When I was a boy —I suppose no five words date a man as much as those— James Doohan was an occasional guest at my parents’ summer parties. At that time he was an actor mainly on the CBC, which put him immediately into the category of one of the first celebrities I ever met —a fact that was almost as impressive as the very small two-seater car he drove that rode on just three wheels. I think it was French. It was very cool. There was always a script or two on the other seat. I remember Jimmy, as everyone called him then, was unfailingly patient with the endless questions kids have for someone who is on television, and never showed a hint of being taken with himself, unlike some vice presidents of this or that company who seemed to strut around trying to impress everyone. Funny how young people remember things like that and who has an authentic voice and who does not among the adult crowd.
Some years later, Jimmy went off to join the cast of a new TV series called Star Trek and became known throughout this galaxy, if not beyond, as Scotty, the craggy chief engineer of the USS Enterprise who was always “giving it all I can, Captain.” I imagine some Trekkies would give their Spock ears to have actually been in Jimmy’s first home —dare I say it, in the 1950s. It was definitely before the invention of warp speed but it did have a nice kitchen.
Today, Jimmy’s ashes were shot off into space on a rocket. He is the first person I have personally known whose mortal remains are no longer part of this earth. I wonder if it will become a trend. It’s a fitting new frontier for a pace setter who inspired millions about the mysteries of the cosmos and still found time at a much earlier age to indulge the curiosities of a young fan.
Well done, Jimmy. The journey continues.