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Spock And The Motorola StarTac

Illustration for article titled Spock And The Motorola StarTac

My buddy Scott is this big time photographer who shoots all sorts of famous people. So, when news of Leonard Nimoy's death broke this morning, he had a fun little anecdote to tell me about the Star Trek actor and his favorite cell phone.

It was long before I decided to turn pro, I was shooting gardens for this friend of mine Jon Goldstein who's kind of a famous landscape architect. He did the Hotel Bell Air, he did the Beverly Hills Hotel, Mark Wahlberg's waterslide, all sorts of stuff. So I was tooling around with him shooting all his gardens and one day we go shoot Leonard Nimoy's. This was around 2000 or so.

His house is right next door to the Hotel Bel-Air. It used to be part of that hotel, which is really cool because if you're familiar with that property, the way it uses narrow hallways and white wood, it's really elegant. And old. His house really feels like a continuation of it. I guess the hotel had fallen on hard times when he bought his house and they sold off this little piece of it. So he's got this beautiful, mature, lush landscaping and he's got this chromed Picasso goat sculpture in the back yard.

Illustration for article titled Spock And The Motorola StarTac

So he says, "While you're here, would you mind taking a picture of me and my wife?" I said, "Not at all."

I brought my lights in and he's a big photo enthusiast himself, so we started chatting. At some point, he had to take a phone call and when he finished, he saw me smiling.

The hot new cell phone at the time was the Motorola StarTac, which was a dead ringer for the Star Trek communicator.

Illustration for article titled Spock And The Motorola StarTac

He said, "You know, when I first got this thing, I didn't even connect the dots. I was sitting at a stoplight one day and all these people were pointing and laughing, and I realized the great irony of it all."

We had a great belly laugh about it and that was it.

He had this great plaque on his gate that read, "Surviving trespassers will be prosecuted."

Illustration for article titled Spock And The Motorola StarTac

I figured this was a fun little reminder that, while we haven't made first contact or discovered warp propulsion yet (events that will likely go hand-in-hand), the 49 years since Star Trek began airing have brought us surprisingly close to some of its visions. Live long and prosper.


IndefinitelyWild is a new publication about adventure travel in the outdoors, the vehicles and gear that get us there and the people we meet along the way. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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I have a Leonard Nimoy story.

Probably about 5 years ago, I was on Central Park West and 82st Street, right by the Museum of Natural History. I was with my mom and waiting for a cab when one pulled right up to the curb with occupants in it.

The door opened and there was Leonard sitting there. He tried to get out but was having difficulty, to be honest, I didn't recognize him at first. He looked at me and asked if I could help him, so I said sure. I leaned down and he took my arm and I helped him out of the cab.

It was then when he was standing next to me that I recognized him and I was surprised with how tall and old he looked. He smiled, shook my hand and thanked me profusely, and him and his friend went on their way and my mom and I got in the cab. Seemed like a really nice guy.