAP to which he immediately responded and gave me the most gorgeous smile I've ever seen on a man!! What a way to start the day!

Fortunate enough to have a front row seat, ( Thanks for your help  Bonnie!) I was only a few feet away from Mr. Nimoy as he spoke that evening, during the Secret Selves Seminar. Following the video presentation, Mr. Nimoy asked the auditorium about our personal experiences with our own "Secret Selves." One of the comments came from his grandson Jonah, who talked about his other self ,"the musician." According to Mr. Nimoy, granddad had just been told something he never knew about his grandson. Many of the comments voiced indicated that women still haven't totally broken through the glass ceiling in both the social and career realms. Mr. Nimoy was very intrigued by these thoughts and and quite sensitive to them.  When called upon I finally "spilled the beans" to the former Mr. Spock. I told him that growing up in my family, becoming a "school teacher" was considered an appropriate career for a women and eventually I became a Speech-Language Pathologist. However I really wanted to be an opera singer. Unfortunately, my parents couldn't afford a vocal coach for me. Mr. Nimoy then asked how I felt about that? Did it make me angry? My reply was "Not really, I told him I sing for my kids and that music is a form of communication and in my profession I help people to communicate. So, I've found my life very rewarding." Mr. Nimoy replied, "So you got to do both, well good for you!" ( What he and the rest of the audience didn't know was that outside of my family, significant other and a few best friends, I'd never told anyone that before. But here I was telling it to a room full of strangers and Leonard Nimoy!)

(Thank you Grace, for sharing  this with us, too!)

Report on the Secret Selves Seminar by Bonnie Moss:

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Mr. Nimoy’s “Secret Selves” seminar was his first official appearance after the whole family has been in a day before. My self and Grace were #3 and #4 in line and we were able to obtain front row seats. The room was a small amphitheater, with comfortable seats and unobstructed views, making it somewhat more intimate in some ways than it was in Vegas. Mr. Nimoy was greeted with enthusiastic applause when he entered, the only time we were told we could take pictures. (A few snapped a couple shots later—shame on you, but I’d love to see them! Ha.) He looked happy and receptive. He reported that a lady in an elevator with him earlier had said “I’m praying for you.” He then held out his hands in a comforting gesture to the audience, saying “I’m OK (and to us) I’m REALLY OK!” He chuckled and added “I’m just retiring!” We had to laugh with him!
 
The DVD of his interviews with “Secret Selves” subjects was shown after he explained the origins of the project. When he came out afterwards, he asked if others would feel comfortable revealing THEIR “Secret Selves!” What followed were some honest and moving revelations from several audience members. (Grace, I’ll let you decide if you want to relate what you said.) A theme seemed to emerge regarding how women in general have had to hide, change or submerge aspects of themselves in order to survive, cope or contribute to society or relationships. Mr. Nimoy was VERY interested and moved by this subject-not surprising given his ‘elevation’ of women in both his “Shekhina” and “Full Body Project” conceptual photography endeavors.

He called on several people who wished to contribute, ultimately pointing and saying “yes, Bonnie” when I raised my hand. I revisited the “Secret Self” I portrayed when he took my portrait at MASS MoCA in July 2010 when the exhibit opened there. I won’t go into detail, but I added that my “Secret Self” had been a bride due to some of the issues that were being identified. I took out a copy of the portrait and he said “show it to the audience”, which I did. Some members asked me to describe it in more detail and I complied. We did have a laugh, though, when I reminded him that I had looked a bit serious during the process and he had said “Bonnie, this is a happy occasion—like a Bar Mitzvah!” Mr. Nimoy went on to answer several more questions related to the project, including one from a gentleman who wondered about the impact of the “Secret Selves” participants whose “Secret Self” was no longer “Secret!”
 
At one point, Mr. Nimoy said “Yes, Jonah.” A young gentleman then talked about having to project one kind of image/self as a musician, while perhaps feeling differently inside or when somewhere else. “I’m learning about my grandson here!” was Mr.Nimoy’s response! It was a special moment!

Near the close, Mr. Nimoy called on me again and I mentioned that he conducted a wonderful interview with photographer Philippe Halsman several years ago and was wondering about his influence, if any. “That’s on You Tube now, isn’t it?” he said, and the audience confirmed this. (I suggest that readers look it up—Mr. Halsman was obviously pleased with Mr. Nimoys questions, interest and knowledge, ‘Talk show host’ could have been another successful aspect of Mr. Nimoy’s career!) Mr. Nimoy went on to talk about Mr. Halsman’s approach to his subjects and his focus on portraiture. However, he said his primary influence was Robert Heinecken, with whom he studied in the 1970’s. After this ,he indicated that this was the last question and that he appreciated the participation. As always, he credited Rich Michelson as a collaborator on the project and it was announced that “Secret Selves” books were not available that night, but could be ordered. A line immediately formed to do this. (Please see leonardnimoyphotography.com for more information on the Michelson Gallery and Mr.Nimoy’s work!)
 
(Thank you Bonnie, for sharing  this with us, too!)

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Leonard Nimoy's convention appearance on Sunday

Leonard Nimoy’s final convention appearance started with an amazing surprise exclusive video featuring all the cast of the new Star Trek (2009) movie and director JJ Abrams sharing their good wishes and roasting Nimoy on his retirement. (scroll down for that video)

Leonard Nimoy: I've been doing this professionally for 60 years. I love the idea of going out on a positive note. I've had a great, great time…..
Leonard Nimoy then shares some highlights of his career.

