This past weekend, Vulcan hosted their annual Star Trek convention Vul-Con 2016. People from all over the world came together to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, and meet celebrities like Robin Curtis (Vulcan Lieutenant Saavik in the films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.), Andrew Robinson (Elim Garak on the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Sally Kellerman (best known as Hot Lips Houlihan from M.A.S.H. – the movie, and she starred in Star Trek, the original series, with William Shatner in the episode entitled “Where No Man Has Gone Before”), and director, Adam Nimoy, the son of Leonard Nimoy, who has his latest movie, “For the Love of Spock,” coming out this September in celebration of the 50th Anniversary.
I had the pleasure of spending most of a day with Adam, and his co-producer Kai De Mello-Folsom, talking about the influence his father has had on our community. For those of you who have visited our store, you know that we have the bust of Spock right outside our window. Ov
er the years, we’ve met people from every continent and from every walk of life that come to put their hand in his handprint, and read the inscription. When Adam asked me what exactly it was that his father had done for our community, I couldn’t answer him right away.
I couldn’t answer, as what Leonard Nimoy has done for our community is in the realm of intangible – the mythology of Star Trek and the influence of the characters has, it can be argued, has influenced modern society. As Richard Lutz wrote: “The enduring popularity of Star Trek is due to the underlying mythology which binds fans together by virtue of their shared love of stories involving exploration, discovery, adventure and friendship that promote an egalitarian and peace loving society where technology and diversity are valued rather than feared and citizens work together for the greater good. Thus Star Trek offers a hopeful vision of the future and a template for our lives and our society that we can aspire to.” I agree with Mr. Lutz’s statement, and I see that every day in the people that come to our town to experience all things Star Trek that our town has to offer. What Leonard Nimoy did for this town, the day he called Calgary Herald reporter Eric Volmers to lend his support to his people in Vulcan, was show us love.
When Nimoy made the phone call that launched his support for Vulcan, and culminated in his visit to our town in 2010, an undeniable chain of events occurred that coincided with a movement to rebrand our community as the most technologically advanced rural community in Canada. We needed champions to do this, and Leonard Nimoy quickly became a champion for our community, and its success as a whole.
Mr. Nimoy certainly didn’t have to do any of this, but he did so out of love for his “adopted” home town, and with no thought of what his action would do for him. I like to think that it was only logical (as his character would say) that he lend his support to a town, and community who had long cultivated a relationship with his fictional character, but in today’s world logic is sometimes superseded by the illogical. The fact that he interceded to make a community which was not his own, better, is a magical thing.
When we opened up our business, our goal was to create something better for our community. Having grown up on a farm just down the road from Vulcan, I know the importance that businesses bring to rural towns. I also know the people who thought we were crazy to open up a jewellery store in Vulcan, but with support from other business owners in town we made it happen. While this is a business for us, it’s much more than that – it’s personal. We want all our businesses in town to thrive, we want our community to grow and prosper, and given that we’re in the jewellery business, we want to help people celebrate their love.
In a world that can sometimes seem scary and cold, it’s nice to think that we can help share love, just as Leonard Nimoy did. His example shows that it doesn’t take big actions, it just takes action. And, like in any relationship, you have to nurture it.
Thank you to all those who organise, volunteer, and create this amazing weekend. Thanks to the stars who come out each and every year and celebrate the iconic Star Trek series, and finally thanks to the fans who come out and support our community and our businesses – you are keeping the spirit of Star Trek alive with your enthusiasm. And finally thanks to all of those who continue to believe that Vulcan can be more – that we can continue to be proud of our farming roots, while working towards future prosperity and diversity by becoming the most technologically advanced rural community in Canada. Leonard would be proud.
- Lutz, Richard (February 2016). “Social Cohesiveness” (PDF). Human Rights Coalition (Australia)