I want to get off the stage. Also, I don't think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto. He's a terrific actor, he looks the part, and it's time to give him some space. And I'm very flattered the character will continue.


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A report by Bonnie and Grace:

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Mr. Nimoy came out to a huge ovation and was greeted with signs that had been made available to us that said “We Love You Leonard—Live Long and Prosper!”

Sunday was, shall we say a very busy day. Mr. Nimoy's final convention talk to his fans was touching as always. Prefaced  by a Star Trek 2009 cast tribute to Leonard, the ballroom roared with laughter when  the Bruno Mars alternate version of "The Lazy Day", music video  was shown.  Greeted by a standing ovation and thunderous applause, Mr. Nimoy again read some of his favorite poems, and by narration and pictures recounted his life and career on the TV screen, as well as in movies and theater. Notably, he explained how important it was to be able to ride a horse for westerns and that in the TV industry one never says that one lacks any particular skill. He continued on, addressing his early love of photography and how it has become his second career in life. As he came to the close of his talk he stated:

"This is hard. I thought it would be and it is."

Finally  Mr. Nimoy thanked all of us for our love over the years, held up his hand with the LLAP gesture and said "May each and everyone of you live long and prosper." In response the crowd came to it's feet and held up signs saying "We Love You Leonard- Live Long and Prosper."

He wasn’t quite as overtly emotional at its’ close as he appeared to be in Las Vegas, but that reaction may have taken him by surprise and he was more ‘prepared’ for this moment.

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However, the love between this man and the audience was almost palpable and it was a unique, moving and historic moment as he exited the stage to another standing ovation!

A cake to mark the occasion was then brought out, but it disappeared quickly—fans at cons do have big appetites!

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Leonard Nimoy sharing some of his poetry with the fans:  (scroll down for the video)

I have walked alone seeking answers
I have walked alone chasing dreams
I have tried to prove my worth to worthless judges
I have cried my pain in silent screams
I have sometimes served a touch of kindness

I have wandered in golden fields of grace
I have been released by honest laughter
I have touched the Western wall of the Holy Place
I have soared alone above the cloud heads
I have walked the deep dark tunnels of the earth
I have dined with mystics and with prophets
I have heard the pain of woman giving birth
I have been sought after as a teacher
I have been refused the laurel wreath
I have heard the thunder blast of sunrise
and I have watched the final touch of death
I have played the rules set by the master

though often I didn't understand the game
I have worn more masks than I remember
I have been a face without a name

    And when like you I ask the final question
           Who on earth am I supposed to be
              I always come full circle to the answer
                  Me,
                     only me,
                          always me

 

He continues:

I'm so grateful for the support we have had and the exchange of love that we have had for so many years.


Read more: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20111002/news/710029759/#ixzz1ZjwQQbXy

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In the end Leonard wishes everybody:

 

May each and everyone of you live long and prosper!

 

Report by Bonnie Moss:
Everyone was emotionally exhausted, but most quickly went downstairs to get in line for the Photo-Op with Mr. Nimoy. I think everybody was on a ‘high’ that had total strangers laughing and sharing with each other their ST/Nimoy/fan experiences over the years during the wait. When my turn came (I was wearing a Nimoy signature T-shirt I purchased from a fan club YEARS ago), he said “hey, Bonnie!” I told him that our first picture together had been taken 32 years ago! He laughed and I then asked the photographer if Mr. Nimoy and I could look at each other, rather than the camera. He said “sure’ and a real ‘interaction’ was caught in the photo!
 
I don’t know how he had the energy, but after the Photo Ops was the autograph session!

Grace: Unable to obtain additional tickets, I chose to have Mr. Nimoy sign a picture of us taken together at his appearance, just this May at the B'nai Israel Congregation. As Mr. Nimoy was signing, I told him I would miss him but was happy for him. His response was that raised eyebrow and a quiet, gentle "Thank You."

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Bonnie: He was amused at another thing he signed—a sculpted model of him, about 5 inches tall, as he appeared on “The Simpsons!” (A long story as to how I got this—it may have been a prototype or the effort of a talented Simpsons fan/artist who wanted to create his likeness, as it was not available publicly.)  After the head briefly came off (we laughed!) he was careful to choose a smaller pen to sign ‘his’ back! I’ve never sold anything on e-Bay, so don’t expect this or anything else from my collection to show up there!

The flight home was bittersweet—it was sad to think we may never get to see as much of ‘our’ Mr. Leonard Nimoy, as we have been privileged to do in the past. However, it was joyous to think of all the memories, as well as the personal rewards he so richly deserves, that his retirement may bring.

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For Grace it was the first convention. She shares her photo with us and puts in words what I think we all agree to:
"It was a bittersweet goodbye."

Will I ever go to a Star trek convention again? Well just like Leonard's retirement "time will tell." But also like Leonard, I've crossed "... one more thing off the bucket list."

 

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Bonnie shares her photo, too. She directed the cameraman and Leonard to make it a special shot.

(Grace and Bonnie, thank you very much for sharing your personal experiences with us and for the reports you have written. )


Leonard, we wish you and your wife a wonderful pension, a lot of joy and creative, interesting events to enjoy and may you both and your family stay healthy, live long and prosper!
 

Leonard reading the poetry:

 

">Link 

 

The video by his colleagues:

">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kgGCBkEASA&feature=player_embedded

 

The beginning of his speech in Chicago:

">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgQ0FsW8awA

 

"Live long and prosper!":

">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F6PSsXljJ4

 
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